Cardinal Defense Shines in 35-28 Victory over Bridgewater State

Senior Defensive Lineman John Cleary added seven tackles in the Cardinal's 35-28 victory over BSU. (Photo provided by Fisher Athletics)

Posted on 09/17/19

By, Matt Holmes – Staff Writer

The St. John Fisher Cardinals football team earned a 35-28 victory over the visiting Bridgewater State University Bears at Growney Stadium on Saturday, improving them to an overall record of 2-0.

The Cardinals did not hesitate to get on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Following a blocked punt attempt by John Cleary the previous possession, freshman quarterback Hunter Walsh connected to Pat Galer for a 49-yard touchdown pass, giving them the early 7-0 lead.

There was no shortage of energy on the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinals, as they caused a turnover on BSU’s first possession of the game.

Sophomore safety Jason Rodriguez intercepted Bears quarterback Brad Thiltgen’s pass which would be followed up by a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Cardinal running back Dahmir Pross, enhancing their lead to 14-0.

The Bears would block a punt of their own before the end of the quarter, setting them up for their first score, which was credited as the result of a 10-yard reception from Brad Thiltgen to Nathan Ellis. The score made it a one possession game at 14-7.

Before halftime, the Bears added another touchdown on an eight play drive that concluded with a 39-yard touchdown pass from S. D’Emilia to T.J. Hairston. However, the Bears would not convert the field goal after as Cardinal Michael Escobar screeched off the edge to block the kick.

At halftime, the Cardinals led the Bears 14-13.

In the second half, The Cardinals turned to running back Dahmir Pross to score his second touchdown of the game capping a 4-play drive and moving the score to 21-13.

St John Fisher would score once again after causing another turnover from an interception from Evan Strassberger. Following the turnover, quarterback Hunter Walsh would rush in for his first rushing touchdown of the season, making it 28-13.

Bridgewater regained life as they strung together a six-play drive that was topped off with a 25-yard touchdown reception to William Watts. They would also successfully execute the two-point conversion narrowing Fisher’s lead to 28-21.

The Cards responded once again on the next drive as Walsh connected to Tysean Sizer with a 49-yard touchdown reception, adding another seven points onto their lead.

Junior Wide Receiver Tysean Sizer hauls in a grab en route to three catches for 79 yards receiving. (Photo provided by Fisher Athletics)

However, the Bears responded once more with a touchdown pass of their own. A quick 12-yard touchdown pass from D’Emilia to Leanos, kept it a one possession game at 35-28.

As the final seconds of the game ticked down, the Cardinals would take a knee to clinch their victory against the Bears, making it their first non conference victory of the year.

The Cardinals defense made their presence known in this victory, contributing six total turnovers, including a team high 11 tackles from Evan Strassberger, and seven tackles from Tony Silvanic, Durrel Hutcherson and John Cleary.

Hunter Walsh finished the game with 239 passing yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, Dahmir Pross led the team in rushing yards with 72 yards and two touchdowns for the day.

The St John Fisher Cardinals football team will look to keep their early season winning streak alive next week, as they take on The College of New Jersey at home, Saturday, Sept. 21.

About Martin Lafica 24 Articles
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