The St. Thomas Aquinas College Sprint Football team defeated the Cornell University Big Red, 39-19 on Saturday evening at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn, NY. STAC improves to 1-3 on the year, while Cornell drops to 1-3.
In the first quarter, STAC jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on an Ernest Stallworth Jr 11-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kiel McKenzie a little over three minutes into the opening stanza. Stallworth was then able to double the Spartan lead in the final moments of the opening quarter, when he took a 7-yard pass from McKenzie to the house, giving the maroon and gold a 14-0 advantage.
Second quarter action saw St. Thomas Aquinas put another seven points on the board, a little over 5 minutes into the frame, as Malyk Michel would intercept a Harrison Nicholas pass and return it 10 yards for the pick six, extending the Spartans lead to 21-0. However, Cornell would get themselves on the scoreboard just before halftime, as a Ben Finkelstein 28-yard field goal, followed by a 51-yard touchdown pass from Nicholas to Luke Verzella would cut into the STAC lead at 21-10.
At halftime, the St. Thomas Aquinas College Department of Athletics recognized employees in attendance with an on-field ceremony as a thank you for all of their hard-work and dedication to the college and its students as part of Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day.
The third quarter would start out uneventful, but the Big Red would pick up another two points on a safety, as the Spartans would snap the football over the head of punter Godson Nartey propelling it out of the back of the end zone, making it a 21-12 game. STAC would respond later in the quarter when Jimmy English would take a 17-yard McKenzie pass over the goal line for the score, closing out the third with a 27-12 advantage.
STAC would score twice more in the final quarter of play, as a result of Isiah Davis' 45-yard run and then backup quarterback Matt Yuvienco's 2-yard scamper, blowing the game wide open at 39-12. Cornell would put up the final six points of the game in the waning moments of the contest, with J.R. Quinones' 1-yard run, making it 39-19 before the final buzzer.
For STAC, Kiel McKenzie went 16-for-28 passing on the evening for 251 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Dwayne Moore had 12 rushes for 61 yards, while Jimmy English had 7 receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown and Ernest Stallworth Jr had 4 receptions for 83 yards and 2 scores. On the defensive side of the ball, Tyreke Smith picked up 7 tackles, while Daniel Grossman, Coleby Cherrington, Malyk Michel, Vincent Berretto and Ernest Stallworth Jr. each had an interception in the game.
St. Thomas Aquinas College hits the road once again, this time traveling to Post University for a CSFL North Division clash on Saturday, October 19th. Kickoff is set for noon in Waterbury, CT.