Quarterback Dunn, receiver Chase set team records in 30-24 home-opener win
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s football team set a pair of program records, one for throwing, one for catching, and secured its first Hoffman Cup trophy by topping St. Lawrence University 30-24 on Saturday on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium.
Norwich roared to a 30-14 halftime lead and never looked back. The Cadets are off to a 2-0 start, their best opening since starting the 2012 season 3-0.
Cadets junior quarterback Matt Dunn completed a record 34 of 49 passing attempts to surpass the previous high of 29 completions set by Ben Clark in 2002.
The game was an air show; Norwich and St. Lawrence combined for 815 passing yards on more than 100 passing attempts.
The game was an air show; Norwich and St. Lawrence combined for 815 passing yards on more than 100 passing attempts. Three Cadet receivers posted 100-yard days — Chase (135 yards), Romero (129 yards on eight catches) and Johnson (107 yards on eight catches).
Overall, Dunn threw for 99 yards and two touchdowns and helped seal the victory with a clutch 27-yard throw to freshman receiver Tristan Johnson on a third down-and-11 play with 3:32 left in the game. He earned New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.
Cadets freshman receiver Trevor Chase also set a team record, with 13 receptions to top Trystan Colaire’s previous single-game mark of 11 set in 2015.
Aaron Conner powered Norwich’s running game, rushing for 65 yards on 19 carries. Senior linebacker Jonathan Moltimer led Norwich’s defense with nine tackles and senior defensive back Tavares Ward had eight. Senior defensive lineman Nick Campobasso had three tackles including a quarterback sack.
St. Lawrence opened the scoring when Saints' sophomore quarterback Tyler Grochot capped a three-play 37-yard drive by connecting with junior receiver Joseph Viscardo for an 18-yard touchdown in the game’s first three minutes.
“I honestly didn’t think I had even come close to the school record. It was definitely surprising at first, as none of the receivers go out on Saturdays looking to break records we go out there with one mindset and that is to win.”
— Trevor Chase, Norwich wide receiver
Norwich shook off an intercepted pass — Dunn’s only pickoff of the game — to counter with a 12-play, 44-yard drive capped by junior kicker Clyde Tamburro’s 37-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, Norwich senior Isaac Houston blocked a St. Lawrence punt, downing the ball on the Saints’ 15-yard line. Connor Burke’s ensuing 4-yard touchdown run put Norwich up 10-7.
Norwich increased its lead to 16-7 when Manni Romero returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and led 23-7 after Romero later caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dunn.
St. Lawrence cut the deficit to 23-14 with a 10-play, 56-yard drive highlighted by 46-yard pass from Grochot to junior wide receive Andrew Murphy and capped by a 4-yard touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Bryan Dempsey.
Norwich answered with another touchdown to close the half. Chase made a diving catch of a Dunn pass in the end zone’s right corner to extend the Cadets’ lead to 30-14.
St. Lawrence had a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Grochot to junior wide receiver Joe Viscardo in the fourth.
Norwich returns to the field at 2 p.m. Saturday to host the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The “Little Army-Navy Game” will highlight Norwich’s bicentennial Homecoming Weekend.
(Slideshow photos by Mark Collier.)
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