October 1, 2011

Cardinals can't hold early lead, fall to Tigers 31-17

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WASHINGTON – After leading Hampden-Sydney 10-7 at halftime, CUA (3-1) saw the Tigers (4-1) score 24 unanswered points in the third quarter and the Cardinals were unable to come back, falling 31-17 on Saturday.  Junior Alonzo Cooke had a big day for CUA, hauling in eight passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Saturday's game matched the top two scoring offenses in the ODAC vs. one another, but it was hard to tell in the early going with neither team able to muster any points in the first quarter. 

After the ball changed hands several times in the second quarter, CUA finally put an end to the 0-0 deadlock when the Cardinals went 60 yards in only four plays for Cooke's first touchdown.  This one covered 49 yards and came following a Hampden-Sydney fumble that James Fucillo caused and Kirk Kasa recovered.

The Tigers answered right back with a 14-play drive that covered 69 yards and ended on Evan King's two-yard TD plunge to tie things at seven.

The scoring continued on CUA's next drive when Brian Gongaware capped a 47-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal to put the Cardinals in front by three, a lead they eventually took into halftime.

Not much went right for CUA in the third quarter, beginning on the first drive when Greg Cordivari was intercepted and ten plays later HSC took its first lead on Travis Lane's six-yard score.

After the Cardinals went three-and-out, Hampden-Sydney added to its lead with a Lane to Kyle Vance 15-yard touchdown, making it a 21-10 game with 8:24 to play in the quarter.

Things only got tougher for CUA from there as Cordivari was picked off again, this time by Sean Stewart who returned it 40 yards for another Tigers TD.

HSC added a field goal late in the third quarter and took a commanding 21-point advantage into the final 15 minutes.

CUA scored for the final time with 4:23 to play when Cordivari hit Cooke on a 13-yard strike and that set the final margin at 14.

Cordivari finished the day 33 of 52 for 288 yards, but the junior was intercepted four times.  Sophomore Mike Pitsenberger carried the ball 12 times for 73 yards, good for an average of 6.1 per attempt, and he also caught five passes.

Conor Stueckler had a solid day from his linebacker spot, totaling 11 tackles, including one for loss and a sack.  Miniard Culpepper registered eight tackles, and Marc McEvoy, Rob Schaetzl and Joe Tretter added seven apiece.

CUA finished with 355 yards of total offense, while HSC registered 433.  The Cardinals were called for 13 penalties during the game, which was ten more than the Tigers.

The Cardinals have a short week and return to action on Friday, October 7 when they play host to Randolph-Macon at 7 p.m. on Family Weekend.

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