No. 4 Football Hosts Utica On Saturday
What’s At Stake:
SC looks to open 3-0 for the fourth time in five seasons on Saturday ... the Pride also puts its school-record 16 regular-season game-winning streak on the line.
This is the first meeting between the teams.
The Last Time Out:
In its first Empire 8 Conference game ever, the Pride defeated Alfred (N.Y.), 38-20, behind 484 rushing yards; the Pioneers last played on Sept. 18 when they beat then-No. 17 RPI, 9-7.
About Saturday’s Game:
Saturday’s game pits the Pride, which leads the Empire 8 in rushing (396.5 ypg) against Utica, which is the conference’s stingiest defense against the run (98.5 ypg) ... SC, which is opening the season with three-straight home games for the first time since 1992, is 11-1 on Benedum Field since the ‘02 season. In ‘03, the Pride averaged 50.6 ppg and 466.5 yards rushing in five home games ... three Empire 8 schools rank in the top-25 nationally in the two D-III national polls: SC at No. 4 (AFCA), Ithaca at No. 22 (d3football.com) and St. John Fisher at No. 23 (AFCA). Six of the seven E-8 schools have a winning record ... senior DL Brian McLellan was named E-8 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. He had 9.5 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, two passes defended and a sack vs. Alfred ... senior FB Tim Lutgens is steadily climbing SC’s all-time lists. Lutgens is in the top-10 in rushing TDs (6th/25) and yards (9th/2,236) ... three of the top-5 rushers in the E-8 are in the SC backfield: Lutgens (2nd/134.0), Sylvia (3rd/132.0) and senior HB Kevin Domurat (5th/92.0). ... the Pride leads the E-8 in fourth-down conversions (3-for-3, 100%) and is third on third down (10-27, 37%) ... the Pioneers, who entered the ‘04 season with a 3-27 record since the program kicked off in 2001, carry a respectable 2-1 mark into Saturday’s game ... Utica earned its first road win ever in a 46-24 victory at Husson (Maine) on Sept. 11. Sophomore QB Nick Martin tossed five TD passes in the win.
Chasing 400: In the victory over Alfred (Sept. 25), the Pride broke the 400-yard rushing mark for the 10th time in its last 23 games dating back to the ‘02 campaign. The Pride is unbeaten in those contests ... SC’s best rushing performance in this stretch was a 586-yard effort against Union (Nov. 16, 2002) ... the Pride has won three of the last four D-III national rushing titles (2000, ‘02 and ‘03). Last season, SC led all D-I, II and III teams at 398.5 ypg.
SC had three backs break the 100-yard mark in the win over Alfred (Sept. 25): senior QB Ryan Sylvia (183), senior FB Tim Lutgens (163) and senior HB Kevin Domurat (113). The last time that happened was on Nov. 16, 2002 in a 55-27 victory over Union.
Movin’ On Up:
Senior QB Ryan Sylvia has several school records in his sights. Sylvia set a D-III record for most rushing TDs by a QB with 20 in ‘03. Here’s a look where Sylvia ranks on SC’s all-time list.
1. Kevin Cahill, 44 TDs
2. Jay Miller, 42 TDs
3. Ryan Sylvia, 37 TDs
Touchdowns Responsible For
1. Kevin Cahill, 61
2. Ryan Sylvia, 51
1. Kevin Cahill, 276
2. Jay Miller, 258
3. Ryan Sylvia, 222
1. Kevin Cahill, 4,842 yards
6. Jack Levy, 3,409 yards
7. Ryan Sylvia, 3,382 yards
1. Kevin Cahill, 3,209 yards
5. Bob Sedlor, 2,542 yards
6. Ryan Sylvia, 2,478 yards
In ‘03, senior QB Ryan Sylvia and senior FB Tim Lutgens became the first D-III duo to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in the same season since 1997. Lutgens, who led the Pride with 1,307 yards, teamed with Sylvia, who had 1,122 yards. It marked just the second time in SC history that two SC backs broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the same regular season, and the 12th time in D-III history.
SC head coach Mike DeLong had Utica head man Mike Kemp on his staff as a graduate assistant when Kemp was pursuing a master’s degree in physical education, which he earned in ‘86. Kemp was part of coach DeLong’s first coaching staff at SC in 1984, and was one of five assistants on that staff to go on to D-III head coaching jobs. The others are Mike Whalen (Williams), Rich Mannello (King's, Pa.), Chris McKenny (Maine Maritime) and Joe White (Rhodes, Tenn.). Also on that staff was Steve Bush, quarterbacks coach at Syracuse, and current SC defensive coordinator Jack Holik.
Game #2: No. 4 SC 38, Alfred 20
Springfield, Mass., Sept. 25, 2004
Senior quarterback Ryan Sylvia rushed for a career-high 183 yards and two touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Pride defeated Alfred (N.Y.), 38-20, in the Empire 8 Football Conference opener for both teams on Benedum Field.
The Pride (2-0) totaled 484 yards on the ground. Sylvia, who also threw a touchdown pass, was one of three SC backs with over 100 yards. Senior fullback Tim Lutgens ran for 163 yards and three scores on 27 carries, and senior halfback Kevin Domurat added 113 yards on just 10 carries.
Senior defensive tackle Brian McLellan led an SC defense that recorded three second-half interceptions. McLellan registered 9.5 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Senior linebacker Mike Clark added five tackles and a fourth-quarter interception, and senior linebacker Justin Fletcher had an interception, three passes defended and four tackles. Senior cornerback Mike Kimmel also had an interception.
Trailing 10-6 in the second quarter, Sylvia put SC in front for good with a five-yard TD run with 4:52 left in the first half. Just over two minutes later, Sylvia hit Domurat with a 33-yard scoring strike to make it 19-10 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Lutgens crashed in from one-yard out just 1:38 into the second half to make the score 25-10. Alfred responded by scoring 10-consecutive points on a 43-yard field goal by Chris Reynolds and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ron Duliba to Chris Sargent to close the gap to 25-20 entering the fourth quarter. Kimmel's interception set up a three-yard TD run by Lutgens giving SC an 11-point cushion at 31-20 with 10:47 left. On the Saxons' next drive, Clark picked off Duliba with 9:23 remaining. With 5:39 to play, Lutgens added another three-yard score.