Strong Second Half Leads Football to Victory over New Jersey

The Cardinal Offensive Line Lining up for a Snap in Saturday's 40-16 Win over New Jersey. (Photo Provided by Fisher Athletics)

Posted on 9/25/19

By, Matt Holmes – Staff Writer

The St. John Fisher Cardinals Football team took charge in the second half, defeating the Lions from The College of New Jersey on Saturday, by a score of 40-16. 

In front of an alumni-packed crowd at Growney Stadium, the Cardinals earned their third consecutive non-conference victory of the year and improved to 3-0 on the season.

The Cardinals were able to grab a small lead early with a 35-yard field goal from Joe Dotterwich. However, the Lions were quick to respond with two unanswered touchdown drives from both Andrew Donoghue and Jack Clevenger, pushing them up, 13-3.

Looking for more ways to score, the Cardinals’ earned themselves a safety when d-lineman Lemar Peters busted through the formation and took down Donoghue in his own end zone, making it 13-5. 

The Lions quickly responded and squeezed a 27-yard field goal in right before halftime leaving the score at 16-5 at the break.

Coming out of half, both teams were at a standstill, swapping possessions till late in the quarter. With almost 4 minutes left in the third quarter, the Cardinals were able to put together a 72-yard drive for a touchdown.

Jason Rodriguez Grabbed Two INT’s Saturday Improving his League Leading total to Five. (Photo Provided by Fisher Athletics)

Hunter Walsch led the drive and capped  it off with a pass to Pat Galer for an 18-yard touchdown, moving the score to 16-11 at the end of the quarter.

As the fourth quarter began, the Lions were driving across the field, until the Cardinal defense was able to stop them and force a crucial punt. Crucial it was, as Tysean Sizer was able to return the 50-yard punt for a 76-yard return to the house for the Cards. 

With the score now swapped in the Card’s favor, they were able to cushion it out as Jonathan Letta ran in the two-point conversion, making it 26-16.

When the Bears got possession of the ball back, they quickly turned it over via an interception from defensive back Jason Rodriguez. However, in the next series, the Bears would force a fourth down gamble from Fisher. Jake Thompson came off the bench for one play, and threw a touchdown reception to Will Blake for 28 yards.

Rodriguez would pick the Bears off again the next possession, giving him two in the game and five total in the season. His five total interceptions currently leads the entirety of Division III football in the category.

To seal the game, the Cardinals forced a turnover in the Bear’s half of the field, and Dahmir Pross scored on a 32-yard touchdown run closing the game at a score of 40-16.

Offensively, Cardinal quarterback Hunter Walsch was 22 for 36 for 208 yards on the day. Also, Will Blake have had 12 catches for 140 yards in the victory.

On defense, the Fisher d-line stood strong yet again in this victory. Justin Wheeler lead the squad with 11 tackles. Also, Evan Strassberger contributed nine tackles and Tony Silvanic had eight tackles.

The Cardinals will look to stay perfect this season, as they travel to Ithaca on Saturday, Sept. 28 to take on the Ithaca Bombers at 1:00 p.m.


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