HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Despite a slow start, Hampden-Sydney was able to claim a 31-17 victory over Catholic in its ODAC opener. With the win, the Tigers improve to 4-1 and 1-0 in conference play while the Cardinals drop to 3-1 and 0-1 in the ODAC. Catholic and Hampden-Sydney came into the game as the first and third highest passing offenses in the nation, but were locked at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
It took seven and a half minutes into the second quarter for the first score, which came when Catholic quarterback Greg Cordivari hit Alonzo Cooke for a 49 yard touchdown pass.
Down 7-0, the Tigers responded with a 14 play drive. It was almost halted at fourth-and-two on the Catholic 24 yard line, but a Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) two yard rush was good enough to keep the drive alive. Seven plays later, Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal) scampered in the end zone for the two-yard equalizer.
Catholic came right back with a seven play drive, that was ended with a 28-yard field goal to go up 10-7 with 1:32 remaining in the half.
With just over 90 seconds, Lane hit Sean Cavanagh (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) twice for 14 yards. Kirk Rohle (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) picked up five yards on the ground, and an eight yard reception by Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) put the Tigers on the Catholic 27 yard line with five ticks on the clock. David Prizzia (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) lined up for the 44-yard field goal, but it was wide left.
Trailing 10-7, the Tigers came out a new team in the second half. Catholic started with the ball, but the drive was cut short with Charlie Shoemaker's (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) second pick of the day. The Tigers capitalized as Lane scored the six yard rushing touchdown. After Prizzia's extra point, the Tigers took a 14-10 lead.
The lead was extended to 21-10 just a minute and a half later. A Catholic three-and-out quickly led to a 15 yard touchdown reception by Vance.
Three plays later, it was 28-10 as Sean Stewart (Alexandria, VA/Mount Vernon) got a pick-six recording an interception and returning it 40 yards for the score.
The defense was not finished, as Zach Morgan (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes) picked off Cordivari three plays after the defensive score.
Though the Tigers could not find the end zone, Prizzia nailed a 31-yard field goal to take a 31-10 lead.
The two defenses were strong throughout, but it was Catholic who put the final points on the board with Alonzo Cooke's second score of the game, this time on a 13 yard reception with 4:23 to play.
On the day, Lane was 30-of-52 for 334 yards and a touchdown. Vance was again solid with 14 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Mike Goad (Chesterfield, VA/Matoaca) and Cavanagh each had six receptions for a combined 128 yards. Rohle led the rushing attack with 24 carries for 71 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers picked off four passes - two from Shoemaker - while allowing 288 passing yards but just 67 rushing. Morgan led the way with nine tackles, 2.0 for loss. and a pick. Kenny Fryman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) added eight tackles, while Shoemaker had seven.
For Catholic, Cordivari completed 33 of his 52 attempts for 288 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Cooke led his team with eight receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Pitsenberger was the main threat on the ground rushing 12 times for 73 yards.
Hampden-Sydney will return to action Saturday, October 8th as it hosts the Eagles of Bridgewater College. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.