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Utica University football caps perfect non-conference schedule

Posted 9/19/22

The Utica University football team is 3-0 for the second time in as many seasons. Kicker Corey Lichtman was successful on three field goals and the Pioneers’ defense turned in two key stops.

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Utica University football caps perfect non-conference schedule

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The Utica University football team is 3-0 for the second time in as many seasons.

Kicker Corey Lichtman was successful on three field goals and the Pioneers’ defense turned in two key stops inside their own 10-yard line defensively to help Utica earn a 23-21 no-conference win Saturday at host Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Lichtman, who is from Long Island, had field goals of 42, 26, and 50 yards and earned Empire 8 Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday. Lichtman’s 50-yard kick ties the school mark set in 2009.

Utica also has wins over the University of Rochester and Kean to be 3-0 for the third time since 2016. The team started last season 3-0 before losing to Union in Week 4. Utica and Union — No. 25 in the latest d3football.com rankings — are scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Saturday in Schenectady.

On Saturday, Utica only trailed 3-0 in the first quarter before taking the lead later in the quarter on quarterback Braeden Zenelovic’s one-yard touchdown run. Receiver Nate Palmer, a Vernon-Verona-Sherrill graduate, caught a touchdown pass from Zenelovic in the second quarter to give Utica an eight-point cushion. Lichtman’s second field goal made it 20-9 at halftime.

In the fourth quarter, Lichtman added the 26-year-old field in between a WNE touchdowns. WNE had a chance to tie with 6:18 left but the ensuing two-point conversion pass failed. Utica forced a turnover on downs on WNE’s final drive.

Palmer finished with 124 yards on six catches, five of which were from the first half and has three consecutive games with 100 or more yards. Fellow VVS grad and senior wideout Travis Decker had three catches for 44 yards.

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