|Posted on September 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
Syracuse Orange true freshman defensive back Andre Cisco began the team's second match-up of the season, a home contest versus the Wagner Seahawks, with back-to-back interceptions on Wagner's first two drives.
The Orange would utilize the two drives created by Cisco's interceptions to score two touchdowns, both on freak plays. Syracuse's first touchdown came from a pass attempt by senior quarterback Eric Dungey that was tipped into the air and caught by junior wide receiver Sean Riley, who made a headsy play to chase the ball down and get under it in the end zone. The second score by Syracuse came from senior running back Dontae Strickland who took the ball out of Dungey's hands, who was trying to push forward into the end zone on a quarterback sneak, and ran to the outside left to score the touchdown for the Orange, giving Syracuse a 14-0 lead.
But the Orange defense would give up a reception on the Seahawks' third drive of the game, an attempt on 3rd-&-9, where graduate quarterback T.J. Linta would toss it over the middle to senior wide receiver D'Erren Wilson who would catch it and break free for what would become a 50-yard gain. That big-time advance was followed on the very next play by a pass overtop the Orange defense by Linta that would land in the hands of senior tight end Chris Woodard who would turn around and leap for the pilon to give the Seahawks their first score of the game, on a 24-yard catch and run with 7:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Syracuse would gain nothing on their next two drives, with Dungey throwing the ball into single-coverage, intending to connect with junior wide receiver Devin Butler but instead finding the hands of junior cornerback Myron Morris in the end zone, who had blocked out Butler from the ball.
The Orange would punt away their next opportunity, but followed with their third touchdown of the game on their fifth possession of the first quarter, when Dungey found true freshman wide receiver Taj Harris crossing inside, who took the ball 24 yards to paydirt immediately after the Orange endured a penalty that moved them out of the redzone.
Syracuse would take their 21-7 lead into the second quarter.
On their first drive of the second quarter and sixth of the game, the Orange would find the end zone once again, this time on senior tight end Ravian Pierce's reception over the middle where he ran through the line and was left wide open in the middle of glory territory. That touchdown reception came after Dungey had kept the ball on more than one occasion where he had receivers in the end zone, one a blatant wide open opportunity to redshirt-senior wide receiver Jamal Custis in the middle of the end zone.
With 9:43 before the break, Syracuse led at home 28-7.
Wagner's next drive would end in a punt that would be followed by a 34-yard return by an elusive and speedy redshirt-senior free safety Antwan Cordy to the Wagner 44-yard line from the Syracuse 22.
Redshirt-freshman kicker Andre Szmyt would boot his first field-goal attempt of the game through the uprights, from 31 yards away, to give the Orange a 31-7 advantage.
On Wagner's next drive, redshirt-freshman defensive lineman/linebacker Tyrell Richards would gain his first career sack, forcing fourth down on a loss of seven yards, The Seahawks would attempt to punt it away, but Riley would block Silvester's try and true freshman defensive back Trill Williams would catch the ball in the air and walk into the end zone for his first-ever collegiate touchdown, bringing the Orange lead to 38-7.
The Seahawks would punt the ball away, or at least attempt to, on all four of their second-quarter drives, as the Orange defense held them scoreless.
Syracuse concluded the first half with many individual firsts for their players, as aforementioned: Harris' first collegiate touchdown, Richards' first collegiate sack, and Trill Williams' first collegiate touchdown followed by the final score of the half which came from sophomore wide receiver Nykeim Johnson who caught a pass from Dungey in the end zone from 28 yards out, making it 45-7 Orange at the break.
Receiving the ball to open the second half, Syracuse went down the field and scored once again, this the second touchdown of the contest for Strickland who went through the middle and untouched for a 20-yard touchdown, elevating the Orange to a 52-7 lead.
Custis' first touchdown of the game came with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter, bringing Syracuse out to a 59-7 advantage. This was Custis' third touchdown of the 2018 season, in just two games. He had two touchdowns from the 2015 and 2017 season combined, one in each season (Custis did not play in the 2016 season).
With 2:47 left in the third quarter, backup quarterback and redshirt-freshman Tommy DeVito checked in for Dungey, who finished 23-for-32 for 218 passing yards, five touchdowns, and one interception, along with 11 carries for 50 yards.
Dungey's five passing touchdowns tied former Syracuse quarterbacks Ryan Nassib and Zack Mahoney for most passing touchdowns in a single game, Nassib in 2012 and Mahoney in 2016.
DeVito's first drive ended with a high snap and a turnover on downs. True freshman running back Jarveon Howard did achieve his first collegiate first down on a four-yard carry, following his six yard run the play before.
A 26-yard field goal by Silvester on the following drive by Wagner would bring the game to 59-10 Syracuse.
Szmyt would answer with a 50-yard field attempt that had just enough legs to get through the uprights, getting the Orange out to a 62-10 lead.
Richards attained another first late in the game with his first collegiate interception, after junior linebacker Andrew Armstrong tipped the attempted pass by redshirt-senior backup quarterback Graham Lindman.
Syracuse would take over and Jarveon Howard would continue to barrel forward for yards until the clock showed zeroes. Howard accumulated the same amount of rushing yards as junior running back Moe Neal, to lead the Orange with 71 rushing yards in the game, Howard achieving it on 13 carries and Neal on nine.
With the win, Syracuse improves to 2-0 on the season with a pair of home games coming up, with the Florida State Seminoles visiting on Saturday, September 15th and the UConn Huskies coming into town on Saturday, September 22nd.