ONEONTA, NY- The Hartwick football team faced off against nationally ranked St. John Fisher and it was the Cardinals who came away with the 37-14 victory over the Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Wright Stadium. Hartwick is now 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Empire 8 while the Cardinals remain undefeated at 5-0 and 2-0 in the E8.
The Cardinal defense sacked Hawks quarterback John Garcia (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) 11 times and held 'Wick to -26 net yards rushing. Garcia completed 16 passes for 205 yards and threw one interception and one touchdown.
Running back Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge, NY/Hoosick Falls) scored both of the Hawks touchdowns on a one-yard run and a 43 yard reception. He finished with four catches for 71 yards. Nick Knauer (Wyantskill, NY/Wyanstkill) carried the ball eight times for 47 yards.
The Hartwick defense gave up 241 yards in the air with Cardinal wide receiver Kevin Francis accumulating 156 of those yards on five catches with a score. Dan Rudy added three catches for 55 yards.
The Hawks started the game with the ball and drove to the Fisher 38, but Garcia would be sacked on consecutive drop backs and Hartwick punted the ball. The 'Wick defense came up big as it kept the Cardinals backed up in their own territory. After a Hartwick three and out, the Cardinals would march 11 plays and 49 yards to score on a Ryan Kramer five yard touchdown to go up 7-0 with 2:44 remaining in the opening quarter.
After the two teams exchanged punts in the second quarter, the Hawks had possession on Fisher's 19 after a 36 yard punt return by Williams. Aided by a pass interference call on the Cardinals, 'Wick had first and goal at the six-yard line. A Garcia to Chris Hoose (Leeds, NY/Cairo-Durham) completion put the ball at the one and from there, Williams ran it in and with Alexander Tesoriero's (Rensselaer, NY/Columbia) extra point, the game was tied 7-7 with 10:44 left to play in the second.
The Cardinals would answer right back with a nine play, 62 yard drive that culminated with Cody Miller punching it in from the five and with the extra point, St. John Fisher was ahead 14-7. Neither team could muster any offense for the remainder of the quarter and the score remained 14-7 at halftime.
Fisher started the second half with the ball and quickly moved into Hartwick territory. On third and seven from its own 37, Fenti connected with Francis for a 58 yard pass to the Hawk five yard line. The 'Wick defense stood its ground as the Cardinals settled for a 20 yard Brendan Carey field goal to make it a 17-7 contest at 11:02.
Hartwick's next possession did not end well. Garcia's pass would be tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Fisher's Sean Priesh, who returned it 35 yards for the score as the Cardinals increased their lead to 24-7.
St. John Fisher would score on its next two possessions to go up 37-7 with 10:27 remaining in the fourth quarter. Hartwick finally responded with 5:45 left in the game when Garcia hooked up with Williams for a 43 yard touchdown to complete the scoring on the day.
The Hawks were led defensively by Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, NY/Babylon) who totaled nine tackles and added one sack. Joe Seney (Gloversville, NY/Broadalbin-Perth HS) contributed Hartwick's other sack and also had three tackles. Jared Morrow (Ogdensburg, NY/Ogdensburg) finished with six tackles.
Hartwick will look to rebound next Saturday when it goes on the road to face Alfred. Game time will be at 1 p.m.