Cortland Surges Past Framingham St., 57-19, in Home Opener
CORTLAND, N.Y. - Cortland scored 43 straight points over the game's final 20 minutes, sparked by freshman Cole Burgess' (Greenwich) 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, as the Red Dragons defeated visiting Framingham State, 57-19, in non-league action. Cortland (2-0) reached the 50-point mark in each of the first two games of a season for the first time since 1991. The Red Dragons opened last weekend with a 51-14 win at Fitchburg State. Framingham (1-1) led 19-14 behind the strength of two long scoring drives. The Rams marched 90 yards on a 21-play drive that took nearly eight minutes in the second quarter, capped by Mikael Brown's 6-yard TD catch from Adam Wojenski to take a 13-7 lead. In the third quarter, Framingham covered 94 yards on 10 plays, with Rufus Rushins covering the final yard on the ground with 5:08 left in the period. The two-point conversion attempt was knocked down by Isaac Hicks III (Staten Island/Curtis) and Framingham led 19-14. Burgess fielded the ensuing kickoff at his own 5-yard line and was able to break free down the left sideline for the seventh-longest kickoff return in school history. A two-point conversion pass from Brett Segala (Webster/Webster Schroeder) to Johnnie Akins (Roosevelt) put Cortland up 22-19. Three plays later, Dan Appley (Herkimer) forced a fumble on a sack that Vincenzo Pagliaroli(Sparkill/Tappan Zee) recovered at the Framingham 22-yard line. Alex Wasserman (Closter, NJ/Northern Valley Demarest) ran for seven yards on a reverse on first down and Zach Tripodi(New Fairfield, CT) ran 15 yards up the middle for a TD and Cortland led 29-19. Hicks intercepted a pass at the Cortland 27-yard line on Framingham's next drive. On the Red Dragons' third play from scrimmage, Segala completed a pass to Akins, who eluded a defender and ran 67 yards untouched for a touchdown. That score gave Cortland a 36-19 lead with 1:14 left in the third. On the first play of the fourth quarter Brandon Lewis (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) intercepted a pass and had a 65-yard return for a TD negated by penalty. Cortland, however, drove 55 yards on four plays, capped by a Segala 32-yard TD pass to Jake Smith (Albany/Guilderland), to extend its lead to 43-19. Cortland forced a fourth straight Framingham turnover on the Rams' next possession. An attempted double-reverse flea flicker resulted in a pass that was intercepted by D'monte Woody(Freeport), who returned the ball 59 yards for a touchdown. Cortland's final touchdown came when freshman Tommy Heuer (Oceanside) threw a 4-yard TD pass to Chris Monteiro(Farmingville/Sachem East) on 4th-and-goal with 3:25 left. Segala finished 16-of-28 passing for 204 yards and three touchdowns. His first TD pass was a 5-yard fade to Wasserman early in the second quarter that tied the game at 7-7. That score was set up by a Framingham wild punt snap that gave Cortland the ball at the Rams' 9-yard line. Smith finished with six receptions for 68 yards and Nick Anderson (Saratoga Springs) caught four passes. Mark DeLuise (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) led the Red Dragons with 11 tackles, eight solo, and a pass breakup. Kyle Richard (Lakeview/Malverne) finished with 10 stops and a breakup and Tanner Olson (Massapequa) ended with eight tackles, two for losses. Nick Mongelli (Marlboro) made all seven of his PAT kicks. Framingham quarterback Adam Wojenski was 24-of-44 through the air for 266 yards and two touchdowns but was picked off three times and was sacked three times. Napoleon Miller caught 11 passes for 130 yards and a score. Joshua Smiley made a team-high six tackles, Anthony Behonick intercepted a pass, and Kenneth Bartolo and Carls Alphonse each forced fumbles. Cortland finished with a slight 331-302 advantage in total offense, despite Framingham possessing the ball for more than 35 minutes. Both teams were very penalty prone in the game as Cortland was assessed 130 penalty yards on 11 infractions while Framingham had 12 penalties for 124 yards. Cortland is off next weekend and will travel to Alfred University to open Empire 8 play Sept. 22 at 1 p.m.