Blaise Faggiano and the Utica University Pioneers are hitting the road on Friday as they prepare to play in the program's first NCAA Division III Football Tournament this weekend.

The 9-1 Pioneers are scheduled to play the Susquehanna University River Hawks, who will enter the game undefeated. Utica has a noon kick-off on Saturday at Susquehanna, playing on the Amos Alonzo Staff Field at Doug Arthur Stadium.

Utica finished off Empire 8 Athletic Conference action this past weekend with a 35-21 road victory over St. John Fischer. Quarterback Braedon Zenelovic threw for 290 yards and four-touchdown passes in the win. He was intercepted once. The Senior QB also caught two passes for 48-yards.

(Jeff Monaski, WIBX)
(Jeff Monaski, WIBX)

The Pioneers wound up second in the Empire 8 with a 5-1 conference record, 9-1 overall. Their lone defeat came against the conference champ, SUNY Cortland who went a perfect 6-0 in conference play (and 9-1 overall). In the most recent ranking available as of this posting (through Nov. 6), Utica is ranked sixth in Region 2. Cortland is ranked No.1 in Region 2, and ranked second is the Pioneers' opponent - Susquehanna.

SUNY Cortland earned a bid for their success this season - they're in the same wing of the bracket, in fact - and will host Randolph-Macon. FULL BRACKET HERE

The Susquehanna River Hawks come from the Centennial Conference were they tore through the competition at 9-0 in-conference and 10-0 overall. They've won 12-straight dating back to last season.

The winner of Utica-Susquehanna the winner of Mount Union v. Salisbury the following Saturday.

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