September 28, 2021

Defense leads way in opening win

SUNY Cortland football

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — SUNY Cortland’s new football coach, Curt Fitzpatrick, earned
a 38-16 victory Saturday at Wittenberg University in his first game thanks to a staunch defense and a quick start.

The Red Dragons’ defense led the charge with two touchdowns, while also shutting down Wittenberg’s rushing attack. Linebacker Dylan Dubuque got Cortland’s scoring started on the first play from scrimmage when he scooped up a backward pass in the end zone.

Christian Legagneur had Cortland’s second defensive touchdown on a 25-yard interception return in the third quarter. Legagneur’s pick six, combined with the made extra point, put the Red Dragons up 31-14.

Wittenberg had 268 yards of offense, but were held to minus-3 yards on the ground. The Tigers had 54 net negative yards, with only 11 of those negative yards coming on two sacks.

Cortland broke in a new quarterback in this game: Brees Segala. The senior from Webster went 20-for-29 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 39 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Jake Quosig caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Segala in the second quarter to make the score 17-7. Segala also connected with JJ Laap for a 58-yard score to close out the scoring in the fourth.

The Red Dragons’ other three points came on a 32-yard field goal from Nick Guglielmo that broke a 7-7 tie.

Laap was Segala’s go-to receiver in the game, hauling in six catches for 119 yards. Trevor Ash had five receptions for 43 yards. Derek Cruz and Austin Capone also had four catches apiece.

Capone was also the lead running back for the Red Dragons, tallying 29 carries. He ran for 143 yards, with a long of 22. Jahon Moore also had four carries for 24 yards.

Nick Lardaro applied pressure on Wittenberg’s backfield, notching 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss.
John Manganella had 0.5 sacks, while Dubuque, Stone Murray and Devin McArthur all had a tackle for a loss. Paul Imperiale led Cortland with five tackles.

Wittenberg’s two touchdowns were long connections from quarterback Collin Brown. In his first start, Brown completed nine of 18 passes for 206 yards. He found Jake Saus for a 75-yard score three plays after the ill-fated backward pass to start the game. Brown also hit Sam Kayser for a 58-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ first drive of the second half to make the score 24-14.

Wittenberg also got a safety after Cortland fumbled the ball, picked it up and was tackled in its own end zone.

Cortland’s next game is at noon Sept. 11 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey. The Red Dragons and Lions also met in 2019, with Cortland going on the road and collecting a 31-7 victory.