LEICESTER, Mass. – Senior running back Kurtis Ahart rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns to help lift Hartwick College to a 45-19 victory over host Becker College in non-conference football action Saturday afternoon. The win ups Hartwick's record to 3-0, while Becker falls to 1-2.
Becker got the scoring started after they forced a Hartwick fumble on the opening kickoff. Facing fourth and three from the Hartwick 29 yard line, Becker's Romario Vincent (Brooklyn, N.Y.) took the ensuing handoff to the end zone for the early 6-0 lead.
On Becker's next drive, Hartwick defensive lineman Rob Burke (Wantagh, N.Y.) forced a fumble, giving the visitors a first and ten at the Becker 20 yard line. Hartwick tied the game when Ahart scampered up the middle for a six yard touchdown run.
Hartwick took the lead with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter when Ahart sprinted past the Becker defense for an 11 yard touchdown run, making the score 12-6. On Becker's next possession, quarterback Bobby Baker (Monroe, Conn.) was sacked by RJ Roth (Cornwll, N.Y.) in the end zone for a safety, increasing the Hartwick lead to 14-6.
The Hartwick attack continued on their next possession when quarterback John Garcia (Warwick, N.Y.) connected with Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge, N.Y.) on a 29 yard touchdown strike, widening their lead to 21-6. Hartwick would threaten to score again with 3:08 remaining in the first half, but Becker defensive back Davin Collins (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) intercepted a John Garcia pass at the two yard line, keeping the host Hawks within striking distance.
The Hartwick defense stood their ground, allowed just 33 yards on Becker's next two possessions. Hartwick got the ball back with 1:12 remaining in the first half as John Garcia orchestrated a four play, 45 yard drive, capped off by a seven yard touchdown completion to Chris Hoose (Leeds, N.Y.).
After forcing Becker to go three and out on their opening drive of the second half, Ahart capped six play drive with his third and final touchdown of the day, giving Hartwick a comfortable 35-6 lead. On Becker's next possession, the host Hawks went 67 yards on 10 plays, scoring on a quarterback keeper by Bobby Baker, cutting the Hartwick lead to 35-12.
Hartwick responded on their next drive when Garcia completed a 58 yard touchdown pass down the far sideline to Frankie Molina (Middletown, N.Y.), making the score 42-12. Alex Tesoriero (Rensselaer, N.Y.) finished off the Hartwick scoring with a 26 yard field goal to make the score 45-12. Becker sophomore quarterback Dylan McGuire (Somers, N.Y.) connected with Jonathan Suarez (Coram, N.Y.) for a late touchdown, making the final score 45-19.
John Garcia finished with 271 passing yards and three touchdowns. Frankie Molina led the all receivers with seven catches for 151 yards. The Hartwick defense was led by Joe Seney with six tackles and two sacks. RJ Roth and Bryan Schweitzer (Babylon N.Y.) chipped in with five tackles each.
Becker linebacker Melvin Booker (Roxbury, Mass.) finished with a game high eight tackles.
Both teams return to the gridiron on Saturday, October 5 when they begin conference play. Hartwick will host Empire 8 rival Ithaca College at 2:00 p.m. Becker will open Eastern Collegiate Football Conference action when they travel to Norwich University at 2:00 p.m.