By Jimmy Cassidy
The Rochester University Yellow Jackets were too much for Catholic University’s football team on Saturday, September 12th, as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 45-28. In their first game at Cardinal Stadium of the 2015 season, the team battled in a back and forth matchup, but could not last down the stretch. The crowd witnessed a shootout on a rainy afternoon, as the teams totaled 975 yards of offense and 73 points between the two of them. In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, the loss evened Catholic with a 1-1 record, while Rochester moves to 1-0 after the season opening victory.
The Cardinals got big performances out of senior quarterback TJ Tutone and junior running back Matt Perno. The duo was involved in all four of the team’s touchdowns of the day. Tutone found Perno on a 64-yard passing TD early in the second quarter to put CUA up 14-7. The running back led the squad in rushing and receiving yards, picking up 55 on the ground and 126 in the air. Slippery conditions forced several dropped balls and made it advantageous to run the ball instead of airing it out. The Yellow Jackets had success rushing, collecting 260 yards in the game, while the Cards managed 95. A late Rochester touchdown put them up 23-22 at halftime.
Catholic was the first team to put points on the board in the second half, as Tutone rushed two yards for a touchdown. Tutone ended with an impressive 380 yards on 34-48 passing. The Cards’ 28-23 lead disappeared when Rochester scored a TD with five minutes in the third quarter. Down 31-28, sophomore defensive back Luke Kern picked off a pass to give CUA a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The comeback fell apart when a fumble in redzone territory gave the ball back to the Yellow Jackets. Two more touchdowns for the visiting team took away any hope of a 2-0 start to Catholic’s season, as the game ended in a 45-28 loss.
The Cardinals are back in action tomorrow, Saturday, September 19th at Cardinal Stadium. The 1 PM game features the Cardinals and Coast Guard. Matt Perno believes the team is ready to get back to its winning ways. “The week of practice was great everyone had a lot of energy and was fired up. We were crisp and were executing our plays each and every day,” Perno said. “If we execute each of our plays to perfection then we can beat anybody. We just have to get into a rhythm in the first half and keep it going.” Both teams will be 1-1 entering the game. Be sure to make your way over to Cardinal Stadium and support the team.