Hartwick College quarterback Jason Boltus completed 17 of 23 passes for 301 yards Saturday and had a hand in all five Hawks' touchdowns in a 32-30 victory over 24th-ranked Ithaca College at Wright Stadium.
The victory was the first for Hartwick (1-1, 1-0 Empire 8 Conference) since the college's football program was re-established in 1992. Ithaca (2-1, 1-1) had won the last six meetings and had not lost to the Hawks since the 1948 season.
"Our guys executed the gameplan and had a ton of energy and enthusiasm," said Hartwick coach Mark Carr, whose team beat a nationally ranked squad for the first time in the program's modern era. "It was a great game. Our kids deserved it. They played really well. I talked to the kids about the three E's: I wanted energy, enthusiasm and execution, and they did all three."
Boltus helped lead Hartwick back from a 23-20 halftime deficit by scoring a touchdown on a 1-yard run on the team's second drive of the second half. The run capped a six-play, 65-yard drive that included a blocked extra point and gave Hartwick a 26-23 lead.
"He's a guy who has a lot of physical ability and is growing every day as a quarterback," Carr said of Boltus. "A game like that, he played almost perfect. He did everything we asked him to do. When it was open deep, he got it to the guys. When it was time to dump it, he dumped it. When it was time to tuck and run, he ran it. He had a really good feel for the game, made a lot of great decisions and physically went out and did it."
After Ithaca kicker Dillon Dwyer missed a 25-yard field goal on its next drive, Boltus threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jack Phelan for a 32-23 lead seven seconds into the fourth quarter.
Ithaca quarterback Dan Juvan closed the scoring with a 4-yard run with 3:12 remaining. Boltus, faced with a fourth-and-1 at the Hawks' 42 with 1:42 left, ran 16 yards down the right side for a first down on a fake punt to seal it. Carr called two consecutive timeouts before Boltus' run.
"We had a couple (of fake punts) in for the Ithaca game and Jason really was the guy who was pushing for it," Carr said. "The guys did the rest and did a great job blocking for it and Jason did a great job running it."
Running back Lindy Crea caught a 60-yard TD pass from Boltus in the second quarter and gained 218 all-purpose yards to become the school's all-time leader in that category, eclipsing A.J. Pittorino's previous total of 6,116 yards. Crea caught five passes for 112 yards, returned two kickoffs for 37 yards and rushed for 59 yards on 14 carries. He now has 6,331 all-purpose yards.
"He is a great athlete and he is a triple-threat for us," Carr said of Crea.
Dan Contrastano made 13 tackles, including a tackle for a loss, to lead the Hawks' defense. Hartwick hosts Husson College at 1 p.m. this Saturday.