Time of Poss.
The nationally-ranked St. John Fisher College football team rallied to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, as the Cardinals battled back to beat University of Rochester 20-16 in Courage Bowl VIII at Fisher's Growney Stadium. The game was dedicated to the children of Camp Good Days.
With the win, No. 9 Fisher improves to 3-0, while the Yellowjackets fall to 1-1. The Cardinals have won all eight Courage Bowls.
With the game tied at 14-14 with just under five minutes to go, kicker Alex Antonucci attempted a 32-yard field goal to give the Yellowjackets the lead.
Fisher's Mike Benderski, however, broke through the middle and blocked his second field goal of the game, and Wade Kline scooped up the ball at his own 28 yard line and went down the right sideline for the 72-yard score.
The Yellowjackets, blocked the ensuing extra point and Brendan Pidgeon returned it for the defensive two-point conversion to make it 20-16.
On Rochester's first play of the next drive, Fisher's Zach Dolan intercepted a pass at the Fisher 36 to give the Cardinals the ball back with 4:29 left. Fisher punted the ball back to Rochester with just under a minute left, but the Yellowjackets, who were out of time outs, could not move the ball past their own 30.
Rochester led 14-7 at the break, scoring 14 unanswered to end the half.
Fisher took its first possession and marched 76 yards on eight plays with Ryan Kramer connecting with Tyler Stell for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Rochester came right back though and scored on the ensuing drive with Dean Kennedy finding Ken Apostolakos for a 21-yard strike with 1:08 left in the first quarter.
The Yellowjackets scored with 8:14 left on Thomas Hayes six-yard pass from Kennedy to make it 14-7.
Rochester ran more offensive plays (40-26) in the first half, enjoyed a 230-158 advantage in yardage and held the ball for 18:00 minutes.
After a scoreless third quarter, Fisher tied the game up at 14-14 on a 2-yard run from Kramer, capping a five-play, 62-yard drive.
Sophomore Eric Riley made the big play during the drive. On a third-and-two play from the Fisher 46, Riley picked up 42 yards on first career reception to set up the score.
Fisher rushed for 193 yards on the day. Cody Miller gained 64 yards on 13 carries, while Kramer added 41 yards on 14 attempts. Alexander Stacy picked up 56 yards on just five carries, while Christian Zemaitis added 27 yards on five attempts.
Kevin Francis led Fisher with four catches for 60 yards. Kramer was 11-for-23 for 145 yards and one touchdown.
For Rochester, Kennedy was 27-for-41 for 273 yards. Apostolakos caught nine balls for 94 yards, while Hayes totaled six grabs for 85 yards.
Mike Donitzen led the Fisher defense with 12 tackles.
For Rochester, Tony Ortega made 11 tackles, while Shawn Burke finished with 10 stops.
Fisher will return to action at 4 p.m. next Saturday and will host Hartwick College in the Empire 8 season opener for both teams.