Local News, Local Sports

Cortland State Football D3 National Champs; Team Being Welcomed Back Today


Update: Time of teams arrival has been updated between 6:15 and 6:30pm

The Cortland Red Dragons are National Champs after winning the Stag Bowl in dramatic fashion last night. Cortland won the D3 National Championship over defending champs North Central, 38-37 in Salem, Virginia.

The team is expected to arrive back in Cortland today (12/16) between 6:15 and 6:30 pm, depending on traffic. You can celebrate and line up as team gets off I81 and heads south on 281 and to the Campus at Lankler Drive.

The game was a battle all first half as neither team scored in the first 29 minutes.

Before half Cortland found itself down 7-3. The second half featured 65 combined points between the teams, with Red Dragons quarterback Zac Boyes throwing five second-half touchdown passes. The last one, a 21-yard TD pass to Cole Burgess with 1:41 remaining in the game, turned out to be the difference.

North Central answered quickly, with quarterback Luke Lehnen throwing a 40-yard TD pass to DeAngelo Hardy just 21 seconds later, but the Cardinals went for two, and Lehnen was stopped short of the end zone.

The Red Dragons prevailed thanks to that stop on North Central’s attempted 2-point conversion with 1:20 left.

Boyes was 26 for 34 passing for 349 yards, outdueling his counterpart Lehnen, who had earlier been named the Gagliardi Trophy winner as Division III’s best player. Boyes also ran for 123 yards in the win.

Red Dragons quarterback Zac Boyes was named the MVP, finishing 26-34 for 349 yards and five touchdowns. Boyes added 123 yards on the ground. Cole Burgess hauled in 11 receptions for 134 yards and two scores.

Cortland becomes the first team from the state of New York to win the Division III National Championship, since Ithaca in 1991. The Red Dragons finish the year with their first National title in program history at 14-1.

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