First half leads Cortland past Morrisville State football, 45-20

First half leads Cortland past Morrisville State football, 45-20

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Host SUNY Cortland scored 31 points combined in the first and second quarters, en route to a 45-20 Empire 8 victory Saturday afternoon over visiting Morrisville State College football in Cortland.

The loss drops Morrisville State to 0-8 on the year.

The Mustangs generated 407 yards total offense in the contest, edging SUNY Cortland 122 to 117 in the running game, while gaining the remainder in the passing game.

Nick Edmond (Blythe, Calif.) posted a team high 58 yards on seven carries for a score to lead Morrisville State on the ground, while teammate Joseph Faniel (Clyde, N.Y.) was a favored target for the Mustang quarterbacks, registering seven receptions for 82 yards. Kyle Flash (Bronx, N.Y.) had a team high 95 yards on three catches.

Cory Benedetto (Rochester, N.Y.) completed 9-of-15 passes for 182 yards and a score, before Brandon Gwinner (Schenectady, N.Y.) took over under center and finished 10-for-19 on the day for 103 yards. Both quarterbacks combined for three interceptions and suffered five sacks.

Defensively, Morrisville State's Lucas Graves (Goshen, N.Y.) came away with nine tackles in the losing effort, seven solo stops, while defensive back Martell Robinson (Rochester, N.Y.) added eight, seven unassisted.

Morrisville State scored on the opening drive of the afternoon, as Benedetto completed the 24-yard scoring pass play to running back Darrel West (Syracuse, N.Y.) for the 7-0 Mustang lead just under five minutes in.

That lead would be shortlived, however, as Cortland rattled off five straight scores over the course of the first half to take the 31-7 lead into the locker room at the break. After a 35-yard field goal from Shane Cronin, Ben Segala went to work for the host Red Dragons and posted two straight passing touchdowns, the first to Johnnie Atkins on a 20-yard scoring play following a lost fumble by the Mustangs. The second came with 1:22 remaining in the opening quarter to Jake Smith on a 21-yard scoring play, following a punt that gave the hosts possession at the Mustangs 35 yard line.

Cortland posted their fourth straight score 54 seconds into the second quarter following a Matt Goodman interception of Benedetto that brought the ball down to the Mustangs 22 yard line. Zach Tripodi registered the 29-yard scoring run for the 24-7 host lead.

Segala would add a final score for Cortland with 26 seconds to go in the half, finding Jon Mannix in the back of the end zone to complete the 80 yard drive in nine plays, with the two-yard receiving score.

In the third, Morrisville State was able to add to their score with a one-yard rushing tally from West, but Cortland responded with a Brandon Lewis 39-yard pick-six with 37 second showing on the clock in the quarter.

Cortland extended their lead with 12:27 to go in the final frame, putting the game out of reach for the Mustangs, as Segala found Mannix for a second touchdown of the afternoon, this time on an 8-yard scoring pass play.

Segala finished with 322 yards passing completing 28-of-39 passes, including 10 to Mannix for 100 yards. Tripodi registered a team high 89 yards on the ground for Cortland.

Edmond capped off the scoring for Morrisville State with just under four minutes to go in the contest, registering the 14-yard scoring run.

Morrisville State will return to Drake Field next Saturday hosting SUNY Brockport in the Empire 8 season finale.

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