Cardinals drop road opener at Carnegie Mellon

Cardinals drop road opener at Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – CUA hung tough with Carnegie Mellon until the Tartans pulled away for a 35-17 win on Friday evening.  The Cardinals trailed by only four before CMU scored 21 straight to break the game open and remain unbeaten (3-0).  CUA falls to 1-2 following the loss.

The Tartans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Jared Delello scored from one yard out 3:30 into the game.  The Tartans set up the score with a 42-yard scamper by Delello and a 31-yard reception by Patrick Blanks.

CUA punted on its first possession, but got the ball right back when Zolen Rodriguez caused a fumble and Kevin Ross scooped it up.

The turnover led to a 24-yard field goal by Timbo McGarry to get the Cardinals on the board.

CMU came right back with a 65-yard scoring strike from Rob Kalkstein to Timothy Swanson to put the Tartans in front 14-3.

The back-and-forth continued as CUA went on a 12-play, 85-yard drive that ended on a one-yard touchdown run by Nick Cortese, and pulled the Cardinals back within four.  The score remained that way when the teams retired for halftime.

After the ball changed hands to begin the third quarter, Carnegie Mellon increased its lead when Kalkstein hit Tim Kikta for a 28-yard score, making it 21-10.

CUA then went three-and-out, and three plays later Kalkstein struck again, this time connecting with Blanks from 19 yards away to up the margin to 18.

The Cardinals had trouble getting going on offense in the second half, punting on their first three possessions. 

Towards the end of the third, CMU upped its lead with a one-yard TD run by Delello.

CUA scored the game's final touchdown with 3:14 remaining when Greg Cordivari hit Tucker Hubbell for a 32-yard score.

The Cardinals then tried an on-sides kick, but the Tartans were able to recover. 

CUA got the ball back one final time, but wound up turning it over on downs.

CUA finished with more first downs than Carnegie Mellon (21-16), and nearly 100 more rushing yards (213-120), led by Mike Pitsenberger's 127 yards on 13 carries (9.8 avg.). 

Cortese finished with 63 yards rushing on 15 carries and Amilcar Ferrufino added 18 yards on three carries.

Cordivari threw for 179 yards and the one score, and Alonzo Cooke came down with seven receptions for 35 yards.

Conor Stueckler was CUA's leading tackler with 10 stops, including one for loss, and Ross and Vinny Cortese were next in line with eight tackles apiece.

Kalkstein had a big night for CMU, completing 10 of 12 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns, with Swanson hauling in three of those passes for 128 yards and a score.

Delello was the Tartans leading rusher, totaling 74 yards on 12 carries, while Blanks totaled 61 yards on the ground and 50 yards in receiving yards.

The Tartans defense was led by double-digit efforts from Robe Winkelman (13) and Akwasi Brefo (10).

CUA is off next week before returning to action on Saturday, September 29 when the Cardinals welcome Hampden-Sydney in the 2012 ODAC opener for both teams.  Kick-off from inside Cardinal Stadium is set for 1 p.m.