CORTLAND, N.Y. — Sophomore Brett Segala (Webster/Webster Schroeder) completed 28-of-39 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns in his first collegiate start and senior Jon Mannix (East Northport/John H. Glenn) caught 10 passes to become Cortland's career receptions leader as the Red Dragons defeated visiting Morrisville State, 45-20.
Segala attended Division II Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania last year and made his first collegiate appearance off the bench last week. He threw first-quarter TD passes of 20 yards to Johnnie Akins (Roosevelt) and 21 yards to Jake Smith (Albany/Guilderland), as well as a 2-yard strike to Mannix late in the first half and an 8-yard TD pass to Mannix in the fourth quarter.
Mannix's second TD catch was his school-record tying 170th career catch, and he broke the record with a reception during Cortland's next drive. His 172 career catches breaks the record set by John Babin from 2010-11, 13-14 and Steve Ellis from 1991-94 (Ellis' 170 catches do not include 11 receptions in three ECAC playoff games, since per NCAA rule postseason games have only counted toward records since 2002).
Mannix finished with 10 catches for 100 yards and Smith caught seven passes for 71 yards. Both now have 19 career TD catches, tied for fourth in school history. Tight end Josh Riley (Poughkeepsie/Spackenkill) finished with five receptions for 91 yards and freshman Zach Tripodi (New Fairfield, CT) ran eight times for 89 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown. Shane Cronin (West Nyack/Clarkstown South) made a 35-yard field goal and all six of his PAT kicks.
Mark DeLuise (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) led Cortland (4-5, 2-5 Empire 8) with a career-high 14 tackles, 12 solo, that included two sacks. He also forced and recovered a fumble that helped set up a first-quarter touchdown drive. Max Jean (Lakeview/Malverne) recorded a career-best 12 tackles, 11 solo, and intercepted a pass, and Brandon Lewis (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Also for Cortland's defense, Matt Goodman (Closter, NJ/Northern Valley Demarest) intercepted a pass and Marquise Marshall (Middle Island/Longwood) forced two fumbles.
Cory Benedetto started at quarterback for Morrisville (0-8, 0-7 Empire 8) and completed 9-of-15 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Gwinner came off the bench in the second quarter and finished 10-of-19 for 103 yards. Nick Edmond ran for 58 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries and Joseph Faniel caught seven passes for 82 yards. Darrell West scored two touchdowns - one rushing and one receiving.
Lucas Graves led the Mustangs defensively with nine tackles, seven solo, and Martell Robinson made eight tackles, seven solo. Kendall Clarke registered two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Tim Webber intercepted a pass.
Morrisville led 7-0 after a 24-yard TD pass from Benedetto to West on the game's opening drive, and the Mustangs appeared poised to add to that lead when they drove to the Cortland 4-yard line on their next possession. The Red Dragon defense held and forced a field goal attempt, and Travis Alvarez (Keyport, NJ) blocked a 21-yard try for his third blocked kick of the season.
Cortland answered with a 51-yard drive that resulted in a Cronin field goal, and on the ensuing kickoff DeLuise forced and recovered a fumble to give the Red Dragons the ball on the Morrisville 21-yard line. Two plays later, Segala threaded the needle to Akins on a post pattern for a 20-yard TD and a 10-7 Cortland lead.
Morrisville's next possession started on its own 25-yard line, but eventually moved back all the way to the 1-yard line due to two penalties and a 12-yard Tom Hagan (Hopewell Junction/John Jay-East Fishkill) sack. That helped Cortland start its next drive on the Mustangs' 35-yard line. Smith caught a 14-yard pass, and two plays later he caught a 21-yard fade pass to the corner of the end zone and Cortland led 17-7 with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
Goodman picked off a pass and returned it 21 yards to the Morrisville 22-yard line on the first play of the second quarter. Two plays later, Tripodi took a pitch, ran right, then cut back up the middle and scored from 29 yards out to extend the Red Dragons' lead to 24-7. Cortland extended its lead to 31-7 with 26 seconds left in the half on Segala's 2-yard pass to Mannix that capped an 80-yard drive.
Morrisville's second-half points came on a West 1-yard TD run with 4:03 left in the third and an Edmond 14-yard run with 3:57 remaining in the game. The PAT kick after the latter score hit the upright. Cortland's final two scores were Lewis' interception return and Mannix's second TD catch.
Cortland is idle next week and will host Ithaca College in the annual Cortaca Jug rivalry game on Saturday, November 12 at noon. Online ticket sales for that game will be conducted on Sunday, October 30 at noon - see the Cortland Athletics Web Site at www.cortlandreddragons.com for details.