Former Hartwick College quarterback Jason Boltus has expanded his horizons.
After spending three seasons in the Canadian Football League, Baldwinsville native Boltus led the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League to a season-opening road victory Sept. 28.
Boltus rushed for a 12-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, then threw back-to-back touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as Omaha beat the Sacramento Mountain Lions, 24-20, in front of 8,028 fans.
His rushing TD pulled the Nighthawks to 17-10 with 2 minutes, 34 seconds left in third period. Boltus finished with 23 rushing yards on six carries.
He also completed a 15-yard TD pass to Terrence Toliver with 5:24 left, then hit Cameron Kenney for a 14-yard scoring pass with 2:16 to play. The latter set up placekicker Brandon Coutu for the final point.
Boltus, 26, completed 23 of 40 passes for 256 yards and was intercepted twice.
Omaha followed with a 41-6 loss at the Las Vegas Locomotives on Wednesday. Boltus finished 16-for-34 for 200 yards and was intercepted once before backup quarterback GJ Kinne took over at the start of the third quarter. Kinne went 6-for-15 for 53 yards and was picked off twice in his pro debut.
Boltus spent the last three seasons in the CFL on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ roster. He joined the Tiger-Cats as a free agent after getting passed over in the 2009 NFL draft.
The only Division III player invited to the NFL Combine in 2009, Boltus won back-to-back Hartwick Male Athlete of the Year awards (2007, 2008), consecutive Offensive Player of the Year accolades from the Empire 8 Conference and d3football.com the same seasons, and the 2007 Melberger Award as the nation’s best D-III player.
Boltus also set the NCAA D-III passing record for total yards – finishing with 14,231 over his four seasons – after transferring to Hartwick from Division I University at Albany.