College Football: Norwich Falls to RPI in Season Opener

Courtesy Norwich Sports Information

TROY, N.Y. – The Norwich University football struggled to score in a 37-0 defeat at the hands of Renessselar Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Saturday, Sept. 5.

The Cadets managed 154 yards of offense on the day, but costly turnovers prevented Norwich from finding the end zone as RPI tripled their offensive production with 496 yards.

RPI scored first on a 1-yard run by senior running back Nick Schlatz (Bridgewater, Mass.) in the first drive of the game. The Cadets got off to a rough start, fumbling on their first drive before being forced to punt away. The Engineers utilized 11-play drive on the next possession and carried the ball down the field for 57 yards before the Cadets stopped the Engineers’ progress at the 31 yard line, forcing an RPI field goal attempt. RPI kicker Christian Kapp (Amawalk, N.Y.) looked to push the lead to 10 for the Engineers but his 30-yard kick would sail wide left of the goal post.

Norwich looked to get back into the game but RPI’s defense kept the pressure on freshman quarterback Bree Hart (Fort Meade, N.Y.) and would jam the Cadets’ running game to just 17 total offensive yards in the first half. The Engineers would score once more in the first quarter on a 5-yard rushing touchdown from junior John Costello (Winchester, Mass.) before Schlatz pounded the ball down the field for 25 yards before senior quarterback Jeff Avery (White Plains, N.Y.) connected a 6-yard pass to sophomore Johnny Ramsdell (Atkinson, N.H.) for the touchdown, extending RPI’s lead to 21-0.

Norwich continued to fight its way through the lines but two costly fumbles, both recovered by RPI, forced the offense off the field as the Engineers scored twice for the 35-0 lead at the half.

After the half, the Cadets generated 162 total offensive yards with sophomore quarterback Philippe Bazinet (Outterburn Park, Quebec) producing 84 passing yards (5-15) with a long of 37 in the second half. Norwich moved the ball down the field several times, looking to score, but they would be forced to punt the ball twice in the third quarter before RPI downed the ball in Norwich’s end zone for the safety.

Norwich strived to get on the board once more in the fourth quarter as the Cadets marched the ball down the field for 55 yards to the Engineers’ 10 yard line before Bazinet’s pass was broken up on the fourth down play, turning the ball over on downs as RPI held on for the win.

Senior running back Sam Chaves (Alfred, Maine) carried the ball 16 times for 33 yards, while sophomore Quincy Williams (Brossard, Quebec) rushed for 27 yards on six attempts with a long of 10. Senior wide receiver Pierre Noel (Manchester, N.H.) caught the ball four times for 44 yards, while sophomore Avery Wood (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and junior Trystan Colaire (Pickering, Ontario) combined for 36 yards in the air.

On defense, the Cadets were led by junior linebacker Jake Apthorpe (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) who recorded a career-high 11 tackles and two sacks in the game. Junior Benjamin Hummer (Annapolis, Md.) would record eight tackles, while seniors Sir Michael Finney (Killeen, Texas), Timothy Harrington (Weymouth, Mass.) and sophomore Angelo Cofield Jr. (Lithonia, Ga.) recorded six tackles each.

Norwich will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 12, as the Cadets host St. Lawrence for a 1 p.m. contest in the home opener.

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