The St. Thomas Aquinas College Sprint Football team opened their 2019 home schedule on Saturday evening, falling to Caldwell University, 26-0 at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn, NY. Caldwell improves to 1-1 on the year, while STAC falls to 0-2.
In first quarter action, the Spartans and Cougars each possessed the football twice, without scoring any points in what was a defensive stalemate put forth in the opening period. However, that would all change just five seconds into the second stanza, as Zion Rodriguez would take a 10-yard pass from Caldwell quarterback Steven Jost into the end zone for a touchdown, giving the visitors a 6-0 advantage. Again, defense was the theme of the half, as no further scoring would take place, despite both teams having multiple possessions before retreating to their respective locker rooms for halftime.
After the break, Caldwell University would return to the field and just two and a half minutes into the third quarter Armani Bermudez would double the score at 12-0 on a 22-yard run to the end zone. A stalled St. Thomas Aquinas drive would give the Cougars back the football moments later and they would make it count, when backup quarterback Timothy Palmer made a 10-yard run of his own, pushing the lead to 19-0. Back and forth play by both teams, which included a bevy of penalties assessed to both squads would slow the game down. However, just before the close of the quarter, Dajuan Carr would catch a 15-yard pass from Palmer and take it in for the score to increase the Cougar lead to 26-0.
No scoring by either team would take place in the final quarter of play, as both Caldwell and STAC would touch the football 4 times apiece. Caldwell would run out the clock on their final possession to seal things and take the victory over the Spartans.
Kiel McKenzie went 6-for-12 passing on the evening for 72 yards, before exiting the game in the third quarter due to injury. Backup quarterback Benny Storms would enter the contest and go 7-for-17 for 43 yards and threw 1 interception. Meanwhile, Mahki Matthews picked up 26 total yards on 4 rushes. On the defensive side of the ball, Maxwell Johnson made 12 total tackles on the night, with Nicholas Veltri hauling down 7 Caldwell players. Godson Nartey had 6 punts for 132 yards, with his longest kick going 36 yards down field.
St. Thomas Aquinas College will hit the road for Week 3 of the 2019 CSFL Season, as the Spartans take on Mansfield University on Saturday, September 28th. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm in Mansfield, Pennsylvania.