ALFRED, NY- On a day that saw it surrender 49 points, the Hartwick football team found itself in a shootout with host Alfred and came up on the short end as the Saxons added two fourth quarter touchdowns to come away with a 49-28 victory.
Hartwick started the game with possession at its own 38 but on the first play from scrimmage, running back Kevin Wahl (Farmingdale, NY/Farmingdale) fumbled and the ball was recovered by the Saxons at the 'Wick 35. Three plays later, AU running back Austin Dwyer ran 18 yards for the score and just one minute into the game, the Saxons were ahead 7-0.
The Hawks went three and out on their next drive. After a punt, Alfred started at the Hartwick 47 and quarterback Tyler Johnson would connect with Isiah Young for the 43 yard completion to move the ball to the four yard line. From there, Dwyer punched the ball in with 10:24 remaining in the first quarter and the Saxons increased their lead to 14-0.
Hartwick started to generate some offense on its ensuing possession. Quarterback John Garcia (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) had completion of 10, 29, and nine yards to wide receiver Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge, NY/Hoosick Falls) with the last pass bringing the ball to AU's 20. From there, Garcia connected with Chris Hoose (Kingston, NY/Kingston) for the touchdown and with the extra point, 'Wick was on the scoreboard, 14-7.
The Hartwick defense forced a punt on Alfred's next drive and with a bad snap, punter Ryan McDonnell was brought down by Michael Servider (Carmel, NY/Carmel) a yard short of the first down to give the Hawks the ball at the Alfred 26. 'Wick looked to tie the game but on first down, Garcia would be intercepted by AU's Calvin Bain at the three as the Saxons took over.
The turnover proved to be costly as the Saxons marched 97 yards down the field in 12 plays that ended with Chuck Beckwith's seven yard run to put Alfred ahead 21-7 at 13:06 of the second quarter. The Hawks would answer back with a six play, 64 yard drive that culminated in a Garcia-to-Williams touchdown with just over 10 minutes showing on the clock.
The two teams would exchange touchdowns with Hartwick's score coming on a Frankie Molina (Middletown, NY/Middletown) touchdown catch with 4:14 showing on the game clock. The Hawks did forced an Alfred punt and gained possession at their own three. Hartwick was not successful in moving the ball far enough and the half ended with Alfred ahead 28-21.
The Saxons started the third period with the ball and wasted no time moving down the field. Alfred's five play, 62 yard drive ended when Johnson scored on a 13 yard run to move AU ahead 35-21 at 12:18.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Hawks started with the ball at their own 28. From there, Hartwick would embark on its longest drive of the game. 'Wick went down the field and had a first and goal from the Alfred five yard line. After being stymied on its previous attempts to score, the Hawks went for it all on a fourth and goal at the Alfred 13. The gamble paid off as Garcia found Hoose for the touchdown and the Hawks narrowed the deficit to 35-28 with 4:28 remaining in the third.
Neither team scored for the remainder of the third quarter. In the fourth, Johnson completed a 21 yard touchdown to Josh Phillips to increase the Saxon lead to 42-28 at 12:24.
Hartwick still had plenty of time on the clock to get back in the game. With a drive starting at its own 23, Garcia would be sacked by Alfred's Peter Diak and fumble the ball away. Tylor Hubbert would recover for the Saxons to give them possession at the Hartwick 15. From there, Johnson hooked up with Phillips again for the score as AU sealed the win.
The Hawks were held to 48 yards rushing while the Saxons ran for 179 yards. Wahl led Hartwick with 44 yards on 15 carries. The Saxons were led by Dwyer's 89 yards and two scores.
Garcia passed for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Johnson had 283 yards through the air and three touchdown passes.
Williams caught seven balls for 115 yards and a score. Hoose had four catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Richie Divirgilio (Windsor, NY/Windsor Central) led the Hawks defensively with 14 tackles and had a pass breakup. Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, Babylon) added eight tackles while R.J. Roth (Cornwall, NY/Cornwall) contributed seven tackles and a sack.
Hartwick returns to the confines of Wright Stadium next Saturday when it hosts Salisbury University. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m.