Wild comeback highlights season opener for the Colonials

Wild comeback highlights season opener for the Colonials

ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick football led 28-0 in the second quarter over visiting Western Connecticut State, but the Colonials outscored the Hawks 48-19 the rest of the way to snatch a 48-47 victory on Saturday at Wright Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
           
The Colonials and Hawks combined for 914 yards of offense on the day. Hartwick alone tallied 539 yards in the contest. Quarterback Billy Pine (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) and receiver Koree Reed (Baldwinsville, NY/Baldwinsville)each put up career numbers for the Hawks. Pine threw for 539 yards and seven touchdowns, both career benchmarks. Reed made nine catches for a career-best 290 receiving yards. He added three scores. Brad Garcia (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley HS) also contributed 174 yards receiving and three touchdowns on six catches.
           
Hartwick scored on its opening two drives to gain the upper hand early. Pine hit Garcia for a 42-yard touchdown just 46 seconds into the game and Brian McGovern's (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) PAT put the Hawks up 7-0. The Hawks forced a turnover and got the ball back and a Pine-to-Reed 14-yard touchdown made it 14-0 after just 1:21 of action.
           
Two drives later, Garcia collected his second touchdown, this time for 35 yards to extend the lead to 21. In the second quarter, Pine found Dylan Mucci (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Iona Prep) for a diving catch in the end zone to push the advantage to 28-0 with four minutes remaining in the half.
           
The Colonials answered and got on the scoreboard with a touchdown with 1:27 left in the half, which ended at 28-7.
           
Western Connecticut cut the deficit in half on its first drive of the second half, but Hartwick responded with a 41-yard Pine touchdown pass to Garcia to make the score 35-14. The Colonials scored on their next two possessions to make it a single-digit game. A blocked extra point from 'Wick kept the lead at eight, 35-27 entering the final quarter.
           
Pine hit Reed for a 33-yard reception for a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. Another blocked kick left the score at 41-27 with 14:51 left in the game.
           
Western Connecticut scored on its next drive and following an interception, the Colonials tied the game at 41-41 with 9:28 showing on the clock. The Hawks needed five plays to retake the lead, 47-41, as Pine hit Reed for a 33-yard score, but the PAT was blocked leaving it at a six-point advantage.
           
The Colonials then marched 80 yards on 14 plays and took 5:28 off the clock scoring on a Kyle McKinnon 3-yard run to even the game at 47-47. Jordan D'Onofrio's extra point gave his team its first lead of the game for what would prove to be the game-winner.
           
With 1:41 to work with, the Hawks drove to their own 46 yard-line. Four straight incomplete passes, however, would end the game.
           
McKinnon ended the game with 116 rushing yards and two scores on 23 carries for the Colonials. Quarterback Quinn Fleeting completed 32 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns. Receiver Austin Calamita made team-highs of nine catches and 110 yards with two scores.
           
Freshman Matthew Scotman (White Plains, NY/White Plains) and junior Mark Hackett (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) tied for a game-high nine tackles for Hartwick. David Van Alstine (Otego, NY/Unatego Central), Josh Wilcox (Ithaca, NY/Candor), and Nick Richard (Greenwich, NY/Schuylerville) each chipped in with seven hits.