WESTMINSTER, Md. – Trailing 36-24 in the fourth quarter, CUA scored 15 unanswered points to storm back and down McDaniel 39-36 in an exciting season opener on Saturday afternoon. Junior Greg Cordivari threw for 459 yards, the sixth highest total in school history, and classmate Alonzo Cooke hauled in eight passes for 127 yards and a pair of scores.
Cordivari completed 31 of 48 pass attempts for his 459 yards, to go along with three touchdowns. He threw for the most yards ever allowed by McDaniel and the most by a Cardinals signal caller since Keith Ricca threw for 530 in 2008.
Cooke was one of three Cardinals with at least five receptions, joining Andrew Ouellette (9-97) and Tanner Keefe (5-94). CUA finished with 473 yards of total offense, but only 14 net yards came on the ground.
Following Shane Edmond's touchdown with 13:03 left in the game CUA found itself down 36-24, but the Cardinals answered with an eight-play, 85-yard drive that ended with Cordivari hitting Cooke for a 17-yard score.
The ball then changed hands several times before CUA took over with 1:39 remaining and proceeded to march 90 yards in just 42 seconds. Another Cordivari to Cooke touchdown, this one covering 34 yards, put the Cardinals on top 37-36. Cordivaro then found Jeff Frusicante on the two-point conversion and the lead grew to three.
McDaniel's Brad Kline returned the ensuing kick-off up near midfield and the Green Terror had one final chance to either win or tie the game.
The home team got down to the CUA 17 with under 30 seconds to play, but a penalty pushed McDaniel back five yards and Jake Nichols missed a 39-yard field goal, giving the Cardinals a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
The game was tied three times in the opening half, but CUA wound up taking a 24-17 lead into halftime following Mike Pitsenberger's three-yard run with just 19 seconds on the clock.
McDaniel scored 19 unanswered points though, culminating with Shane Edmond's three-yard touchdown reception to put the Cardinals in a 12-point hole.
Joe Rollins finished with 159 yards on the ground for McDaniel, which came on 36 carries, while Thomas Massucci completed nine passes for 75 yards.
Vinnie Cortese led CUA's defense with 11 tackles and a sack, while Marc McEvoy registered nine stops and Patrick Thomas had eight. In addition to Cortese, McEvoy, Rob Schaetzl and Jeremy Shiner registered sacks.
With Saturday's win CUA improves to 5-1 under Head Coach Dave Dunn in season openers, including a perfect 4-0 mark on the road.
The Cardinals are back in action on Friday, September 9 when they head across town to face Gallaudet underneath the lights. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.