This past Saturday, Nov. 16, former Wilton High School football co-captain Joey McFadden got to be part of college football history, when the Ithaca College Bombers (8-2) beat the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons (8-2) 32-20 in the 61st Cortaca Jug game. As important as this heated rivalry is in upstate New York, what made this game historic was where it was played and how many fans attended.
The game was held at Met-Life stadium, home of the NFL New York Giants and Jets, in front of 45,161 fans, the largest crowd ever to attend a Division III college football game. The National Football Foundation was key to moving the game, as part of the 150 year commemoration of college football.
McFadden, a junior at Ithaca College and former co-captain of the 2016 Wilton Warriors football team was on the field, in the defensive line, for the victorious Bombers.
“The NFL-level experience was amazing,” said McFadden. “From the first-class locker room, to entering the field through the fog, seeing the fireworks after the National Anthem, and the roar of the crowd all added to the most important part which was beating a strong Cortland team for the third straight year.”
McFadden is looking forward to returning home during the upcoming holiday break to root for the Wilton Warriors against Trinity Catholic/Wright Tech, their traditional Thanksgiving rival. That game is an away, non-conference game at Trinity in Stamford at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28.
An earlier version of this article misstated the year McFadden was captain of the WHS Warrior football team. He was captain in 2016, not 2017.