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Utica Drops SLU In Football Opener

Utica College raced out to a 33-0 lead and the St. Lawrence University football team was unable to mount a comeback, falling to the Pioneers 40-14 in the season opener for both teams in Utica on Saturday night.

The Pioneers had three interception — two of which were returned for touchdowns — and stopped the Saints on downs twice.

"quote from Puck"

The Pioneers opened the scoring, with Logan Wilcox finding Nate Palmer for a 49-yard touchdown pass on Utica's second drive of the game. Marquis Simpson increased the lead to 13-0 with a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Utica increased its lead to 30-0 at halftime with 17 points in the final 4:34 of the second quarter. Brad Dougherty scored on a two-yard run. On the second play of the ensuing Saints' drive, Eli Belle returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown, and Maki Medici hit a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Medici hit a 34-yard field goal halfway through the third quarter to extend Utica's lead to 33-0.

The Saints responded with their best drive of the game, marching 76 yards on nine plays, with Tyler Grochot connecting with Tyler Liddy for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 2:45 left in the third quarter. points before the Saints got on the scoreboard, with Tyler Grochot finding Tyler Liddy for a 10-yard score — Liddy's first career touchdown reception — with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter.

The Pioneers restored the 33-point lead when Wilcox hit Peyton Miller for his second touchdown pass of the game late in the third quarter.

Facing a fourth-and-10 on the Utica 16-yard line, Grochot hit Andrew Murphy with a pass inside the 5-yard line, and Murphy dove into the end zone for the game's final score.

Jamie Battaglia had 16 carries for 107 yards, an average of 6.7 yards per carry, to lead the Saints rushing game, and Tyler Grochot was 24-for-48 passing for 258 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Joseph Viscardo made five catches for 115 yards for his first career 100-yard receiving game. Anthony Ferraro made six catches for 31 yards for the Saints.

Wilcox was 11-for-26 passing for 203 yards with two touchdowns for Utica. Dougherty  had 13 carries for 63 yards, as five different Pioneers had multiple carries in the game. Miller had three catches for 83 yards.

Tyler Burns led the Saints' defense with seven tackles and one pass breakup. John Nish made 11 stops for Utica, including one sack and three behind the line of scrimmage.

Third down conversions were a key factor in the game, as Utica was 6-for-14, while the Saints were 3-for-13.

The Saints go back on the road next weekend to defend the Hoffman Cup at Norwich.

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