The following is a republished press release…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].
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CORTLAND, N.Y. – Steven Ferreira (West Sayville/Sayville) threw the winning 11-yard touchdown pass to Jake Smith (Albany/Guilderland) in the first overtime period as nationally 22nd-ranked Cortland defeated Hartwick, 48-45, in an Empire 8 contest.
The Red Dragons won at home in overtime for the second straight week to remain unbeaten at 5-0. Cortland leads the Empire 8 with a 3-0 record, one game ahead of 2-1 Alfred and Utica and a game and a half ahead of 1-1 Ithaca and Brockport. Hartwick dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The teams were playing for the first time since 1950; Hartwick discontinued football after that season and reinistated the program in 1992.
Hartwick took the lead to start the overtime when Korey Jubie connected on a 33-yard field goal. The Hawks had converted on 3rd-and-4 earlier in the possession to get a first down at the Cortland 14-yard line, but were held on a rush for no gain, an incomplete pass and a Kevon Foster (Brooklyn/Fort Hamilton) sack to lead to the field goal.
On Cortland's overtime possession, tailback Donny Davis (New City/Nyack) returned for the first time after leaving with an injury in the third quarter. He proceeded to carry the ball four straight times for a combined 19 yards. Bryan Providence (Valley Stream/Valley Stream South) followed with a 5-yard run to the 1-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Ferreira appeared to run in for the winning score, but a holding call moved the ball back to the 11. Ferreira, however, found Smith toward the middle of the end zone for the winning TD pass on the next play. All three of Cortland's home wins this fall have come on either the final play of regulation or in overtime.
Ferreira finished 23-of-35 passing for 262 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for 29 yards and two scores. Jon Mannix (Elwood/John H. Glenn) caught seven passes for 121 yards and a TD and Davis finished with 97 yards on 23 carries.
Hartwick quarterback John Garcia completed 29-of-51 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions, both by cornerback Mark DelPrete (Staten Island/Monsignor Farrell). Tanner Williams caught 12 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns and Brad Garcia made nine catches for 147 yards and two scores. Brad Garcia also ran for a TD when he picked up a teammate's fumble and ran 12 yards to the end zone.
Defensive end Jake Ceresna (New Fairfield, CT) recorded two of Cortland's seven sacks. Cornerback Matt Caputo (Stony Point/North Rockland) led the team with seven tackles and a pass breakup and linebacker Julian Santiago (Selden/Newfield) added six tackles and a pass breakup. Defensive end Tom Hagan (Hopewell Junction/John Jay-East Fishkill) ended with 1.5 sacks.
Three Hartwick players finished with double-figure tackles. Nick Sorrenti recorded 14 stops, 10 solo, including two sacks and 3.5 total tackles for loss. Mark Hackett and Matthew Ali each finished with 12 tackles.
Hartwick outgained Cortland in total offense, 496-479. The Hawks held a 440-262 passing advantage, but the Red Dragons outgained Hartwick on the ground, 217-56. Dylan Peebles (ort Leyden/South Lewis) carried the ball 13 times, 12 in the fourth quarter, for 66 yards and a TD for Cortland. Hartwick's Tito Pichardo gained 61 yards on 16 rushes.
Hartwick scored with 11:40 left in the first quarter on a Williams 36-yard TD catch, but Cortland drove 59 yards on four plays and tied the game on an 11-yard Nick Wagner(Elwood/John H. Glenn) TD reception. The Hawks answered with a 12-play, 71-yard TD drive, capped by a 5-yard TD catch by Nicky Celestino, to take a 14-7 lead after one quarter.
Cortland scored twice in the first five minutes of the second quarter on a Ferreira 6-yard TD run and a Mannix 9-yard TD catch, then extended its lead to 28-14 with 5:05 left in the half on a Providence 5-yard scoring catch. That play ended up a 21-yard scoring drive that was set up by DelPrete's second interception. The guests answered by driving 60 yards over 10 plays, and the Garcia brothers hooked up on a 6-yard TD pass with 29 seconds left in the period to cut Cortland's lead to 28-21.
The Red Dragons re-opened a 14-point lead when Ferreira ran in from five yards out during the first series of the third quarter. Hartwick tied the game with two Brad Garcia touchdowns later in the quarter – one on the 12-yard run after the fumble and the other on a 14-yard reception.
Cortland came right back and drove 63 yards, with Peebles pushing in from seven yards away to give the Red Dragons a 42-35 lead with 12:38 left. Later in the fourth, Hartwick faced 3rd-and-16 from its own 14-yard line before John Garcia hit Williams deep for a 52-yard gain to the Cortland 34. The two eventually connected again for a 6-yard TD to tie the game at 42-42 with 4:02 left.
On the next series, Cortland drove to the Hartwick 30-yard line before lining up for a 47-yard field goal with 1:17 left. A low snap, however, led to an incomplete pass by the holder. Both teams went three-and-out on their final possessions of regulation.
Cortland has now played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since the 2006 season (OT loss at Rowan and OT home win vs. Ithaca). The Red Dragons are now 5-4 all-time in overtime games, all of which have lasted just one extra period.
Cortland will travel to Buffalo State next Saturday at noon and Hartwick will host Ithaca next Saturday at 2 p.m.
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