WASHINGTON – Mike Pitsenberger plunged into the end zone from one yard out with 21 seconds remaining to lift CUA to an exhilarating 28-24 victory over Emory & Henry on Homecoming. The Cardinals trailed 24-21 with just over two minutes to play before Miniard Culpepper recovered a fumble that led to the eventual game-winning score.
Following Culpepper's fumble recovery, CUA drove 49 yards in 2:15 and went on top for the first time since the second quarter on Pitsenberger's touchdown.
The Hornets then took over with 15 seconds to play and after completing two passes to the Cardinals' 40-yard line, Emory & Henry had one final chance to try and win but DaVon Ross' pass was batted down and time ran out. CUA has now beaten Emory & Henry four out of the last five meetings, including the last two.
CUA, which ran 91 offensive plays, finished with 463 yards of total offense, led by junior quarterback Greg Cordivari, who completed a staggering 46 of 64 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. The 46 completions are a new school record, eclipsing the old mark of 34 set by Keith Ricca in 2005 and 2007, while the 64 attempts also establishes a new school record, with Ricca's 61 in 2005 the previous high.
Andrew Ouellette hauled in 12 of those passes for 111 yards and one score, while Wesley Stringfield caught 10.
The Wasps racked up 398 yards of offense, including 200 on the ground, led by Joseph Vaughn who totaled 87 on 18 carries and Adam Pugh, who finished with 81 on 12 carries.
CUA received the opening kick-off and proceeded to drive 72 yards in five plays, capped off by a Cordivari to Stringfield 12-yard TD pass that the Cardinals ahead 7-0.
The Wasps came right back and drove 73 yards in only four plays to tie things at seven.
Later in the quarter, after the ball changed hands several times, CUA went back in front when Cordivari hit Tucker Hubbel with a 26-yard strike, which make it a 14-7 game with 3:23 to play in the first.
E&H scored twice in the second quarter and took a 21-14 lead into halftime, and that set the stage for an exciting second half.
Neither team scored in the third, but early in the fourth the Wasps went ahead by ten on a 24-yard field goal by Matt Turchin.
Following an exchange of punts, CUA got the ball back and proceeded to march 50 yards in only 1:21 to pull within three on an 18-yard Cordivari to Ouellette touchdown.
With 3:30 to play in the game, E&H got the ball back off a CUA punt and after driving to the Cardinals 29-yard line, the Wasps lined up for a field goal. Joe Tretter blocked the ensuing kick however and CUA took over.
Cordivari gave it right back to E&H though with his lone interception of the afternoon, and it looked as though CUA had run out of chances.
On the very next play E&H's William Pearl coughed the ball up and Culpepper pounced on it, which led the eventual game-winning score for CUA.
The two teams combined for 20 penalties, totaling 208 yards on the afternoon, and there 13 punts. CUA held the ball for 32:01, while E&H finished with a TOP of 27:59.
CUA will now travel to face Washington & Lee on Friday, October 28 in Lexington, Va. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.