Pioneers enter bye week with momentum

There's no place like home for the Utica College football team.

The Pioneers improved to 2-0 at Gaetano Stadium and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 28-24 win over Hartwick last Saturday.

"We had a couple tough road losses against some good Empire 8 teams," head coach Blaise Faggiano said.  "I think at the end of the year Brockport and Alfred will be towards the top, but Hartwick is a good football team.  They came off a big win against St. John Fisher the week before and it came right down to the wire.  Our kids came up with big plays when they needed to."

The biggest play came from quarterback Vinny Aloi, who was starting his first career game in place of Peyton Miller.  Aloi scored the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds to play after the Pioneers let a 21-7 lead slip away.

"That was one heck of a play (by Vinny)," running back Nicodemus Gambill said.  "It was a bobbled snap and then he just made a big time play for our team."

While Aloi ended up being the hero, he would rather share the spotlight with the rest of his teammates who helped set up the game-deciding drive.

"Our playmakers stepped up," Aloi said.  "It felt great for me to finish off the drive, but all the credit goes to everyone else."

The Pioneers will now enjoy a week off before returning to action a week from Saturday.

"We have to fight our way back into it," Faggiano said.  "We're definitely excited to be home three out of our last four games."

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