WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Norwich University football team fell to the Cardinals of Catholic University on Saturday afternoon by a 10-7 final score in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
The first half saw a defensive battle, as the score remained 0-0 heading into the half. Neither team was able to get their offense rolling at first, with the two opposing quarterback's swapping interceptions on their opening drives. All in all, the first half saw a combined five punts, four failed four down conversions, and three turnovers between the two squads.
On the second drive of the second half, Catholic finally had a chance to get on the scoreboard. However, a field goal attempt from the 28-yard line off the foot of Pearce Bartlett strayed to the left and was no good.
Norwich took the momentum and turned their very next drive into points, culminating in a 30-yard rush by sophomore Connor Bourque (Goffstown, N.H.) to the house. After a Clyde Tamburro (Elizabethtown, Pa.) extra point, the score sat at 7-0 Norwich with seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Cardinals came storming back down the field, converting a Pearce Bartlett field goal to make it 7-3. Bartlett was accurate on his second attempt of the day, this time from the 33-yard line.
The score stayed there until mid-way through the fourth quarter, when Catholic was able to punch in a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 10-7 Catholic with under nine minutes to go.
On their next drive, the Cadets were able to get into field goal range, however, Tamburro couldn't hit his attempt from the 39-yard line.
The Cadets next, and final, drive started in excellent field position after a 25-yard punt return by senior Nolan Aurelia (Stratford, Conn.) brought the ball out to the Norwich 43-yard line. NU couldn't get into field goal range, however, as their drive sputtered out after a failed 4th down conversion attempt resulted in a loss of possession. Catholic proceeded to kneel the clock out to seal the 10-7 victory.
Offensively, the Cadets were led by Connor Bourque who had the lone Cadets' touchdown on the day with 103 yards on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, junior Bo Phillips (Chappaqua, N.Y.) led the way with six total tackles and an interception. Sophomore Michael Corinna (Milford, Mass.) was in the backfield all day with a total of 1.5 tackles for a loss for a total of six yards. As a team, the Cadets had a fine day defensively, forcing a fumble, snagging an interception, and tallying a sack on the day.
With the loss, Norwich drops to 1-7 on the year and 1-4 within the NEWMAC. Meanwhile, the Cardinals raise their record to an even 4-4, including a 2-3 record in the conference.
The Cadets will stay on the road next week, traveling to take on another NEWMAC foe. They will square off with the Engineers of MIT, with a game time has been pushed back from the original start time of 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M., still on November 4th.