A look back at football’s 2016 season

Matt Naton scrambles outside of the pocket looking downfield. (Photo Courtesy of Fisher Athletics)

By Robert Kells, Staff Writer

St. John Fisher wrapped up another impressive football season last month, finishing with an 8-3 record following a loss in the Bushnell Bowl to Frostburg State University.

The Cardinals began the season red hot, snapping off six straight wins. After defeating Olivet College 52-10 and Springfield College 35-21, the Cardinals went on to win four straight Empire 8 games. This included come from behind victories over both SUNY Cortland and SUNY Brockport.

Fisher’s early season success set up a mid-season showdown with Empire 8 rival Utica College. Fisher was unable to overcome a nine point deficit at the half, and lost the game with a final score of 23-6. Following the loss, Fisher sat at 6-1 with its playoff hopes still alive.

The Cardinals went on to win two straight games over Ithaca College 34-17 and Hartwick College 68-40 in a offensively dominated game.

Fisher’s final major test of the season came on Nov. 11 when the team traveled to take on Alfred College in its final regular season game. Alfred College entered the game with a perfect record, and with a win would capture the Empire 8 title. Fisher was never able to get the run game going as they fell behind 17-7 at the half. Alfred used 21 more points in the second half to go on to win the game 38-17.

Although Fisher did not clinch the Empire 8 championship, its 8-2 record was good enough to earn them a postseason bowl bid. The Cardinals took on Frostburg State University on Nov. 11 in Philadelphia for the Bushnell Bowl. Frostburg State entered the game touting an excellent 9-1 record.

Similar to Fisher’s first two losses, they fell behind at the half and were unable to make up the deficit in the second half. Fisher lost the bowl game 38-14 after being down 28-7 at the half. The season concluded for Fisher with a final record of 8-3, which was a slight improvement over 2015’s 7-4 record.

The Cardinals placed nine players on All-Conference teams. Senior Austin Coleman made First Team all Empire 8, the only player on the Fisher roster to do so. Fellow seniors Matt Naton, Chris Smith, DJ Logary, and Alec Mortillaro all were named to the Second Team. Sophomores Ross Mathewson and William Coon were also named to the Second Team.

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