Saturday, November 20, 2010

University of Albany's Trevor Anderson & Seniors Lead FCS Football to Season-Ending 28-19 Win Against Monmouth - UAlbany Sports 2010

Albany, N.Y. - Jon Morgan scored on a 21-yard fumble return late in the fourth quarter and UAlbany held on for its third straight win in a 28-19 Northeast Conference victory over Monmouth at University Field.

Monmouth (3-8, NEC 3-5) trailed 21-13 in the fourth quarter before putting together an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Kyle Frazier threw a 33-yard completion to flanker Fritz Pollard and a 22-yard pass to tight end Mike McLafferty to set up the touchdown. L.J. Caprio, out of a wildcat formation, reached paydirt from two yards out over the left side. Frazier overthrew McLafferty in the back left corner of the end zone in a two-point conversion pass attempt.

UAlbany (6-5, NEC 4-4) recovered the onside kick, but went three-and-out and punted. On third-and-10 from the Monmouth 28, Frazier was sacked from behind by defensive tackle Trevor Anderson and Morgan picked up the fumble and raced to end zone with 1:30 to play. Cornerback Ross Bertrand sealed the outcome by picking off Frazier at his own 37 in the final minute.

"It's surreal feeling to make a play and help win a game," said Anderson, who had six tackles and 1.5 sacks and was one of 13 seniors participating in his final college game. "It's a great way to go out and make a play for everyone else. To win three games at the end shows the spirit and character of this team. We had a lot of reasons not to quit."

The Great Danes, who registered a school-record fifth consecutive winning campaign, jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter. Sophomore tailback Andrew Smith went 44 yards with a faked punt to the Monmouth one-yard line and then scored on the next offensive play. After Eric Spillane kicked a 25-yard field goal, UAlbany's Dillon Romain returned the kickoff 48 yards into Monmouth territory. Ben Miseikis, a redshirt freshman, darted over right guard on a 10-yard touchdown run.

"We had a great first half on special teams with a faked punt, a quick kick and some kickoff returns," explained UAlbany's Bob Ford, who moved into fourth among the all-time winningest Division I FCS coaches with his 247th career victory. "The wind played havoc and just knocked the ball down. I was proud of the way the seniors played in the fourth quarter."

The Hawks, who trailed 14-6 at halftime, closed the gap at the start of the second half. A heavy wind knocked down Jarrod Goodarz's kickoff and teammate Jose Gumbs was able to grab the football out of the air before Romain could haul it in. Frazier, who completed 20 of 40 passes for 219 yards, finished off a short five-play drive with a 4-yard TD run around right end.

A series of events produced UAlbany's third touchdown. The Hawks stopped Romain on fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line. However, Monmouth had a mix-up in the backfield on its first play and defensive tackle Zach Gallo stripped Frazier and outside linebacker Chris Blais recovered the fumble. Quarterback Buddy Leathley scored on a one-yard sneak with 8:01 left in the period.
UAlbany's Smith and Romain rushed for 79 and 71 yards, respectively. UAlbany's defense forced four turnovers and limited the visitors to 102 net yards on the ground.

"The seniors have always been a part of winning," offered senior defensive end Mike Kelly, who had nine tackles and thwarted a third-quarter Monmouth drive with a 38-yard interception return. "The defense held on the two-point pass and we were able to come up with a couple of turnovers (in the fourth quarter). Walking off the field for the last time is not easy."

Paw Prints: UAlbany finished in a tie for fourth place in the Northeast Conference standings ... Robert Morris and Central Connecticut State shared the championship, but the RMU Colonials earned the automatic NCAA FCS playoff berth by winning the head-to-head matchup ... the Great Danes have posted five straight winning season for the first time, breaking the mark of four in a row set from 1996-99 ... ILB Jon Morgan was also the last UAlbany player to score on a fumble return when he went 56 yards to the end zone against Duquesne on Oct. 10, 2009 ... S Jake Ciccarello made a career-high 10 tackles ... TB Dillon Romain accounted for 159 all-purpose yards, the fourth time he has toppled the 100-mark this season ... WR Ryan Kirchner finished with 50 receptions, the fifth-best single-season total ... DT Trevor Anderson (146), CB Ross Bertrand (143) and DE Mike Kelly (137) each completed his career with 135-plus tackles ... Bob Ford moved past Dayton's Mike Kelly into fourth place among NCAA FCS Division I's winningest coaches.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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