UTICA, N.Y. - Catholic University football sophomore Trey Carson hauled in 10 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs, but the Cardinals could not overcome a 28-point halftime deficit as they dropped a nonconference contest to Utica on Saturday at Gaetano Stadium, 45-21.
Catholic (0-2) was limited to just 100 yards on 31 plays in the first half and trailed 35-7 at the half. The Cardinals outscored the Pioneers 14-10 in the second half while gaining 219 yards of total offense and holding Utica to just 107 yards.
Carson is the first Cardinal to post 100 yards receiving in a game since Joe Taylor had 126 yards against Washington and Lee on Oct. 8, 2016 at Cardinal Stadium. Carson is also the first player with 10 or more catches in a game since Lucas Morley had 10 at Bridgewater on Nov. 14, 2015.
Carson was one of 10 Cardinals with at least one catch on Saturday as sophomore Brady Berger completed 25-of-37 attempts for a season-high 235 yards and two touchdowns. Nonetheless, he was sacked twice and interepted three times, two of which led to Utica touchdown drives in the first half.
Utica (2-0) scored a touchdown on five of their first six possessions as it built a 35-0 lead with 5:05 left in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Catholic's first seven possessions ended in five punts and two interceptions before Berger connected with Carson for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining in the first half to get the Cardinals on the board before halftime.
After surrendering a field goal on the Pioneers' opening drive of the second half, Catholic mounted an 12-play, 70-yard drive down the Utica 1-yard line before Berger was intercepted in the end zone. However, on the return, the Cardinals forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by sophomore Chance LeGrand, cutting the Pioneer lead to 38-14.
Utica answered with a score of its own to push the lead back to 31 before Catholic forced a second fumble which led to a 15-yard touchdown pass from Berger to Carson to start the fourth quarter and provide the final margin.
The Cardinals were able to get the running game going in the third quarter, totaling 76 yards on 14 carries with Berger and sophomore Pedro Garcia running for 23 each. Garcia finished the game with 45 yards on 13 carries for an average of 3.5 per carry.
Carson totaled 156 all-purpose yards on the day while freshman Devin Miles saw the first action of his career at quarterback.
The Cardinals continue their three-game road trip next Saturday, Sept. 15 when they travel to Ashland, Virginia to take on Randolph-Macon at Day Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.