Football

Snow College rolls to blowout victory over ASA College in 1st-ever Carrier Dome Bowl

Snow College (Utah) quarterback Christian Stewart called it fate that his team made the trip to Syracuse for the inaugural Carrier Dome Bowl.

Stewart made sure his team made the most of the trip, earning the bowl’s offensive MVP award after accumulating 284 passing yards and three touchdowns in the No. 4 Badgers’ 47-21 victory over No. 3 ASA College (N.Y.) at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

“It’s a great honor playing here,” Stewart said. “We just changed our colors to orange and blue and white this year and we have the Syracuse ‘S’ (as) our logo.”

Snow (11-1, 8-0 Western Football League) dominated the second and third quarters, scoring 33 points while shutting out the Avengers (9-1, 5-0 Northeast Football Conference), to seal the win.

ASA came into the bowl averaging 50.1 points per game – second-best in the National Junior College Athletic Association – and ranked first in scoring defense, passing defense and rushing defense. But those figures didn’t shake the Badgers.

“We had great preparation,” said defensive lineman Jake Miller, the bowl’s defensive MVP. “We don’t get scared of people who put up a lot of points.”

Snow struck first on its second possession of the game when Stewart found Evan Moeai for a 21-yard touchdown with 7:28 left in the first quarter. A few possessions later, ASA responded, evening the score with a 1-yard touchdown run by Hosey Williams at the end of the first quarter.

The Badgers then recovered a dropped punt by the Avengers and kicked a 43-yard field goal to take a lead in the second quarter – one they would never surrender.

On 2nd-and-15 from Snow’s 25-yard line in the second quarter, Stewart threw a deep ball to the sideline for receiver Damond Powell, who fought with ASA’s Donte Williams for position. The ball was tipped up, but Powell was in the perfect spot to snatch the ball out of the air.

Williams fell to the turf,  and Powell high-stepped his way into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown that gave Snow a 17-7 lead.

“It was a crazy catch but hey, when you got concentration like that, you can still make those catches,” Powell said.

The Badgers didn’t stop there.

After the defense forced another three-and-out, Stewart rolled to his right and hit Powell running across the field for a 37-yard gain. Two plays later, Breon Allen took a handoff eight yards into the end zone. Snow added a field goal in the final minute before halftime and led 26-7.

ASA received the second half’s opening kickoff, but the team couldn’t get back in the game on a day its quarterback Daniel Pietrangelo was sacked four times.

Three more touchdowns gave Snow a commanding lead and 47 points on the scoreboard. The Avengers had allowed 77 points combined in its nine regular-season games.

ASA’s powerful offense – which averaged 264.1 rushing yards per game – the was forced to turn to its weaker passing game to try to get back in the game. The tough Badger defense picked off Pietrangelo three times in a strong effort to help seal the win.

“I think a lot of it was the physicality. Guys were getting off the ball real well,” Snow head coach Tyler Hughes said. “The coverage was physical too. We had some pressures that I think they were having some trouble with. And we were able to get to the quarterback and make things happen faster than they wanted to go.”

It all translated to the blowout victory for the Badgers, a win highlighted by Stewart’s play at quarterback as Hughes said he elevated his teammates’ play once again.

Stewart won’t be returning next year, but the Badgers’ victory Saturday won’t soon be forgotten.

“It’s a great opportunity for the guys to come out here and play in this venue and be at Syracuse,” Hughes said. “And to come out here in the first Carrier Dome Bowl and play the way we did, certainly we’ll remember this for a long, long time. Probably forever.”

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