Canton, N.Y. – Sophomore WR Chris Denton had seven receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Norwich University football team to a 25-14 victory over St. Lawrence University Saturday at Leckonby Stadium. The win is the 10th straight victory for the Cadets and pushes their record to 2-0 on the young season. Fellow sophomore QB Kris Saboruin had 223 yards though the air, including all three of Denton’s touchdowns, to go along with 65 yards on the ground.
The Cadets opened the scoring just 2:28 into the first quarter when Denton took a Sabourin pass 27 yards into the St. Lawrence end zone. NU was unable to convert the point after and had to settle for a 6-0 lead.
The Saints (2-0) were able to answer back a little more than three minutes later. Following a Norwich fumble at its own four-yard line, SLU was set up with first-and-goal. St. Lawrence needed only three plays to capitalize on the miscue, with Stephen Buskey hitting Andy Spandoni with a short pass in the end zone. Matt Dodge converted the extra point to put the home team in the lead, 7-6, with 9:06 to go in the first quarter.
The Cadets were able to break through again when they forced a punt and got the ball near midfield. The Cadets then went on a 14-play scoring drive that took 6 minutes and 24 seconds off the clock, capped by six-yard TD run by senior RB Kyle Marzeoti with 49 seconds left in the half.
Norwich went for two to try to push its led to seven points, but Sabourin’s pass attempt fell incomplete. The result was a 12-7 NU lead going into halftime.
Neither offense could gain any traction for the majority of the third quarter, with the teams combining for four punts and a turnover-on-downs.
Denton again was the catalyst for the Cadet offense, this time coming through with a 68-yard catch and run for a touchdown. Sabourin’s pass for the two-point conversion was broken up on a nice defensive effort by one of the St. Lawrence defenders, and the Norwich lead was 18-7 with 2:23 left in the third.
The Saints came back with a scoring drive of their own. After a long kickoff return to the NU 49-yard line, SLU proceeded to march the remainder of the field for a touchdown. The series was capped off by a Jeremy Ramos 17-yard TD run on fourth-and-one. The score trimmed the Cadet’s lead to four, 18-14, with the almost the entire fourth quarter still to play.
St. Lawrence forced Norwich to punt on its next possession, giving SLU the ball at its own seven-yard line. The Saints moved the ball to their own 30 before stalling. On fourth-and-ten they tried their second fake punt of the afternoon, but the NU special teams unit would not be fooled twice and made the stop to force the turnover-on-downs.
Six plays later, Sabourin hit Denton for his third touchdown of the day to seal the victory. Junior K Long Ding nailed the extra point to account for the 25-14 final.
Senior LB Rocco Dimeco had 12 tackles, including a sack, to lead the Cadets defensively. Freshman DB Neal-Pierre Louis and senior DL Zach Sucharski added seven and six tackles respectively.
Norwich, led by Denton and Sabourin, racked up 402 yards of total offense, while the defense only gave up 199 yards. The Cadets won the battle of possession, holding the ball for over 35 minutes.
The Cadets next game will be at home when they host Hartwick on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Sabine Field. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.