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Football Claims Big Empire 8 Win After Dropping Morrisville

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The St. John Fisher College football team snapped a three-game skid on Saturday as the Cardinals defeated Morrisville State, 28-23, in an Empire 8 battle at Drake Field. With the win, Fisher leveled its season record at 3-3 and improved to 1-1 in the Empire 8 standings while the Mustangs closed out the afternoon at 1-5 overall and 0-2 against conference competition.

Joseph Torrillo started at quarterback for the Cardinals and was 9-for-17 for 147 yards and two touchdowns while TySean Sizer finished with three grabs for 89 yards. Shane O'Dea had two catches for seven yards and a touchdown while Johnathan Letta caught one pass for a four-yard touchdown strike.

On the ground, Dahmir Pross ran for 79 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Malachi Duvall gained 26 total yards on seven carries.

After forcing Morrisville into a three-and-out on its opening drive, the Cardinals took over at the Mustangs' 31 and proceeded to string together seven plays capped off by a seven-yard pass from Torrillo to O'Dea to stake the visitors to a 7-0 lead just four minutes in.

Leading by a touchdown as the second quarter got underway, Fisher found itself trailing after the Mustangs strung together back-to-back touchdown drives to forge ahead, 14-7.

Trailing by seven points with the quarter wearing down, Fisher quickly moved the chains as Torrillo found Sizer down the sideline for a 52-yard reception that set up first-and-10 inside the Mustangs' 10. From there, Fisher needed just one play as Pross scampered eight yards to pay dirt to knot things up at 14-14 with just over three minutes to go before the half.

With momentum favoring the Cardinals, Morrisville slowed the tempo and went to the ground where it moved the ball down to the Fisher six yard line before kicking a 23-yard field goal to hold a 17-14 edge at the break.

Coming out of intermission, both teams traded possessions until the Cardinals orchestrated a seven-play, 56-yard touchdown drive that included a 29-yard pass to Richie Quinn that pushed the visitors to a 21-17 advantage.

The tides turned in a big way on the next possession of the game as Morrisville began its drive at its own 35, but threw it right to Justin Rodriguez who broke free and sprinted 35 yards to the house to lift Fisher to a 28-17 cushion with over eight minutes still to play in the third.

Facing an 11-point gap, Morrisville responded and moved the chains five times as part of a 13-play effort that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 28-23.

As the fourth quarter got underway, Morrisville took over with nine minutes remaining in the game and ate up nearly six minutes of clock after moving the ball to the Fisher 22 to set up a first-and-10. The Mustangs looked to take advantage of Fisher's run defense, but the Cardinals were up to the task and held their ground to set up a fourth and one with the game on the line. Needing just a yard, Morrisville handed the ball off, but was stoned at the line as Ryan Nugent broke through and met the ball carrier in the backfield to force a turnover on downs and preserve the win.

Joe Miscia, who entered the game leading Division III in total tackles, posted 19 stops in the win including a half sack. Anthony Manna had 12 tackles while Vince DiMonte had eight to his credit. Taurian Taylor racked up seven tackles in the win while Kyle Vachon made six stops and had one interception. Rodriguez finished with six tackles and nabbed his team-leading fourth INT overall.

Joe Dotterweich punted six times and averaged 32.5 yards per try. The North Tonawanda native pinned the Mustangs inside their own 20 twice.

Fisher will look to build upon Saturday's win at 1 p.m. on October 16th when it welcomes Alfred University to Growney Stadium.


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