Football Returns Home on Saturday to Battle Hartwick - GAME NOTES
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The St. John Fisher College football team will return home on Saturday following a two-game stint on the road as the Cardinals host Hartwick College in an Empire 8 battle at Growney Stadium. The game has added significance as it's part of Coach to Cure M.D., a national campaign supported by the American Football Coaches Association in its quest to cure Muscular Dystrophy. Prior to kickoff, which is scheduled for 1 p.m., head coach Paul Vosburgh, along with his captains, will welcome the Tubiolo and Austin families who will take part in the coin toss. Both families are local and have been affected by Duchenne's disease, which is a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Fans unable to attend Saturday's tilt can still follow the action from anywhere in the world by clicking the links below: LIVE STATS | LIVE VIDEO | LISTEN ON ESPN ROCHESTER | TWITTER UPDATES You can also learn more about Saturday's matchup by READING THIS WEEK'S GAME NOTES (PDF). THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: In case you missed it, Fisher Athletics launched its new mobile app last week - SJFC Athletics - in the App Store and on Google Play. The app, which gives fans, alumni, parents and more yet another opportunity to stay-up-to-date with the latest news, highlights, schedules and more, is free and features push notifications so you never miss a beat. SERIES HISTORY: The Cardinals and Hawks have met on the field 23 times dating back to their first meeting in 1992. That season saw Fisher, under second-year head coach Paul Vosburgh, earn a 37-12 victory over the Hawks. The win was just the second career win at Fisher for Vosburgh as the team posted a 4-6 record in '92. Overall, Fisher has posted 16 wins in the series including eight of its last nine meetings. THE POINT IS...: Some of Fisher's most productive offensive games have come against Hartwick as the Cardinals have averaged nearly 38 points per game overall in 23 contests. Over Fisher's 16 wins against their Empire 8 counterpart, the Cardinals have averaged over 45 points per win and have eclipsed the 50-point plateau six times. The Cardinals set a single-game scoring mark in 2005 with a 70-41 drubbing of Hartwick and posted a 68-40 win over the Hawks in 2016. WHEN LAST WE MET: Last season's game left a bitter taste in Fisher's mouth as the Cardinals were neck-and-neck with Hartwick and looking to come away with their first win of the season after a 53-yard strike from then-quarterback Johnathan Letta to Will Blake leveled the game at 21-21 with just over two minutes remaining. The win would wait another week, however, as the Hawks ran 13 plays for 71 yards and nailed a game-winning 21-yard field goal to come away with a 24-21 conference win. CLEVELAND ROCKS: Shout out to The Drew Carey Show (Yes - he had a show before hosting The Price is Right). Sophomore wide receiver Cam Cleveland has burst onto the scene over the last two games with 14 catches for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Against No. 4 Brockport, Cleveland set a career-high in both receptions (nine) and yards (158) as the East Rochester native reeled in a 75-yard touchdown pass from Alejandro Utset in the fourth quarter. Cleveland carried that momentum into last Saturday's showdown at Utica with five catches for 67 yards along with a 45-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter. THANKS, BUT I'LL PASS: So it's not much of a secret, but Fisher passes the football...a lot. Against Utica, the Cardinals threw the ball 50 times. Not only was that a season-high, but it marked the most attempts in a single game since tossing 57 passes in the 2017 season-opener at Washington and Jefferson. Alejandro Utset threw the ball 43 times, which was the second-highest total this season after Joshua Michels' 48 passing attempts against Ithaca earlier this season. To date, the Cardinals rank second in the Empire 8 and 22nd in the nation in passing offense at 297.0 yards per game. OUR SCHEDULE IS TOUGHER THAN YOURS: A lot can be said when you're 0-4, but what most forget is that the quality of the opponent is important. Entering Saturday's game, Fisher boasts the ninth toughest schedule in all of Division III. NINTH - as in eight teams (out of 250) face a tougher lineup. Fisher's opponents carry a winning percentage of .765 overall and have included the No. 4, No. 15 and No. 25 ranked teams. The next closest Empire 8 school is SUNY Cortland at 48th overall. SCOUTING HARTWICK: The Hawks enter Saturday's game with a 2-3 overall record, however, Hartwick has lost its last three games after mustering 14 combined points in the last two weeks. Head coach Mark Carr's team ranks among the bottom of the conference on the defensive side of the ball as the Hawks rank eighth in points allowed per game (44.0), rushing touchdowns (22) and total yards allowed per game (452.0). Hartwick hasn't shown the ability to stop the run or the pass as it ranks seventh in the Empire 8 in rushing yards allowed per game (192.3) and passing yards per game (259.7). In its three losses this season, Hartwick has been outscored 161-62 - with 48 of their points coming in a defeat to King's College (Pa.). Offensively, Hartwick is led by Bryce Macina's 1,329 passing yards and nine touchdowns, however, the sophomore quarterback is also among the conference leaders in interceptions with seven through five games. Connor Darmetko has proven to be one of Macina's favorite targets as the sophomore has a team-leading 20 receptions and 474 yards. Dylan Mucci leads the receiving corps with seven TDs to go along with 393 yards. Ronald Ballard leads the way on the ground with 543 yards on 113 carries. Ballard has found pay dirt seven times overall and is averaging nearly five yards per carry this season. He's also a useful weapon out of the backfield with 17 catches for 163 yards. Defensively, Hartwick is paced by Mark Hackett's 41 tackles. Joshua Wilcox has come up with 36 stops this season including a team-leading 3.5 sacks while Tom Peabody has 26 tackles a team-high two interceptions from the secondary. HALL OF FAME NEWS: St. John Fisher College is set to induct seven new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame later this fall including Brennan Fortune '08 who played a significant role in helping to build the team in to what it is today. Fortune could be considered not only one of the greatest offensive lineman to have played at Fisher, but one of the best in Division III history. A three-time All-American (one preseason), Fortune was named to the All-Decade Team by D3football.com. During his four seasons, Fisher amassed 41 wins including three berths in the NCAA Division III Championship. In 2006, the Cardinals vied for a national championship and reached the semifinals for the first time in team history. With Fortune on the line, the running game exploded for the Cardinals' offense as he helped block for Mark Robinson who is currently in our hall of fame. He is a three-time All-Conference honoree. Joining Fortune in this year's class are Jenna Waldron '10 (women's volleyball), Dave Wood '09 (men's lacrosse), Dan Jurik '10 (baseball), Rev. Albert Gallmon '74 (men's basketball), Nicole Lanieu '02 (softball) and Patrick Tobin '62 (Honorary). WHAT'S NEXT: Following this weekend's matchup with Hartwick, Fisher will prep for another Empire 8 bout against Morrisville on Saturday, October 20th to cap off its brief two-game home stand. From there, Fisher will hit the road for two consecutive games beginning at Cortland on October 27th. After dueling the Red Dragons, Fisher makes its way to Alfred on November 3rd before closing out the 2018 regular season against Buffalo State at home on November 10th.