Courtesy of SUNY Cortland Athletics
DANBURY, Conn. â€“ Senior wide receiver Anthony Giuliano and sophomore Justin Autera each scored two touchdowns as SUNY Cortland, ranked 22nd nationally by the AFCA, improved to 3-0 both overall and in the New Jersey Athletic Conference with a 45-0 win over Western Connecticut State. The Colonials drop to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the NJAC.
Cortland posted its first shutout since a 42-0 win over Curry College in the 2008 NCAA playoffs. The Red Dragons limited West Conn to seven yards of net rushing and 110 yards of total offense.
Giuliano ran for a 73-yard touchdown out of a â€œwildcat-typeâ€ formation early in the second quarter and caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Dan Pitcher (Cortland) on a nice leaping catch in the end zone later in the quarter. Autera ran in from nine yards out for Cortlandâ€™s first score in the first quarter and added a 7-yard TD run 2:55 into the third quarter. Autera has scored eight touchdowns over Cortlandâ€™s first three games.
The Red Dragons also scored with 1:07 left in the first half when Tom Lewis (Elma/Iroquois) blocked a punt that Connor Tompkins (Ossining/Sleepy Hollow) returned 15 yards for a score, then added a 36-yard field goal by junior Marc Corrado (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy) with four seconds left in the half to lead 31-0 at the break. Corrado made all six of his PAT kicks in addition to the field goal.
Cortlandâ€™s final touchdown was a 16-yard pass from senior Hudson Woodward (Beacon) to freshman Ray Nichols (Nyack) with 9:58 left in the contest.
Autera ran 18 times for 95 yards and caught two passes. Giuliano finished with 80 yards on two runs and a team-high five receptions for 106 yards. Pitcher was 10-of-14 passing for 123 yards with one TD and no interceptions.
Junior linebacker Cody Allen (Medina) led the defense with eight tackles and a pass breakup and junior linebacker Bill Smith (Nanuet) totaled seven tackles. Freshman linebacker Chris Corvino (Parsippany, NJ/Don Bosco Prep) recorded two sacks among his four tackles and junior cornerback D.J. Romano (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy) registered his first interception of the season and 10th of his career.
Tyler DeRosa (Miller Place) led West Conn with 41 yards rushing and Chris Sloat (Stratford, CT/Bunnell) caught seven passes for 42 yards. Kevin Smolensky (Lyndhurst, NJ) connected on 17-of-27 passes for 103 yards. Cornerback Tyrell Ballard (Bridgeport, CT/Fairfield Prep) paced the Colonials with 10 tackles, nine solo, and a pass breakup. Keith Getz (North Plainfield, NJ) made seven tackles.
Cortland will travel to The College of New Jersey for an NJAC contest next Saturday at 1 p.m.