Saturday, October 9, 2010

University of Albany Football Shuts Down NEC Opponent Saint Francis, 48-0, Before 6,624 Fans on Homecoming - UAlbany Sports 2010

Albany, N.Y. - Dan Di Lella passed for two touchdowns and Dillon Romain scored on a pair of runs in leading UAlbany to a 48-0 victory over Saint Francis, Pa. on Saturday, Oct. 9 in Northeast Conference play. The Great Danes were home for the first time this season after opening with four consecutive road games.

UAlbany (3-2, NEC 1-1) scored on four of its first five possessions en route to a 24-0 halftime advantage. After a short punt, Di Lella finished a five-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to John Lullen. The junior quarterback then directed his team on a 68-yard march for a 14-0 lead. He twice connected on third-down throws with Ryan Kirchner for 36 yards and fullback Justin Peterson for 10 more. Romain, a true freshman, capped the series with a two-yard blast.

Herb Glass booted the first of two field goals, a 45-yarder, after his team took advantage of another short punt into a 17-mile-per-hour wind. Kirchner returned another kick 14 yards into Red Flash territory to set up a second-quarter touchdown. Andrew Smith, who carried 14 times for 80 yards, swept to the right and split a pair of defenders on a 17-yard scoring dash.

UAlbany, the last Division I FBS or FCS program to play at home this season, turned a couple of Saint Francis' miscues into two third-quarter touchdowns. Paul Layton's punt into the wind hit the Red Flash's Michael Durr and Duane Harper recovered the loose ball at Saint Francis' 24. Di Lella, who completed 16 of 20 attempts for 170 yards, hit tight end Paul Booker with a 2-yard TD pass in a third-and-goal situation. Running back Taylor Holby fumbled on the Red Flash's next possession and safety Rob Cervini made the recovery. Romain, who had 58 rushing yards, reached the end zone from one yard away for a 38-0 margin.

"Games are won and lost in the trenches," said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, whose team improved to 27-11 in homecoming contests. "The defensive line took their run game away and we able to play (on offense) with a short field. Dan Di Lella is work in progress, but he probably had his best game."

In the fourth period, second-string quarterback Buddy Leathley tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Rhakeem Wiggins and Glass added a 42-yard field goal to wrap up the scoring. Tailback Ben Miseikis added 68 on the ground for an offense that piled up 417 total yards. Meanwhile, UAlbany's defense held Saint Francis (1-4, NEC 1-2) to 81 yards of offense, including 29 through the air. Quarterback John Kelly connected on just 6 of 15 attempts.

"We swarmed to the football and gang-tackled," stated UAlbany linebacker Chris Blais, who had five tackles and one pass break-up. "We are starting to get our swagger back. Last week's Yale win got us back on our feet."

Saint Francis' Kyle Harbridge, who ranked third among the nation's all-purpose runners, was scratched before kickoff with a groin and hamstring injury. Jude Yearwood, a senior, ran 14 times for 44 yards in his absence.

"The field position was the big thing," offered Di Lella, whose team was welcomed home by a crowd of 6,624, the largest in the program's Division I FCS era. "We wasted field position at Yale. The special teams and defense got us on the right side of the field. We were focused and dialed in before the game."

Paw Prints: UAlbany's defense recorded its second shutout of the season and tenth as a Division I FCS program ... the Red Flash ran just 40 offensive plays ... the Great Danes have won five consecutive homecoming games and have a 27-11 all-time record ... the attendance of 6,624 is the largest crowd at University Field since Nov. 6, 1978 ... Air Force Major General Mike Basla was involved in the pre-game coin toss ... Basla was a starting offensive tackle on UAlbany's first varsity teams in 1973 and 1974 ... UAlbany's total yards (417) were the highest since the 2009 season finale at Wagner ... Robert Morris was the last opponent to be held to less than 100 yards in total offense on Nov. 4, 2006 ... CB Leon Saddler had four tackles for the fourth consecutive game and broke up a pass ... DE Mike Kelly reached the 100-career tackle mark.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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