The Utica College football team believes they have something to build on as they begin the second half of their season.
The Pioneers hope the win they earned heading into their bye week brings more success, Utica College coach Blaise Faggiano said.
“Do we have momentum? No. But, I think we have a positive mindset going into (this weekend), which is good,” Faggiano said. “We’re trying to fight to take another step toward a winning season.”
That opportunity happens when Utica College takes on St. John Fisher Cardinals in an Empire 8 Conference game at 6 p.m. Saturday in Pittsford.
“We’re in need of a tough road win,” Faggiano said. “If you look at the second half of the season, we have two tough road games in Fisher and Cortland (on Nov. 4). … I think it’s important for us to get a win on the road before homecoming (Oct. 21) and get a little momentum going.”
Utica College (1-2 Empire 8, 2-3 overall) is coming off a 28-24 home victory over Hartwick on Sept. 30. The Pioneers were helped by a late rushing touchdown by quarterback Vinny Aloi as well as a few defensive stops on the Hartwick’s last drive. Faggiano also said he liked how receiver Donovan Brunson (5 catches, 89 yards, two touchdowns) stepped up as did a number of defensive players including Derek Sekuterski (13 total tackles), Robbie Schempp (1.5 sacks, fumble recovery) and Jack Derby (forced fumble).
St. John Fisher is 0-5 after falling 21-14 to No. 18 Alfred University last Saturday. Fisher is helped by James Chambers, whose 775 all-purpose yards are second-most in the Empire 8.
The Pioneers earned a win over the Cardinals for the first time last season, but UC has not won at Fisher since the program began in 2001.
“It’s definitely not a cakewalk. We have to go beat a team that has had 14 winning seasons in a row,” Faggiano said.
Hamilton on the road
Hamilton College is trying for its first win of the season.
Bowdoin College is, too.
That’s what’s on the line when the Continentals and Polar Bears meet in a NESCAC game at noon Saturday in Brunswick, Maine.
Hamilton (0-4, 0-4) is coming off a 41-13 road loss to Trinity in which it led 13-0. Kenny Gray, who tossed his sixth touchdown pass of the season in the game, is fourth in the conference with 238.2 passing yards per game.
Hamilton is also looking for its first win since Oct. 13, 2007 at Bowdoin (0-4, 0-4), which is coming off a 31-3 loss to Tufts.
Morrisville State gets tough test
Morrisville State is looking to bounce back.
It doesn’t get much easier for the Mustangs when they visit one of the Empire 8’s two remaining undefeated teams in No. 13/14 Brockport State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Morrisville (0-2 Empire, 2-3) has dropped back-to-back games, including a 52-34 setback last week against Hartwick. Nick Edmond, who had three rushing touchdowns in the loss, is second in the Empire 8 with 119.5 rushing yards per game.
Brockport State, which is coming off a bye, is 5-0 and looking to match the program’s best start since 2003 when they also started 6-0 and made a playoff appearance.
Colgate at home
Colgate is trying to go 1-1 in the Patriot League.
The Raiders get the chance when they play Fordham in a conference game at noon Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton.
Two Colgate (2-4 overall) players earned honors after a tough loss last week against Lehigh. Owen Rockett (32.8 yards in his kick returner debut) was named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week while quarterback Grant Breneman (316 yards passing and two touchdown passes, 58 yards rushing and a touchdown) earned league Rookie of the Week.
Fordham is 1-5 overall after dropping four consecutive games, including a Patriot League loss to Lafayette last week.
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