ONEONTA, NY (WKTV) - Senior quarterback Jason Boltus completed 20-of-32 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns as the Hartwick College football team defeated visiting Utica College 31-21 in Empire 8 Conference play Saturday.
With the win the Hawks improved to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The Pioneers 2008 season comes to a close with a 3-7 overall and a 2-4 conference mark. UC is now 2-6 in eight previous meetings against the Hawks including a 72-70 loss against visiting Hartwick last season at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. At the time the 142 combined points was an NCAA record.
The Pioneers scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters and after freshman quarterback Michael Clark (Fulton/Fulton) connected with classmate Tyler Maligasi (Gloversville/Gloversville) for a 20 yard touchdown strike with 9:59 left to go in the third UC led 21-17.
Bolutus then connected with senior wide receiver Jack Phelan for two of his game-high three touchdown receptions over the final 25 minutes of play to seal the victory.
Junior receiver Cody Elliot (John F. Kennedy/Sloan) opened the scoring on the day when he found pay dirt after a 29 yard rushing touchdown to give UC a 7-0 lead at the 10:39 mark of the first quarter. Boltus answered with two touchdown passes of his own, one to Phelan and one to Noah Koreman to give the Hawks a 14-7 lead with 7:21 left in the second quarter.
Clark knotted the contest up at 14-14 when he crossed the goal line on a five yard rushing touchdown with 1:36 left in the half. Hartwick answered right back when Ryan Boyea knocked down a 21 yard field goal with no time left in the first half clock to give Hartwick a 17-14 lead headed into the locker rooms at halftime. The initial kick was blocked by the Pioneers but they were flagged for encroachment, setting up the 21 yarder with no time left on the first half clock.
Freshman running back Billy Northey (Sherburne Earlville/Earlville) rushed for 104 yards on 21 carries for the Pioneers, while Clark closed out the day completing 12-of -20 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown pass. Elliot rushed the ball four times for 54 yards and he also caught two passes for eight yards. Clark totaled 50 yards rushing on the ground for an average of 3.8 yards per carry. Junior kicker Casey McNulty (Red Hook/Red Hook) was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra point attempts for UC, while Dayne Bennett (East Syracuse Minoa/Minoa) caught a team-high five passes for 40 yards.
Tosh DeMulder rushed the ball 20 times for a game-high 150 yards on the ground for Hartwick and Phelan closed out the day with five catches for a game-best 122 yards receiving. Dan Gill caught seven balls for the Hawks, good for 106 yards receiving.
Junior classmates Peter Vano (Mahopac/Mahopac) and Eric Kahl (Spencer Van-Etten/Lockwood) each register ten tackles for Utica. Kahl also tallied two sacks. Freshman Akeem Grazes (Henninger/Syracuse) posted eight tackles and classmate Marques Mosely (East/Rochester) broke up two passes for the Pioneer defense.