Jacqui White, Assistant Sports Editor
After finishing with overall, including a 4-3 conference record, the Utica College football team is headed to the postseason.
The Pioneers will face the 8-2 Ithaca College Bombers in the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl at Cornell University on Nov. 17 against Ithaca College. The game will mark the teams’ third bowl game in five years.
Head coach Blaise Faggiano explained that his team’s most recent game, a 75-14 win dismantling of Hartwick, was not being taken lightly as it was the Hawks’ senior game.
“They came out, and it was their senior game, so they were ready to win and ruin our chances of going into the postseason,” Faggiano explained.
Faggiano said that the Pioneers “knocked the wind out of the Hawks” with an 81-yard touchdown from the kickoff.
“If we had gone out on the field with a plan to try and beat them by that much, it probably would’ve been a much different outcome,” Faggiano said. “We just went out and performed.”
Freshman defensive lineman Andrew Genier had a touchdown after running for 11 yards on an interception during the second quarter. Senior running back Malcolm Stowe also had an impressive game, gaining 230 yards, breaking the Pioneers’ career rushing record, and scoring four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Imani Vincent received two throws from freshman quarterback Logan Wilcox to add to the lead Utica had established early in the game.
“We needed the win for the postseason. Division III is hard to get into bowls,” Faggiano said. “There’s 250 teams across the country that are Division III, and, out of all those teams, 32 will get into a tournament.”
Faggiano said the team is excited to be playing at Cornell instead of Ithaca because it will be nice for the players to play on an Ivy League football field.
“We’ll be sleeping in Cornell the night before the game so that the players won’t be getting off a two-hour bus ride before playing,” Faggiano said.
Faggiano explained that the Pioneers and the Bombers both have good defensive teams.
“There’s two things that decide how a game will go: field position and turnovers,” he said. “Whichever team can effectively run the ball will win.”