Tuesday, November 22, 2011

University of Albany's Zach Gallo Named Northeast Conference FCS Football Defensive Player of the Week - UAlbany Sports 2011

Somerset, N.J. - University at Albany's Zach Gallo has been selected Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Week in football, as announced on Monday, Nov. 21 by the conference office. He was honored for his performance in last Saturday's 31-21 victory over Sacred Heart which wrapped up a share of the NEC championship.

Gallo, a senior defensive tackle from Sayville, N.Y., set up the go-ahead score in the second half with his first career interception. He added five tackles and two pass break-ups to go along with his pivotal play. Gallo picked off a pass intended for SHU running back Sean Bell to give the Great Danes possession at the Pioneers' 23-yard line. QB Dan Di Lella later threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Ryan Kirchner for a 21-14 lead. Earlier in the day, Gallo deflected a third-and-seven pass intended for Sacred Heart tight end Rich Rossi. With UAlbany holding a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, Gallo stuffed SHU quarterback Tim Little for no gain on a third-and-one play. On the very next defensive series, he broke up a first-down pass attempt that was intended for receiver Rock Tate.

Gallo, who was one of 17 seniors making their final home appearance, is fourth on the team in tackles (58), plus has 3.5 hits for a loss and 2.0 sacks. He has 134 career tackles in 45 games played as a collegian.

Paw Prints: UAlbany (8-3, NEC 7-1) earned a share of its fifth Northeast Conference championship ... the Great Danes secured their first NCAA Division I FCS playoff berth ... UAlbany's lone NCAA appearance came as a Division III program in 1977 ... the Great Danes will be playing in their seventh postseason game, including a 2008 Gridiron Classic win over Jacksonville ... the Great Danes, who advanced to the postseason with victories in eight of their last nine games, have reached the eight-win mark for the fourth time at the FCS level ... QB Dan Di Lella threw four touchdown passes, including two in each half, against Sacred Heart ... Di Lella established the program's single-season record with 24 TD passes, breaking Joe Savino's 1997 record of 22 ... WR Ryan Kirchner, who set the program's FCS standard with three touchdown receptions vs. Sacred Heart, earned a College Football Performance Award in the honorable mention category ... TB Andrew Smith accounted for a season-high 215 all-purpose yards last week, the second-highest figure of his career ... Smith, who ran for 135 yards on 23 carries, became the eighth UA player to register 1,000 rushing yards in a season (1,052) ... the junior has a streak of nine straight games with 100-plus all-purpose yards and has moved to fourth in career yards with 3,218 ... DE Eddie Delaney had two second-half sacks and made six tackles against Sacred Heart ... the senior has eclipsed the program's FCS single-season record with 8.5 sacks.

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