FROSTBURG, MD- Despite trailing 14-13 in the third quarter, the Hartwick football team rallied to score 28 straight points, including 21 in the fourth quarter alone, to come away with a 41-14 victory over host Frostburg on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium. The win, which halts the Hawks' four game winless streak, improves their record to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the Empire 8. The Bobcats, who have now dropped their last six games, fall to 1-8 overall and 0-6 in the Empire 8.
'Wick had a 13-7 lead at halftime but the Bobcats went ahead 14-13 with 6:42 showing on the clock in the third quarter. The Hawks took their next possession and marched 65 yards and nine plays that culminated in a John Garcia (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) to Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge, NY/Hoosick Falls) seven yard touchdown that put Hartwick ahead for good 20-14 with 1:46 left in the third. The Hawks blew the game open with three touchdowns in the final quarter to run away with the game.
Garcia completed 19 passes for 314 yards and three scores. Williams caught nine of those passes for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns while Frankie Molina (Middletown, NY/Middletown) added six catches for 134 yards and a score.
The Hawks gashed the Bobcats for 134 yards on the ground led by Nick Knauer's (Wyantskill, NY/Tamarac) 89. Kurtis Ahart (Spencer, NY/Spencer Van Etten) tallied 81 yards and had one touchdown.
Defensively, Hartwick was led by R.J. Roth (Cornwall, NY/Cornwall) who was in on 12 tackles, had two for losses, a half sack, and added a fumble recovery. Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon, NY/Babylon) contributed 11 tackles and 1.5 for a loss. He also had one interception returned for a touchdown.
Frostburg won the opening coin toss and deferred to the Hawks. Hartwick quickly marched down the field with an eight play, 86 yard drive that ended with a Garcia-to-Williams 20 yard touchdown and Alexander Tesoriero's (Rensselaer, NY/Columbia) extra point made it 7-0 'Wick with 11:18 showing on the clock in the first quarter of play.
Early in the second quarter, Hartwick drove to the Bobcats' one-yard line but could not punch the ball into the endzone. Tesoriero came on to attempt a 21 yard field goal that was good and the Hawks went ahead 10-0 at 12:21 of the second frame.
FSU would make it a game as it answered Hartwick's score with one of its own. Aided by a Ken Emmons-to-Antonio Wood 51-yard completion to the Hawks' 17, the Bobcats took four plays to get into the endzone and make it a 10-7 contest at 10:35.
Hartwick would hold that lead for most of the second period. The Hawks had a chance to increase their lead with 1:34 to play until halftime, but Tesoriero's 37 yard field goal was short and the Bobcats took over. On the following play, Emmons was stopped for a loss of four yards and fumbled the ball away. Roth was there to pounce on it and the Hawks were awarded possession at the FSU 16. Following a three and out, Tesoriero would get another chance and made good from 34 yards to put 'Wick ahead 13-7 at the break.
In the second half, the Bobcats started with the ball and got all the way to Hartwick's 2. Faced with a fourth and goal situation, Frostburg went for it all and Teron Tyre would be stopped for a three-yard loss by the combination of Schweitzer and Rob Burke (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) to give Hartwick possession at its own 5 with 11 minutes left to play in the third quarter.
Hartwick was on the move and looking to increase its lead as it moved to near midfield. Its drive was stopped when Ahart's fumble at the Hartwick 47 was picked up by the Bobcats' Keith Smith for 29 yards to the Hawks' 29.
FSU took over and the Hawks nearly prevented the Bobcats from capitalizing on the mistake but on third down and 24 from the Hawks' 43, 'Wick was called for roughing the passer and the Bobcats were granted a first down at the Hartwick 28. Four plays later, Tyre passed to Aaron Turner for an 18 yard touchdown to put FSU on top 14-13 at 6:42.
The Bobcats' lead would not last long. Hartwick began its drive at its own 35 after the FSU kickoff went out of bounds. Garcia completed five passes, with three of them going to Williams, and the last ending in a seven-yard touchdown to give Hartwick the lead back, 20-14, with 1:46 to play in the third.
It was all Hawks in the fourth quarter as Hartwick outscored the Bobcats 21-0 to blow the game open. After forcing a FSU punt with time winding down in the third, the Hawks took over at the Frostburg 37. Hartwick took advantage of the excellent field position as Ahart score from one yard out to increase the Hawks' lead to 27-14.
After an exchange of possessions, Hartwick tacked on a Garcia-to-Molina 30 yard touchdown pass to go up 34-14 with 4:28 left to play in the game. The Hawks ended the day's scoring with Schweitzer's nine yard interception return for a score with just over four minutes to play. After a Frostburg fumble, 'Wick took over at its own 45 and ran out the clock.
The Hawks dominated in time of possession with 40:40 of clock time to FSU's 19:20. The Hartwick offense totaled 482 yards while the Bobcats could only muster 187. 'Wick had 24 first downs to the Bobcats' 12.
Hartwick will conclude its 2013 regular season next Saturday on the road against Utica. Kickoff from Charles Gaetano Stadium will be at 1 p.m.