St. John Fisher College Cardinals Win ECAC Northwest Championship Bowl
St. John Fisher racked up 395 yards of total offense in the first half, jumping out to a 42-6 lead at intermission and never looked back, as the Cardinals earned a 56-13 win over visiting Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday in the ECAC Northwest Championship Bowl.
Fisher‘s Tim Bailey was named as the game’s Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year. Bailey, a senior quarterback, passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 25-of-33 passes and rushing for one touchdown. Last year, Bailey was the MOP in Fisher’s 34-20 win over Cortland in the 2009 ECAC Northwest Bowl after completing 24-of-41 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns and leading the team in rushing with 70 yards.
With the win, Fisher finishes the season with a 9-2 overall record and is now 4-1 all-time in ECAC Bowl games. The Engineers end the year with a 6-4 record and lost for the first time in nine ECAC Bowl games.
Fisher never trailed in the game. The Cardinals scored on their opening drive as Ryan Kramer went into the endzone from three yards out just 7:44 into the game.
Fisher pushed its lead to 14-0 on its very next offensive play as Bailey connected with Ryan Francis for a 62-yard bomb.
The Engineers got on the board on their next drive. After a kickoff return to the RPI 45 and 15-yard penalty gave the Engineers the ball at the Fisher 40, RPI ran a double-reverse with wide receiver Ray Davis finding Reggie Colas in the endzone to make it 14-6.
Fisher answered right back though, with Bailey hitting Ryan Schmidt for a seven-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left in the opening quarter, capping a 14-play, 76-yard drive.
The Cardinals pushed their lead to 28-6 with Bailey scoring on a quarterback-keeper from one yard out with 8:49 left. Fisher drove 89 yards on 10 plays for its next score with Kramer scoring on a five-yard run with 2:56 left in the half.
The Cardinals tacked on another touchdown in the closing moments as Bailey and Francis hooked up from 17 yards out with 46 seconds left in the half, giving the Cardinals a 42-6 lead.
Fisher extended its lead to 49-6 with 9:46 left in the third quarter as senior Matt Lukasiewicz scored his first career touchdown on a three-yard run.
The Engineers scored their second touchdown of the day with 4:28 left in the third, as Davis caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Julian Schopp.
The Fisher defense tallied the game’s final points with 39 seconds left in the third quarter. Safety Zach Dolan intercepted a deflected pass at the RPI 5, and returned it 95 yards for the score, breaking several tackles along the way.
Schmidt and Dan Witkowski each finished with seven catches and combined for 129 yards. Francis finished with six catches for 130 yards.
Freshman running back Cody Miller gained 70 yards on eight carries. Kramer finished with 67 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
Jeff Meehan gained 54 yards on 12 carries, while Lukasiewicz finished with 47 yards on just seven rushes.
On defense, Mike Leavell led the Cardinals with seven tackles and recorded an interception and a pass break-up. Senior Byron Rhone also recorded seven tackles, along with one pass break-up.
Four different Cardinals were in on a sack, led by senior Tyler Wood, who recorded 1.5 sacks for a total of eight lost yards.
RPI quarterback Mike Hermann completed 9-of-20 passes for 34 yards. He also finished with 13 yards rushing on eight attempts. Matt Wood gained 20 yards on five carries and totaled 160 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Schnopp completed 4-of-9 passes for 88 yards, but was intercepted twice.
Colin King led the RPI defense with 14 tackles. He also recovered a fumble and finished with a sack.
Fisher out-gained the Engineers 589-226.
Check out photos from Fisher's 2015 Commencement Ceremonies on Flickr!
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