CORTLAND, N.Y. (CORTLAND ATHLETICS) –
Cortland surged to a 42-0 halftime lead and the host Red Dragons, ranked 17th nationally by D3football.com and 19th by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), defeated previously unbeaten Utica University, 56-3, in an Empire 8 contest.
Utica, ranked 22nd by the AFCA, is now 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the league. The Pioneers had an eight-game regular-season win streak snapped, dating back to a loss at home to Cortland last October.
Cortland (4-1, 2-0 Empire 8) outgained the Pioneers in total offense, 552-120, including a 323 to minus-5 advantage in the first half. The Red Dragons finished the game with 360 rushing yards, the fifth-highest total in school history and the best since a 362-yard effort at Morrisville in the 2007 season opener.
Jaden AlfanoStJohn (Westhampton/Westhampton Beach) finished with 14 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Ashton Capone (Saratoga Springs) ran 18 times for 88 yards and two scores and Zac Boyes (Buffalo/Kenmore West) ran 10 times for 86 yards and a score. Tyson Taylor (Middle Island/Longwood) rushed six times late in the game for 52 yards. Boyes also completed 12-of-15 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns, both to JJ Laap (Stony Brook/Ward Melville). Laap caught five passes for 66 yards.
Jack Winey (Lindenhurst) led the Cortland defense with 15 tackles, including seven solo stops. Alex DeRosa (Webster/Webster Schroeder) and Junius Keys (Queens/Eagle Academy) each had four tackles.
Jimmy Polito led Utica with nine carries for 37 yards. Brett Fuller was held to 10-of-28 passing for 69 yards and Antonio Cianfara caught three passes for 24 yards. Corey Lichtman provided Utica’s points with a 39-yard field goal midway through the third quarter. Eli Douglas recorded 15 tackles, followed by Aedan McDonald and Nick Billand with eight stops apiece.
Cortland scored touchdowns on each of its first seven possessions. Boyes hit Laap for a 17-yard TD with 9:30 left in the first quarter, and Capone ran for 2-yard TD with 3:10 left in the first and a 7-yard score with 12:31 remaining in the second to give the Red Dragons a 21-0 lead.
Boyes’ 5-yard TD run with 5:38 left before halftime pushed the lead to 28-0. On Utica’s next possession, the Pioneers lined up to punt from their own 25-yard line. A wild snap went over the punter’s head, and the ball was briefly batted around before Andrew Tarpey (Sparkill/Tappan Zee) secured the ball in the end zone for a Cortland touchdown with 4:39 left.
Cortland scored again just 30 seconds before halftime on a 15-yard pass from Boyes to Laap, and the Red Dragons struck again on the opening drive of the third quarter on a AlfanoStJohn 34-yard scoring run. AlfanoStJohn closed the scoring with a 5-yard TD run with 13:01 left in the contest.
Cortland will host Alfred University on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m.