September 17, 2011

Hawks Roll Past Norwich in Home Opener

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                ONEONTA, NY – Visiting Norwich scored the first and last touchdowns of the game, but Hartwick scored everything in between in a 37-14 rout of the Cadets. The victory for the Hawks improves their overall record to 2-0. It marks the third consecutive season 'Wick has won its first two games and the Hawks' largest margin of victory since a 55-3 win over Becker in 2009.
            Hartwick registered 366 yards of total offense and scored on six of their seven trips inside the red zone. Senior wide receiver Jordan Wilkins (Portsmouth, NH/Hyde School), who finished in the national top 10 last year in reception yards per game, had another big day with a career-high 201 yards on seven catches and one touchdown. Senior quarterback Dan Brainard (Owego, NY/Owego Free) threw for 236 yards and one touchdown, and senior running back Anthony Casimano (Gansevoort, NY/Schuylerville HS) rushed for 109 yards and two scores.
            Sophomore Harley Edwards (Owego, NY/Owego Free) returned a punt for a touchdown, the first of his career, which broke the game open with the first of two Hartwick touchdowns in the final six and a half minutes of the half. Sophomore kicker Alex Tesoriero (Rensselaer, NY/Columbia HS) made three field goals for the Hawks, just one short of the College record set in 1997.
            The Cadets would get the ball first in the game and they promptly marched 65 yards in six plays, capped off by a Derius Silas 39-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Kris Sabourin for a 6-0 lead. Kicker Long Ding tacked on the extra point.
            That, however, would be the last time Norwich would score for the next 55 minutes and 47 seconds as the Hartwick defense stopped the Cadets on each of their next 11 possessions while forcing two turnovers.
            After the Cadet touchdown, the Hawks drove 83 yards on 12 plays to tie the game. Casimano gained 35 yards on eight of the plays and a Brainard-to-Wilkins 12-yard reception and Tesoriero extra point evened the contest.
              The Hawks forced turnovers on each of Norwich's next two possessions. Junior linebacker RJ Roth (New Windsor, NY/Cornwall Central) knocked the ball out of running back Andrew Fulford's hands and Pete Jackson (Groton, NY/Groton HS) recovered on the Hartwick 39 yard-line on the Cadets first play from scrimmage on their next possession.
            Hartwick punted, but immediately got the ball back as senior linebacker Jordan Spirou (Westbury, NY/WT Clarke) intercepted Sabourin on the Norwich 34 and brought it back 19 yards. Tesoriero would later give the Hawks the lead for good on a 30-yard field goal for a 10-7 edge.
            After alternating punts from the two teams, Hartwick's Brendan Cahill (Airmont, NY/Albertus Magnus) pinned the Cadets in deep as his perfect 34-yard punt went out of bounds just inside the Norwich one yard-line.
            After three plays and no yards gained, Ding punted and Edwards received the ball at the Norwich 40 in the middle of the field. He took off to the left side and eluded all Cadet tacklers for the touchdown and Tesoriero added the point after for a 17-7 Hartwick lead.
            The Hawk defense held up again and following another Norwich punt, Brainard hit Wilkins for a 46-yard gain and Hartwick had a first and goal from the Norwich one yard-line. Casimano finished it off and after the PAT, the Hawks increased their lead to 24-7.
            After halftime, Casimano single-handedly got the Hawks another six points. He ran for 47 yards on six plays and ended the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and the Hawks led 31-7 just 2:37 into the third quarter.
            Tesoriero added a 28-yard field goal later following a Brainard-to-Wilkins 57-yard reception. It marked the longest play in the careers of both players. The Hawks dominated the clock in the third quarter as they had the football for 11 and a half minutes.
            Hartwick couldn't cash in on a 4th and 1 from the Norwich one yard-line on its next possession, but the defense forced a three-and-out and 'Wick got the ball back. The Hawks ate up nearly six more minutes off the clock and Tesoriero split the uprights for a career-long 40-yard field goal to increase the Hartwick lead to 30 points.
            The Cadets would score with under two minutes left on a Fulford 6-yard run following a Hartwick turnover inside their own 10 yard-line.
             Defensively for the Hawks, Roth ended the game with a team-high seven tackles, including one tackle for a loss, the forced fumble in the first quarter, and one pass broken up. Spirou added six tackles to go along with his interception.
            Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, NY/Babylon HS) and Ryan McCoy (Bayport, NY/Bayport Bluepoint) each added five hits and Davionne Price (Bloomville, NY/Delhi) and Pat Steves (Brockport, NY/Brockport HS) had four tackles apiece.
            Sabourin rushed for 104 yards for Norwich and he threw for another 72. Stephen Gilmore led all players with 10 tackles for the Cadets. Three of his tackles were for Hartwick losses.
            The win for the Hawks today ups their all-time record against Norwich to 10-4. The Hawks have also won five of the last six meetings.
            Hartwick returns to action on Saturday, September 24 at Mount Ida. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
            
 

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