The SUNY Cortland football team travels to Framingham, Mass., Saturday to face Framingham State in a non-league contest. Both teams are coming off season-opening victories last weekend, Cortland at home over Augustana and Framingham on the road at Endicott.
Following this week’s game, the Red Dragons will play seven straight Empire 8 contests before closing the regular season with a non-league game at Ithaca.
Cortland and Framingham are meeting for the third straight year and fourth time overall. Cortland is 3-0 versus the Rams with wins at home last year, 49-21, and at Framingham, 61-49, in 2015, as well as a 20-19 decision in Cortland in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III playoffs.
In last year’s game, Alex Wasserman returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and turned a short pass from Steven Ferreira into a 46-yard touchdown reception. Ferreira also threw an 18-yard TD pass to Jake Smith, while Ferreira and Johnnie Akins each ran for two scores. Carson Lassiter led the Red Dragon defense with two interceptions and added eight tackles, while Dan Appley and Matt Goodman recorded nine tackles apiece.
Framingham quarterback Zakery Walker finished 13-of-24 passing for 146 yards and a TD and also ran for score, but was picked off three times. Quron Wright rushed seven times for 74 yards, and Aaron Owens and Thomas Burns paced the Rams with 10 tackles each.
William Holscher connected on a 31-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining to lift Cortland past visiting Augustana College 34-32 in the Red Dragons’ season-opener last Saturday. Augustana took a 32-31 lead with 1:50 remaining. Dakym Davis, however, returned the ensuing kickoff 43 yards to the Cortland 46-yard-line. Ferreira completed three straight passes, two to Nick Anderson, to advance the ball to the Augustana 24-yard line, then ran the ball seven yards to the 17-yard line with about 40 seconds left. Four plays later, Holscher made the go-ahead field goal to complete a perfect kicking day. He made 33-yard and 31-yard field goals in his lone two attempts, as well as all four of his PAT kicks.
Ferreira finished 24-of-38 passing for 297 yards and four touchdowns. Anderson caught seven passes for 79 yards and two scores, with Zach Tripodi and Alex Wasserman making one scoring catch each. Tripodi finished with six receptions out of the backfield. Mark DeLuise led Cortland’s defense with a career-high 16 tackles, 12 solo, and an interception, while Isaac Hicks totaled eight tackles.
DeLuise was honored for his performance by being chosen as the Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Week. He also was chosen for a spot on the D3football.com National Team of the Week. Holscher was recognized as the Empire 8 Special Teams Player of the Week.
Framingham racked up more than 500 yards of total offense in a 41-10 win at Endicott College last Saturday. The Rams outgained the Gulls in total offense 502-262, including a 269-42 rushing advantage.
Quron Wright rushed 22 times for 169 yards with a 55-yard touchdown and Rufus Rushins scored two times on the ground. Adam Wojenski completed 8-of-15 passes for 177 yards and two scores and Zakery Walker was 4-for-5 through the air for 56 yards and a TD. Michael Calicchio caught five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Linebacker Nathan Fleming finished with 10 tackles, two for losses, and a forced fumble. He was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Week. Linebacker Cody Wlasuk intercepted a pass and made two tackles for losses, including one sack.
Framingham has won MASCAC league titles in 2014 and 2015 and finished second last year. The Rams qualified for the NCAA playoffs in 2012, 2013 and 2015.