December 6, 2021

Cortland defense shines in football finale

Williams rushes for 101 yards, TD in 28-10 victory

CHITTENANGO — The Cortland Purple Tigers wrapped up their season with a strong win on the road over the Chittenango Bears, 28-10.

Collin Williams had eight carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Purple Tigers had multiple standouts, including Jaden Fitch (two sacks, interception return for a touchdown, forced fumble); Riley Sabin (two sacks, fumble recovery); Kaleb Thorhauer (two sacks); and Matt Barber (one sack).

After the teams traded fumbles on their opening possessions, Williams ran for his touchdown on the first play of the Purple Tigers’ second drive, going 62 yards for the score, then completing a pass to Alex Musci for the two-point conversion to put the Purple Tigers up 8-0.

After the Purple Tigers turned the ball over on downs on their next drive, the Bears cut the deficit to 8-3 before halftime with a 32-yard field goal.

The Bears took the lead, 10-8, early in the third quarter with a three-yard touchdown run after setting up with great field position on a kickoff return to the Cortland 23-yard line.

But the Purple Tigers recovered nicely with three consecutive scores. Ryan Kline gave the Purple Tigers the lead for good with a one-yard touchdown plunge. The drive was kept alive on 4th and 16 from the Chittenango 45-yard line when Fitch threw a 33-yard pass to Noah Armstrong on a fake punt.

The Purple Tigers thought they had another touchdown later in the fourth quarter when a Bears fair catch resulted in a muff, scoop and score, but an official’s whistle blew the play dead inadvertently, resulting in no play and forcing the Purple Tigers to rekick.

On the ensuing Bears drive, the Purple Tigers got their touchdown anyway, as Fitch picked off a pass and ran it back 45 yards for the score.

Marcus Hines capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a seven-yard touchdown rush to finish a drive that took 10 plays and 65 yards. Hines accounted for 38 of the 65 yards on the drive. That drive was set up by a combo sack by Thorhauer and Sabin of the Bears quarterback for a nine-yard loss on 4th and 10 from the Cortland 26yard line.

The Purple Tigers finished the season 3-1.