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Football falls to Cortland in 2008 football opener

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College football team opened the 2008 season with a 51-37 loss Saturday afternoon to NJAC opponent SUNY Cortland, nationally ranked in the top 25 through, despite gaining an NCAA best 505 yards total offense.

Morrisville State struck the scoreboard first as defensive back Tommy Moyon (Woodside, NY) intercepted a Ray Miles (Port Byron, NY) pass at the Cortland 23 yard line, setting up the two-play, 23-yard scoring drive at 8:30 in the first quarter. Quarterback Billy Poling (Waretown, NJ) capped off the drive with a 14-yard rushing score to give Morrisville the early 6-0 lead.

Cortland’s Jeremy Lang (Dryden, NY) brought the Red Dragons within three late in the first quarter, hitting a 37 yard field goal with 5:15 remaining on the clock.

In the back and forth battle in the second quarter, Cortland tailback Andrew Guiliano (Thornwood, NY) gave the Red Dragons the 9-6 edge with a 40-yard scoring run at 12:39. Within minutes, Poling answered with a one-yard run to give Morrisville State the 13-9 advantage. Just over a minute later, Miles connected with Zacc Guaragno (Lansing, NY) for the 55-yard score before Morrisville State’s Dale Ross (Syracuse, NY) responded with a 94-yard kickoff return for the score.

Trailing 16-20 with 2:34 remaining in the half, Cortland’s Guiliano broke two tackles and ran 70-yards for his second of four total scores on the afternoon, giving Cortland the 23-20 lead heading into the half.

Midway through the third quarter, Guiliano again broke free, capping off a two-play 79-yard drive with an 89-yard rushing score, extending the Cortland lead to ten, adding to his career best 281-yard performance on the day.

Cortland held the 17-point lead heading into the final quarter before Morrisville State kicker, Kyle Ippolito (Clarence, NY) brought the Mustangs within 14 with a 20 yard field goal. Guiliano capped off his afternoon with a 6-yard run with three minutes remaining before Morrisville’s Wendall Williams (Syracuse, NY) added a final Mustang score with 1:12 left in the contest to bring the game to a 51-37 final.

Guiliano led Cortland with 281-yards and four rushing scores, breaking the 25-year old single game rushing record. Miles went 10-for-21 for 239 yards, an interception and three touchdowns as Guaragno caught six for 156 yards and two scores to lead the receiving unit.

Poling led Morrisville State with a career best 344 yards passing on 23-of-31 attempts and a score, adding 68 yards and three scores in the rushing game. Senior Eddie Hull (Syracuse, NY) led the receiving corps, catching 10 passes for 158 yards as Williams added five receptions for 123-yards and a score in his collegiate debut.

Brian Haas (East Aurora, NY) and Joe Lopez (Port Jefferson Station, NY) led the Cortland defensive unit with 11 tackles each.

Anthony Brown (Rochester, NY) led Morrisville State with ten tackles, one solo, as EJ Maeweather (Syracuse, NY) added seven in the Mustangs defensive efforts.

Morrisville State (0-1, 0-1 NJAC) returns to the field Saturday, September 20 against Montclair State at 1 p.m. on Drake Field in Morrisville.

Cortland (1-0, 1-0 NJAC) will be on the road on the 20th at Rowan University.

Morrisville State enters its third year as a provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III in 2008. Upon successful completion of the provisional period, Morrisville State will be a candidate for full accreditation as a member of the NCAA.

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.