ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick's 2019 season came to a close on Saturday as the Hawks dropped a 58-14 decision to Utica in an Empire 8 contest at Charles Gaetano Stadium in Utica. 'Wick finishes up 1-9 overall. Utica's victory ups its overall record to 5-5 and its E8 mark to 3-3.
Kishaun Bell (Beacon, NY/Beacon) registered a six-catch, 122-yard, two-touchdown day to pace the Hawks' attack in his final game. Classmate Grant Harman (Liberty, NY/Liberty) threw for 218 yards on 17 completions. He found Bell twice and threw a pair of interceptions. Justin LoBasso (Honesdale, PA/Honesdale) made four receptions for 40 yards. Rusty Virkler (Apalachin, NY/Vestal) also made four catches for 31 yards.
The Hawks had 189 yards of offense on the day with the host Pioneers gaining 386. The UC defense would force five 'Wick turnovers on the afternoon.
Neither team produced much throughout the first quarter as they combined for only three first downs in the opening 15 minutes of action. The Pioneers had a field goal attempt on their second drive but it was short.
Utica broke the ice 1:35 into the second quarter but after a Jack Colbath (Monroe, NY/Monroe Woodbury) blocked PAT, the Pioneers only led 6-0. The Hawks turned the ball over on the first play after the kickoff and the Pioneers added to their total three plays later to grab a quick 13-0 advantage.
The Hawks had a successful drive on their next possession, going 75 yards on 12 plays for a score. Harman would hit Bell four times for 49 yards on the drive, including an 11-yard touchdown reception with 6:08 left in the half. Kevin Roberts (Montgomery, NY/Valley Central) added the extra point and the deficit was only six, 13-7.
UC answered following an incomplete pass and a penalty as quarterback Ryan VanGalen connected on three straight passes, including a 13-yard TD pass to Keegan Wright, and the Pioneers increased their lead to 20-7. Later, a field goal at the horn for the Pioneers would give them a 23-7 lead at the break.
Utica received the ball to start the second half and the Hawks got a defensive stop. However, another turnover handed the ball back to the Pioneers on the 'Wick 6 yard-line. They punched it in on the next play for a 30-7 lead. A pick six on the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff quickly made it a 30-point deficit at 37-7.
The Pioneers scored again on their next possession to increase their lead to 44-7. The Hawks drove the ball 81 yards on eight plays on the ensuing drive into the fourth quarter, which included a Harman to Bell 48-yard touchdown pass. The PAT from Roberts made it 44-14. A UC fumble recovery for a touchdown put further distance between the Pioneers and Hawks. UC added one final score with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
Senior Cameron Conrad (Valley Cottage, NY/Clarkstown North) had eight tackles, 0.5 for a loss, in the game. Jake Ely (Fulton, NY/G. Ray Bodley) added seven hits and one TFL with three passes defended. Senior Stephen Junjulas (Cold Spring, NY/Haldane) contributed five tackles and three passes defended in his final game. Fellow senior Dylan Williams-Bachman (Homer, NY/Homer) had four tackles and the Hawks' only sack. Classmate Jarek Rudin (Stanfordville, NY/Stissing Mountain) also had four tackles as did Eli Greene (Poughkeepsie, NY/Arlington).
VanGalen threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns on 26 completions for Utica. Peyton Miller made 12 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Wright caught five passes for two TDs.
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