Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stephen F. Austin Blitzes Football, 59-14, in First Trip to State of Texas

Nacogdoches, Texas - Quarterback Jeremy Moses threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns and Grayln Crawford scored on a kickoff return and punt return in leading Stephen F. Austin to a 59-14 victory over UAlbany on Saturday, Sept. 11 before 9,483 fans at Homer Bryce Stadium. The Lumberjacks, who were playing their home opener, are ranked No. 10 by Sports Network and No. 12 in the FCS Coaches' Poll.

Stephen F. Austin (1-1) showed why they are a national top-10 program right from the start when Crawford raced 92 yards to the end zone with the opening kickoff. Ryan Epperson then ran for a two-point conversion off a faked point-after attempt.

The Great Danes closed the gap to 8-7 on their first offensive possession by marching 67 yards in 15 plays. Quarterback Dan Di Lella twice completed third-down passes, including a 24-yarder to tailback Tramaine Wilson that kept the series moving. Di Lella scored on fourth down from inside SFA's one on a quarterback sneak.

From there All-America quarterback Jeremy Moses led his team on a run of 31 unanswered points. The Walter Payton Award candidate threw for 265 yards and three scores in the half. He fired an 11-yard strike to Anthony Foster in the back of the end zone. Following a blocked punt the Caleb Nelson, the senior tossed a 6-yard TD pass by hitting Crawford with a lofted throw over the UAlbany cornerback for a 22-7 advantage.

The Lumberjacks, who won the Southland Conference championship and reached the NCAA FCS playoffs for the fifth time in their history last year, added Logan Barrett's 28-yard field goal to end a 25-point opening quarter. In the second quarter, Moses capped an 8-play, 86-yard drive with a 3-yard pass over the middle to Cordell Robinson for a touchdown. Linebacker Devin Ducote picked off a Di Lella pass with less than a minute left before the intermission and rumbled 18 yards to paydirt.

"I was impressed with their overall team speed," said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, whose team was meeting a top-10 FCS opponent for the sixth time. "Their quarterback has a quick release and is always on target. We had breakdowns on special teams. We were too aggressive on the opening kicked and didn't block the punt correctly."

In the third quarter, Romonte' Hampton's rushing and receiving keyed an eight-play scoring drive. The sophomore running powered his way through the middle on a 4-yard TD run on his team's first possession of the period. Hampton finished 57 rushing yards and caught four passes for 60 yards. Crawford then scored his second special teams touchdown when he appeared to be stopped in his tracks but then broke loose and picked his way up the sideline on a 72-yard jaunt for a 52-7 advantage. Crawford added seven receptions for 55 yards.

UAlbany put together a 12-play, 72-yard scoring sequence. Di Lella, who connected on 21 of 36 passes for 173 yards, completed six attempts during the drive, including a 26-yarder in the middle of the zone to Nick Hutcherson. Redshirt freshman Ben Miseikis bulled over the right side from 1-yard out on fourth down for the touchdown.

"We took a step back tonight," stated Ford, whose team has a bye next week. "But the good news is we have two weeks to get ready for our conference opener."

Paw Prints: UAlbany made its first trip to the state of Texas and was playing a Southland Conference opponent for the first time ... the Great Danes are now 4-14 against national top-25 programs ... ILB Chris Wilk made a career-high 10 tackles ... OLB Alex Helmer and CB Randall Exantus each recorded his first interception as collegians ... QB Dan Di Lella rushed for his first career touchdown in the opened quarter ... UAlbany head coach Bob Ford turned 73 on Sept. 11.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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