On Saturday, Sept. 15, UR football (1-0) faced No. 9 St. John Fisher College Cardinals (3-0) in the Courage Bowl. This annual game is put on by Camp Good Days and Special Times, dedicated to the children of Camp Good Days. Overall it was a messy game with plenty of penalties and blocked kicks to go around.
The ’Jackets took 14 plays and 54 yards on their opening possession. The drive stalled out at the Fisher 20-yard line, so UR sent senior kicker Alex Antonucci to attempt the 37-yard field goal. Fisher lineman Mike Benderski leaped and blocked the attempt, allowing the Cardinals to take over on offense.
Fisher quarterback Ryan Kramer took the team 76 yards down the field. He capped the drive off with an 18-yard TD pass to Tyler Stell, which tied the game at seven.
The Yellowjackets answered immediately, as junior quarterback Dean Kennedy led an impressive drive. UR then converted three third down plays, two of which were 21-yard passes, as Kennedy found Ken Apostolakos in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
A three-and-out by the Cardinals gave UR the ball on its 44-yard line. After a few plays, including a 25-yard pass to junior wide receiver Willie Roberson, Kennedy hit senior wide receiver Thomas Hayes putting the ’Jackets up 14-7. The half ended shortly after the possession, with UR in the lead.
The ’Jackets’ defense continued to stifle the Fisher offense in the third quarter, including a sack by UR junior outside linebacker Tony Ortega with time expiring.
Fisher missed a field goal as the fourth quarter began, so UR took over on its 25-yard line. Kennedy took the team to their own 49, where the drive stalled and the ’Jackets were forced to punt. Senior punter Mike Carson’s punt was partially blocked by tight end David Shuey of Fisher, and they took over at their own 38. Fisher took five plays and scored on a Kramer run tying the score 14-14.
The ’Jackets regained possession and drove to the Fisher 32, where they attempted a field goal. Benderski blocked this one as well, and defensive back Wade Kline picked the ball up and ran 72 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
On the point after touchdown, UR junior outside linebacker Zach Cicero blocked Fisher kicker Brendan Carey’s kick. Ortega recovered the ball and flipped it to senior inside linebacker Brendan Pidgeon, who returned it down the field for a defensive PAT. This put Fisher ahead 21-16.
On the next possession, Fisher defensive back Zach Dolan made a remarkable diving interception, sealing the game for the Cardinals. The game ended 16-21 to Fisher.
Next Saturday, Sept. 22, UR faces Springfield College (2-1) in Springfield, Mass.
Davis is a member of the class of 2016.