Saturday, November 13, 2010

University of Albany's Dillon Romain Sets Freshman Rushing Record in FCS Football's 24-14 Northeast Conference Win - UAlbany Sports 2010

Albany, N.Y. - Freshman tailback Dillon Romain rushed for a career-high 193 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter in leading UAlbany to a 24-14 victory over Wagner in Northeast Conference play on Saturday, Nov. 13 at University Field.

Romain, who set the school's single-game freshman rushing mark, rumbled over the left side on a 25-yard touchdown run to break a 14-14 deadlock. He had all five carries on the first possession of the third quarter, including a 32-yard burst on the second play of the series. Albany (5-5, NEC 3-4) added a 37-yard field goal from Herb Glass with 7:09 left in the period. Wagner fell to 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

"The offensive line just took over in the third quarter," said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, who moved into a tie for fourth among the Division I FCS' winningest coaches with his 246th career victory. "We have four veteran offensive lineman and they played well. I have been pleading with the seniors to let's establish something for next year."

Wagner quarterback Nick Doscher, who passed for 251 yards and ran for a team-high 76 yards, had his club on the move in the third quarter down just seven points, but the Seahawks' scoring chance ended when receiver David Crawford was stripped by linebacker Dave Plungas at the five-yard line and the ball bounced through the end zone for a touchback.

The Great Danes thwarted two other Wagner scoring chances. Doscher was stuffed on fourth-and-goal at the Albany one-yard line by safety Justin Hassan and linebacker Said Gaida after the Seahawks had moved 11 plays from their own 37. In the final period with 6:09 to play, cornerback Ross Bertrand picked off Doscher to stamp out another drive.

"We knew they would run quarterback power in a goal-line situation," Gaida offered. "We did a great job of prepping for it all week and it just came down to execution. (Nick) Doscher makes their offense run. If you can contain him, you have a good chance of winning."

In the first quarter, the Seahawks took advantage of a fumbled punt by UAlbany's Ryan Kirchner when his own teammate backed up to him on an intended fair catch. Linebacker Dom Gaston covered the loose ball and two plays later Doscher hit receiver Tyrone Collins in the middle of the field for a 19-yard touchdown.

UAlbany regrouped with a quick-strike drive of just four plays that covered 69 yards. Quarterback Buddy Leathley found receiver Kevin Chillis deep down the middle for a 49-yard scoring play. And after the next Wagner drive stalled, Kirchner returned a punt 80 yards down the right sideline for a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. It was the second-longest punt return in school history and was sprung by Raymond Dorcely's block on the edge.

Running back Eric Foxworth capped a 12-play, 88-yard drive for the Seahawks to knot the score with 5:48 left before halftime. Foxworth, who rushed 14 times for 48 yards in the game, scored from 11 yards out when he darted over the left side and broke two tackles en route to the end zone.

UAlbany quarterback Buddy Leathley completed 8 of 15 passes for 150 yards. Romain's rushing total eclipsed a freshman standard previously held by Greg Garrett since 1996.

"They (offensive line) opened up huge holes and Andrew Smith had some blocks," said Romain, who has reached the century mark two straight weeks in a pair of UAlbany wins. "It's not that hard when they block like that. This is important for the older guys; they want to win their last games."

Paw Prints: UAlbany's Dillon Romain ran for 193 yards, the highest total by a Great Dane since the 2008 Gridiron Classic ... Romain set the school's freshman rushing standard and eclipsed Greg Garrett's previous mark when he piled up 150 yards vs. St. Lawrence on Sept. 21, 1996 ... Bob Ford moved into a tie for fourth place among NCAA FCS Division I's winningest coaches with his 246th career victory ... Wagner head coach Walt Hameline, who was Ford's assistant in the late 1970s, recorded his 200th career win last week ... PK Herb Glass moved into sixth place on the program's career scoring chart with 160 points ... ILB Dave Plungas had a career-high 13 tackles and forced a fumble ... Ryan Kirchner's 80-yard punt return is second only to an 84-yard runback by Ray Gay against Plattsburgh in 1977.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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