NORTHFIELD, Vt. - In a game characterized by steady snow fall and a field covered by two inches of snow, Norwich posted a 31-0 victory over the Catholic University football team in a NEWMAC contest at Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium Saturday.
The Cardinals (0-8, 0-5 NEWMAC) totaled a season-high 95 yards rushing, including a career-high 57 yards from sophomore Johnny Pickett and 49 from freshman Bryan Melara. However, the team was just 2-of-15 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down while being forced to punt nine times.
Catholic limited the Cadets (3-5, 2-3 NEWMAC) to 297 yards of total offense while forcing eight punts, but Norwich scored on a 46-yard touchdown run on its first play from scrimmage, providing the only points it would need just 1:41 into the game.
The Cadets ran the ball 48 times for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Conner and Connor Bourque both rushed four 107 yards while combining for three touchdowns.
After surrending a touchdown on their opening drive, the Cardinals held Norwich to just three points on its next eight possessions with senior Jake Marcelino snatching his first interception of the season late in the first quarter. He now leads the team with eight passes defensed this season.
Catholic held the Cadets to just 95 yards in the first half and found itself within striking distance, trailing just 10-0 at halftime.
However, Norwich scored touchdowns on three of its first four second-half possessions, scoring on runs of 52, 1 and 69 yards to take a 31-0 lead with 12:59 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Cadets had 202 yards of total offense in the second half, all of it rushing as they attempted just one pass, while controlling the ball for 19 out of 30 minutes.
The Cardinals used three quarterbacks on Saturday with sophomore Nick Gonzalez leading the way with nine completions and 52 yards passing. Sophomore Pedro Garcia led the team in receiving with three catches for 36 yards while freshman Mark Cheffers totaled 81 all-purpose yards.
Defensively, freshman Erik Lightner had a game-high 10 tackles, including one for loss.
Catholic returns home for the first of two home games to conclude the 2018 season next Saturday, November 3 when it welcomes Merchant Marine to Cardinal Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.