ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick (1-8, 0-5 E8) held the lead in the fourth quarter over visiting SUNY Cortland (8-1, 5-1 E8), but the Red Dragons out-scored the Hawks 17-0 in the period to emerge with a 32-21 victory on Saturday at Wright Stadium on 'Wick's Senior Day.
The Hawks had a very strong outing as they gained 358 yards of offense while committing no turnovers. The 'Wick defense kept the Red Dragons, who were nationally ranked as of last weekend, to zero points through the first 29:59. The Hawks would hold the Red Dragons scoreless on their first eight possessions of the game. Cortland, however, would capitalize on its final six possessions of the contest.
Davien Kuinlan (Bethpage, NY/Plainedge) pounded the ball 30 times for 136 rushing yards and one touchdown for the Hawks. Senior quarterback Grant Harman (Liberty, NY/Liberty) connected on 18-of-26 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Jack Steinman (North Haven, CT/North Haven) made eight catches for 109 yards. Corey Sachs (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) had five receptions for 45 yards and one score, and Kishaun Bell (Beacon, NY/Beacon) added three catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Cortland received 204 yards rushing and a touchdown from running back Zach Tripoda. Quarterback Brett Segala threw for 240 yards and two scores while rushing for an additional 35. Cole Burgess made 10 catches for 109 yards and one score for the Red Dragons.
The game was a defensive battle through the first quarter. Hartwick punted on its first four possessions but drove all the way to the Cortland 9 yard-line early in the second quarter. Kevin Roberts (Montgomery, NY/Valley Central) had his field goal attempt blocked but on the Red Dragons' first touch after the change of possession, Stephen Junjulas (Cold Spring, NY/Haldane) recovered a fumble to get the ball back for the Hawks. On the next play, Harman found Bell in the end zone from 17 yards out for six and Roberts tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
After another defensive stop, the Hawks drove 88 yards on nine plays. Kuinlan rushed the ball six times for 47 yards in the drive and he caught one pass for another 14. He ran it in from the 5 yard-line and 'Wick was in front 14-0 after the PAT.
Cortland got one final chance in the half with 1:43 left. They would drive 90 yards on 15 plays before Nick Mongelli put the Red Dragons on the board as time expired and the Hawks took a 14-3 lead into halftime.
The Red Dragons received the second half kickoff and promptly scored their first touchdown of the day. Sagala hit Angelo Foster who broke free for a 48-yard touchdown reception and the deficit was cut to four, 14-10. The Hawks were pinned deep on the ensuing possession and forced to punt from their own end zone. The snap was high to Rusty Vikler (Apalachin, NY/Vestal) and he stepped out of bounds after leaping to catch it which resulted in a safety for Cortland and the gap was closed to two, 14-12. The Red Dragons took the lead after the kickoff, as Mongelli nailed a 46-yard field goal for a 15-14 advantage.
The Hawks answered as Kuinlan had rushes of 31 and 19 yards in a drive that Sachs capped off with a touchdown with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. Roberts' PAT made it 21-15.
Cortland needed five plays to take the lead for good. Tripodi's seven-yard score tied the game at 21-all and Mongelli made it a one-point advantage for the visitors with 1:25 gone in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by one, the Hawks took eight minutes off the clock and drove all the way to the Cortland four with 5:45 remaining. Facing fourth down, the Hawks kicked for the potential go-ahead field goal, but it was blocked again. Tripodi rushed for 66 yards on the next play from scrimmage for the Red Dragons. Segala found Burgess for a 14-yard touchdown on the next play to put Cortland up 29-21.
Hartwick came up short on its next drive and Mongelli put the game away with a 30-yard field goal with only 27 seconds remaining on the clock.
Defensively for Hartwick, Cameron Conrad (Valley Cottage, NY/Clarkstown North) led the team with six tackles, including one for a loss. Tommy Kurs (Rego Park, NY/Forest Hills) contributed five hits with Jack Colbath (Monroe, NY/Monroe Woodbury), Eli Greene (Poughkeepsie, NY/Arlington), Noah Socash (Vestal, NY/Vestal), Jake Ely (Fulton, NY/G. Ray Bodley), and Dylan Williams-Bachman (Homer, NY/Homer) all adding four.
Dylan Dubuque had nine hits, including two sacks for Cortland. Paul Imperiale contributed seven tackles.
Prior to the game, the 15 seniors – Bell, Conrad, Harman, Junjulas, Sachs, Virkler, Williams-Bachman, Princeton Gahagan (Elmont, NY/Elmont), Cody Keeler (Mohawk, NY/Central Valley), Kyle Kessler (Latham, NY/Shaker), Daulton Newbury (Nyack, NY/Albertus Magnus), Jarek Rudin (Stanfordville, NY/Stissing Mountain), Alan Sipple (Hankins, NY/Sullivan West Central), Patrick Skidgell (Pine Plains, NY/Stissing Mountain), and Dom Stanco (Bethpage, NY/Island Trees) - were recognized for their contributions to the Hartwick football program.
Hartwick will wrap up its season on the road with another Empire 8 Conference game next Saturday at Utica. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
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