Sutton, Saints Drop Norwich, 29-14
Sept. 10: The St. Lawrence University football team defeated Norwich University by the score of 29-14 on Saturday at Sabine Field in Northfield, VT. The Saints were led by senior co-captains Ethan Sutton and Marcus Washington. Sutton had 10 catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns while Washington added 222 yards on the ground and a score.
St. Lawrence (1-1) finished with 22 first downs to Norwich's 18, and had an impressive 453 yards of offense. Sophomore quarterback Nik Busharis earned his first collegiate win, completing 18-of-25 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, while senior co-captain Trevor Saunders led the defense with 13 tackles and a forced fumble.
"We battled hard in the second half against Utica last weekend, and we were able to bring that momentum on the road with us today," said St. Lawrence head coach Mark Raymond, who picked up his first career non-conference win on Saturday. "We were pretty solid on both sides of the ball, as our offense delivered on third downs (9-of-17) and our defense forced four turnovers."
St. Lawrence finished with a huge advantage in time of possession, 40:25 to only 19:35 for Norwich. The Cadets used option quarterback Kris Sabourin effectively, as he was 8-for-11 passing and had 71 yards rushing. However, turnovers would bite the home team and stunt their chances of winning.
The Saints took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter, as the visitors marched from their own 29-yard line down to the Norwich 2-yard marker. Busharis was a perfect 3-for-3 on the drive, while Washington had a 25-yard carry to move the chains. The Pahokee, FL native was rewarded with a rush on 3rd-and-goal and scored from two yards out to put the Saints on the scoreboard. First-year student John Wittig would convert the two-point conversion for an 8-0 cushion.
Norwich put together an impressive drive before halftime, reaching the St. Lawrence 30-yard line. However, Andrew Fulford was stripped by Saunders and the ball was recovered by senior linebacker Ramon Mignott, keeping St. Lawrence's shutout effort in tact at intermission, 8-0.
After the St. Lawrence defense forced a three-and-out by the Cadets, Busharis and company went to work and covered 54 yards in 10 plays en route to the team's second touchdown. Busharis hooked up with Sutton for a 25-yard score on 3rd-and-16 to give the Saints a 14-0 advantage, though the extra point attempt failed.
The Cadets would waste little time in climbing back into the game, scoring on the ensuing drive in a mere 2:45. Danny Triplett and Mike Cavanaugh had nice runs for the home team, while Fulford scored from five yards out to get Norwich on the board trailing 14-6. Long Ding's extra point try was good for a 14-7 game.
Busharis would deliver two key throws on third down during the Saints' next drive, as he connected with sophomore Mike Tateosian for 19 yards before finding Sutton for a 9-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal. The touchdown toss, followed by a converted extra point try by junior Taylor Zappia, gave the Saints a 21-7 lead with 18 seconds left in the third quarter.
Sophomore Keith Goode Jr. made his first career interception on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, keeping Norwich behind by two scores. The turnover to another St. Lawrence touchdown, as the Scarlet and Brown put together and impressive 14-play, 90 yard drive that lasted 8:03. The drive was capped in style by Busharis, who found Sutton for an 8-yard touchdown and a 27-7 lead. Zappia's extra point try was blocked.
Sabourin would try to keep Norwich in the game, as he got his team in the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown toss to Derrick Pitts with 4:15 remaining in regulation. Ding's extra point made it 27-14, but the Saints were able to recover the onside kick and run nearly two minutes off the game clock. Senior Phil Hamilton would then put the game away for St. Lawrence, as he tackled Sabourin in the end zone for a safety, capping the game scoring at 29-14.
Mignott and Hamilton each finished with six tackles for the St. Lawrence defense, while senior Christian Bianchi added his first interception of the season. Colby Leclerc made a team-high 11 tackles for Norwich including one tackle for a loss.
The Saints will look to continue their impressive play next weekend when they take on Alfred University on Saturday, September 17 at 1:00pm.