NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior running back Al Georgio (West Greenwich, R.I.) ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Norwich University football team to a 42-21 victory over SUNY Maritime on Saturday afternoon on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium.
Norwich (3-3, 2-1 ECFC) scored 22 unanswered points led by two Georgio touchdowns in the second half, to rally to its second conference victory of the season on NU Parents & Family Weekend 2013.
Junior wide receiver Dan Jamieson (Morris Plains, N.J.) also had a big day, hauling in two touchdown passes from junior quarterback Keyen Foley (Hemet, Calif.) on four total catches for 46 yards.
Norwich got off to a quick start, needing just five plays to find the end zone with Foley hooking up with Jamieson for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap off the 75-yard drive. Foley highlighted the drive with a 54-yard run on the second play of the game to get down to the SUNY Maritime 11-yard line.
SUNY Maritime (2-4, 2-1 ECFC) answered back with an impressive opening drive of its own, going 76 yards on seven plays with Kyle Gardner carrying the ball four straight times for the last 22 yards. He capped off the drive by punching it in from three yards out to knot the game up at 7 after Diogo Dietrich added the PAT.
Norwich regained the lead with 5:27 left in the first quarter after Wesley Medeiros (Gilford, N.H.) booted a career-long 47-yard field goal to put Norwich up 10-7.
After forcing a three and out on defense, Georgio broke off a 57-yard run on the first play from scrimmage for his first touchdown of the game to put the Cadets up 17-7 coupled with another Medeiros PAT.
The Cadets added to their lead again with 10:55 to play in the second quarter with Medeiros connecting for a 29-yard field goal to make it 20-7 Norwich.
Norwich forced its third straight three and out on SUNY Maritime's next possession. However, after a 14-yard gain on a catch by Jamieson, he fumbled the ball and the Privateers recovered.
SUNY Maritime capitalized on the momentum, marching down the field on an 11-play, 69 yard touchdown drive that culminated with a Kyle Gardner 1-yard run. Dietrich added the extra point to cut the NU lead to 20-14.
On the first play of Norwich's next drive Trystan Collaire fumbled after a hit by Kameron Knight jarred the ball loose and sprung Chris Klass for a return all the way down to the Norwich 15-yard line.
The Privateers needed only one play to make the Cadets pay as Frank Laino ran around the right side and dove into the end zone just inside the pylon to tie the game at 20 with 50 seconds left in the half. Dietrich added the extra point to give Maritime its first lead of the game at 21-20 and stun the large Parents & Family Weekend crowd.
Norwich regrouped at halftime and dominated the second half, reeling off 22 straight points to clinch its second straight victory over SUNY Maritime.
NU took the lead for good with Georgio once again running through a big hole up the middle, to go 31 yards untouched and put the Cadets up 27-21 with Medeiros' successful point after.
On SUNY Maritime's next possession, senior captain defensive back Ethan Hanks (Hull, Mass.) picked off a pass by Ryan Heizman and returned it into Privateer territory.
Norwich marched 37 yards on six plays with Foley once again finding Jamieson in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown pass to put the Cadets up 34-21 with Medeiros' PAT.
The Norwich defense came up with two big stops on SUNY Maritime's next two possessions by forcing another Heizman interception, as well as another three and out to set up the Cadets' offense for a long 12-play, 87-yard touchdown drive that chewed up 6:44 of clock to put the game away for good.
Norwich ran 12 straight rushing plays by six different players, culminating with Georgio scampering in from 17 yards out for his third touchdown of the day and seventh rushing TD of the season.
SUNY Maritime drove down to the Norwich 19-yard line on its next possession but stalled out after Heizman was picked off for the third time by a leaping grab in the end zone by junior defensive back Nael Pierre-Louis (Cumberland, R.I.).
Norwich ran for 353 yards on the ground and outgained SUNY Maritime in total yards 435-273. SUNY Maritime junior fullback Kyle Gardner ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Privateers' offense.
Junior linebacker Matt LeFevre (Milford, N.J.) led Norwich defensively with seven total tackles. Senior linebacker Luis Delgado (Accord, N.Y.) chipped in with 6.5 total tackles; senior safety Ethan Hanks (Hull, Mass.) had 5.5 total tackles, with a tackle for loss and an interception.
SUNY Maritime sophomore linebacker Kameron Knight totaled 10 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and had one forced fumble.
Norwich returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 26 when it hosts Anna Maria at 4 p.m. on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium in another Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) matchup.