MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Norwich University football team opened its 121st season as a varsity program on Saturday, falling to the host Mustangs from Morrisville State College by a 34-20 margin at Drake Field.
The Cadets fall to 0-1 on the year while Morrisville State used a 21-point second quarter en route to its first win of the season. The Mustangs generated nearly 400 yards of total offense, holding the edge in time of possession while taking advantage of 12 Cadets penalties totaling 119 yards.
Trailing by a 6-0 margin in the first quarter, freshman Clyde Tamburro (Elizabethtown, Pa.) made his first career field goal, a 24-yard kick, to halve the Mustangs advantage with 2:49 left in the stanza. Nick Edmond of Morrisville State followed with the first of his three rushing touchdowns of the afternoon to open the second quarter, creating a 13-3 lead.
A two-yard sprint by sophomore Connor Bourque (Goffstown, N.H.) and a Tamburro point-after shrunk the Morrisville State lead to 13-10 with 10:20 left in the first half, but back-to-back rushing touchdowns by Edmond elevated the Mustangs to a 27-10 lead with 1:08 left in the second quarter.
Tamburro would strike again for Norwich, bombing a 42-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the first half. Morrisville State carried the 27-13 lead into halftime after generating 252 yards of offense in the first half, netting 14 of the game's 24 first downs to that point in the game.
Morrisville State added another touchdown in the third quarter as Makenzie Zemak hauled in a two-yard pass from signal-caller Brandon Gwinner to cap a 17-play, 99-yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes to complete. Sophomore Aaron Conner (Daytona Beach, Fla.) added a touchdown for Norwich late in the fourth quarter, but the offensive damage by the Mustangs had been done.
Norwich quarterback Philippe Bazinet (Otterburn Park, Quebec, Canada) completed five passes in the contest and ran for a team-leading 124 yards. Conner led the offense with 24 rushes for 97 yards, including a 24-yard run to equal Bazinet's jaunt to start the third quarter.
The Cadets defense was led by sophomore Jonathan Moltimer (Boca Raton, Fla.) and his 14 total tackles. Sophomore Chris Ryan (New Milford, Conn.) added two sacks for Norwich, who totaled four on the afternoon for a combined loss of 11 yards. Moltimer also forced and recovered a fumble. Junior Bo Philipps (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and sophomore Michael Corinna (Milford, Mass.) added eight total tackles for Norwich.
Norwich returns to action Saturday, Sept. 9, hosting St. Lawrence in a battle for the Hoffman Cup beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sabine Field.