Second quarter stumble leads St. Lawrence past Morrisville State in 2016 football opener

Second quarter stumble leads St. Lawrence past Morrisville State in 2016 football opener

CANTON, N.Y. – Host St. Lawrence University collected on a tripped up Morrisville State unit in the second quarter of Friday night's 2016 football opener, scoring all 28 points in the frame to collect the non-conference victory at Leckonby Stadium.

The loss drops Morrisville State to 0-1 as they head into a bye week in the second week of the season's schedule.

The Mustangs outgained the Saints on the ground in the running game (142 to 135 yards), but overall were held to 336 yards total offense as St. Lawrence collected 447 total on the night, including a 312 yard air assault in the passing game.

Cory Benedetto (Rochester, N.Y.) went 18-for-36 on the night for 194 yards, while adding 63 net yards in the running game to lead the Morrisville State offensive efforts in their first outing of 2016.

Darrell West (Syracuse, N.Y.) added 66 yards on the ground, while Joseph Faniel (Clyde, N.Y.) was the lead target for Benedetto, hauling in 10 receptions for 124 yards. Marcus Jackson-Conner (Sodus, N.Y.) added 63 yards on six catches.

Jeff Groth (Shelton, Conn.) booted three punts for 108 total yards, placing two inside the 20 for the Mustangs.

Defensively, freshman Michael Bodnar (Miller Place, N.Y.) led the Morrisville State efforts, registering eight total stops, including five solo, while posting a half tackle for a loss of a yard. Wallace Stephens (Kingston, N.Y.) added seven total tackles on the night, six solo, while posting one and a half tackles for a loss of seven yards.

St. Lawrence was able to pick up a net 135 yards in the running game, 54 off the quick foot of Rodrick Payne who also found the end zone minutes into the second quarter to give the hosts the lead. Payne capped off the 90-yard drive with a two-yard run for the 7-0 advantage with 12:31 remaining in the second. Nick Frenger added to the Saint's lead with just under five minutes remaining, pounding the ball up center to score on the five-yard run for a 14-0 lead.

Just over a minute later, St. Lawrence extended the lead to 21, returning an interception 36 yards for the pick-six tally.

Sean Richardson connected on 20-of-31 passes for the Saints, registering a total 297 passing yards and a touchdown. Richardson's main target was Ferrero, who pulled in eight for 151 yards, recording a time expiring score as the quarter wound down to the half time period. Richardson hit Ferrero from 32-yards out to cap off the 65-yard drive and send the game into the break with the commanding 28-0 lead.

Morrisville State reached the red zone three times, but couldn't capitalize as St. Lawrence collected 14 points in the win off turnovers.

Morrisville State returns to the field Saturday, Sept. 17th, hosting rival Utica College in the Empire 8 season opener, under the lights on Drake Field in Morrisville. The athletics department will be holding a back to school drive that night, collecting school supplies for the local Morrisville-Eaton Central School District.

Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit