Viscardo Ties Program Record as Saints Win Home Opener
CANTON - Joseph Viscardo tied a program record with four touchdown receptions, and Tyler Grochot posted top-five performances in pass attempts, completions and passing yards to lead the St. Lawrence University football team to a 32-22 win over Morrisville State under the lights on Weeks Field at Leckonby Stadium on Friday night.
Viscardo caught 11 passes for 134 yards. His fourth touchdown catch was a 20-yard touchdown catch on a corner route in the right corner of the end zone, which capped a 13-play, 71-yard drive that ate up seven minutes and 11 seconds to give the Saints a 10-point lead with just 4:15 remaining in the game. The four touchdown receptions ties the program record set by Kurt Lanning against Norwich in 1989.
"The last couple of years (Viscardo) has been our best receiver," said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Puckhaber. "And now we're to the point where we can move him around and do some things in our empty package, and Morrisville didn't know how to guard him. At the end of the day they were giving us those free and easy yards, and we're going to take them."
Grochot finished the night 31-for-55 passing for 390 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 55 attempts ranks second all-time, behind his own record of 71 set last season at RPI, while the 390 passing yards ranks fourth and the 31 completions ranks fifth. Grochot now owns the top-four performances in passing yards and has four of the top-six marks in completions.
"He was smart with the ball today," said Puckhaber. "We didn't have any turnovers and he put the ball where he wanted to. Even though they were showing us a couple of different coverages, he never put the ball in a bad spot."
Morrisville State opened the game with a 10-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, led by Kinsey Williams, who gained 42 yards rushing on five carries, before Mustang quarterback Bill Flatow found Jermaine Cooper for a nine-yard touchdown pass.
St. Lawrence, however, scored on its next four drives to build a 19-7 halftime lead. William Manory hit 22- and 27-yard field goals, the second coming after the Saints' offense started at the Morrisville 31-yard line thanks to a fumble forced by Ricky Hober on a sack, which was recovered by Caleb Null.
Viscardo scored his first touchdown of the game on the Saints' next drive, a 12-yard strike from Grochot in the front left corner, to give the Saints their first lead, 12-7. On the Saints' next drive, facing third-and-two from the Morrisville 18, Grochot hit Viscardo at the 10 yard line, and the junior from Saranac Lake shed a defender and scampered into the end zone for his second score of the game.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the early stages of the second half, but the Mustangs cut the lead to 19-14 after Flatow scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper late in the third quarter.
The Saints responded with a 10-play, 70-yard touchdown drive, with Grochot's perfectly timed pass hitting Viscardo just as he turned around on a corner route by the front right pylon.
Flatow drove the Mustangs down the field again, finding Kyle Tuohy for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 11:33 to play. The Mustang quarterback rushed for a two-point conversion to cut the Saints' lead to three points, 25-22.
The Saints, however, put the game away with their longest drive of the season, with Viscardo etching his name in the program record book with his fourth touchdown reception of the game, a pass that Grochot lofted over a defender to the 6-2 wide receiver.
Bryan Dempsey posted his first career 100-yard receiving game, catching nine passes for 112 yards. Andrew Murphy added five receptions for 72 yards, and Daniel Greene had four catches for 68 yards. Jamie Battaglia had 35 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Flatow finished 19-for-31 for 183 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Williams had 111 rushing yards on 12 carries, and Toure Hall led the Mustangs with seven receptions for 60 yards.
Liam Murray had 10 tackles for the Saints' defense, while Ethan Roberts made eight stops with three sacks. Sean Murphy and Kyle Frimel also made eight tackles for the Saints, while Tyler Burns had seven tackles one had one interception.
Philemon Benjamin had 11 tackles to lead the Mustangs' defense.
Both teams moved to 1-2 on the season. The Saints will host Hartwick next Saturday at 1 p.m.