MILTON, MASS. --- Hartwick's 2007 football season came to a close following a 42-21 loss to Curry in the opening round of the NCAA Division III play-offs, Saturday afternoon at the Walter M. Katz Field.
The Colonels, who improved to 12-0 overall, jumped on four Hawk miscues in the first quarter and raced to a 28-0 lead in the game's first 10 minutes.
Curry's Tim Bloniasz took the opening kick-off at the Colonels' 17 yard-line and ran it back 83 yards without being touched for the game's opening score.
On its opening possession and trailing 7-0, Hartwick marched down to the Curry 26. On first and 10, Jason Botlus (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) was searching for Jack Phelan (Slingerlands, N.Y.) in the end zone. However Carl D'Haiti stepped in front of the pass picked it off and ran it down the sidelines to the Hartwick 42. Ryan Van De Giesen capped off the five-play, 42-yard drive with a one-yard run to give Curry a 14-0 advantage.
Once again, Hartwick gave Curry prime field position on its second possession after a fumbled snap from center. The Colonels pounced on the ball and took over at the Hawks' 17 yard line. Four plays later, at 6:39 of the first, Van De Giesen ran it in from the four yard line to extend the lead to 21-0.
Curry took advantage of Hartwick's fourth-miscue of the game as Bloniasz stepped in front of a Boltus pass, setting the Colonels up at the Hawk 16. One play later, Van De Giesen saw Steve DeFabio in the open flat and the junior ran it the rest of the way to give Curry a commanding 28-0 lead with 5 minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Hawks moved the ball down to the Curry 17. On fourth and goal, Hartwick decided to go for it. Boltus was once again looking for Phelan, but at the last second, Bloniasz knocked the ball away from the junior wide out. The Colonels had a 28-0 lead after the first quarter.
Curry closed the first half taking advantage of a fifth Hartwick miscue. The Colonels recovered a muffed punt return at the Hawk five-yard line with four seconds left. On the final play of the half, Van De Giesen connected with Felix Borukhov in the end zone to give Curry a convincing 35-0 lead at intermission.
The Hawks finally got on the board at 7:41 of the third quarter as Boltus hit Joe Rocco (Oneida, N.Y.) with a 65-yard scoring strike. Ryan Boyea (Scotch Plains, N.J.) added the extra point to bring the score to 35-7.
After holding Hartwick on a fourth and goal at the Curry one, the Colonels took two plays to go 98 yards, a drive which ended on an 85-yard pass from Van De Giesen to Borukhov with 1:25 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks got on the board early in the fourth quarter as Boltus hooked up with Phelan for a 36 yard touchdown to bring the Hawks within 42-14. Hartwick's touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery by Zach Kerzner (Sayville, N.Y.) on the Curry 47. Boltus rushed for an 11-yard gain on the opening play of the drive.
The Hawks then stopped Curry on a fourth and one and took over at its own 34-yard line. Boltus engineered a seven-play, 66-yard drive which ended with a two-yard pass to Ryan Yetto (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) at 5:05.
Hartwick had one more opportunity after Ben Tomaino (Oneonta, N.Y.) recovered a fumble at the Hawks' 41 yard-line. However, Blonaisz picked off his second pass and returned it 27 yards to the Hartwick 43. Curry ran out the clock in the final moments.
Hartwick, which finished the season with an 8-3 record, out gained Curry in total offense 481-390. Boltus, the national leader in total offense, completed 28 of 64 passes for 450 yards and three touchdowns. The Colonels intercepted the junior five times.
In his final collegiate game, Crea collected 10 receptions for 120 yards, while Phelan, who was tied for the national lead in receiving yards, finished with eight catches for 168 yards.
Tomaino led the Hawk defense with 10 stops in the loss, while Justin Oelgeschlager (Hastings, N.Y.) and Colin Plass (Garden City, N.Y.) each had six.
For Curry, Van De Giesen completed 14 of 23 attempts for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Frank Pacheco led the Colonels' ground game with 60 yards on six carries, while Borukhov finished with 137 receiving yards on six receptions.