Saturday, September 7, 2013

University of Albany Football Holds Off Colgate, 37-34


HAMILTON, N.Y. – Using Omar Osbourne’s historic running performance and a few key defensive plays, the University at Albany football team overcame the hosting Colgate University Raiders, 37-34, Saturday night at Andy Kerr Stadium. With the victory, the Great Danes improve to 1-1 on the season, while the Raiders fall to 0-2.

The biggest defensive play of the game came with 4:26 remaining in the ball game.  Colgate faced fourth-and-goal on the one-yard line, trailing by three, 30-27, and chose to take a gamble. Going for it with a run play, the Great Danes’ defensive line suffocated the attempt and gave UAlbany possession on a turnover of downs.

The Danes then drove 99-yards down the gridiron on the back of Osbourne’s four carries, including a 36-yarder, as well as Presley Beauvais’ drive-capping 45-yard touchdown scamper. With Tom O’Riordan’s point-after attempt sailing through the uprights, the Great Danes held a 37-27 lead with 1:34 remaining.

While Colgate did answer with a touchdown of their own with 18 seconds remaining, UAlbany handled the on-sides kick with ease, securing their first win of the 2013 season.

Topping his career-high in the first half alone, junior running back Omar Osbourne rushed for 252 yards with 35 carries, marking the third-best rushing performance in program history. Osbourne also crossed the goal line twice and totaled 260 all-purpose yards.

Beauvais totaled 59 yards with six carries, while wildcat quarterback Jake Meek rushed the ball four times, totaling 27 yards.

Senior wide receiver Kevin Chillis also racked up the yards, recording his second straight 100+ receiving game, connecting with Will Fiacchi five times for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Fiacchi totaled 180 passing yards, completing 13-of-24 attempts with just one interception.

Defensively, junior Christian Dorsey finished with a career-high 12 tackles, including nine unassisted, as well as forced a fumble. TJ Idowu and Cody Greenhagen both tallied seven tackles, while Clay Harris brought down six, and Alex Helmer tackled five, including a sack for a loss of nine yards.

After falling behind early in the season-opener at Duquesne a week ago, the Great Danes responded with a quick spark versus Colgate. On the very first play after kickoff, Tramaine Wilson picked off Gavin McCarney’s pass, immediately putting momentum in the Danes’ favor.

Four rushing plays later, UAlbany took its first lead of the season, 7-0, on Osbourne’s five-yard touchdown rush and O’Riordan’s kick.

On the next drive, Colgate marched 72 yards down the field on eight plays and looked to tie it up. However, McCarney tried to stretch the ball one-handed across the goal line, the ball knocked loose, and rolled out of the end zone, handing UAlbany possession with a touchback.

The Great Danes took advantage, using 13 plays to set up O’Riordan’s 32-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 5:00 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The defending Patriot League champions responded with their first points of the game, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive with John Wilkins’ one-yard touchdown rush with 1:02 left in the opening stanza.

Holding a steady upper hand throughout the first half, UAlbany answered back with 14 straight points, sparked by the Great Dane defense. Dorsey stripped the ball from Wilkins and Kyle Jordan recovered. Wilkins was knocked out of the game with a knee injury on the play.

Again, UAlbany took full advantage of the Colgate miscue, as Fiacchi connected a 51-yard touchdown pass to Chillis with 8:29 to go in the half.

Forcing Colgate to punt, the Great Danes struck again on their next possession with the help of five Osbourne rushes and a 33-yard reception by Chillis. Beauvais capped the 92-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run for a 24-7 lead with 2:44 on the clock in the second quarter.

After a defensive stop for the Raiders, Colgate made it a 10-point game, 24-14, heading into halftime as McCarney finished an eight-play, 67-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Nat Bellamy.

Out of the break, UAlbany struck again, as Osbourne rushed for 15-yards into the end zone on a fourth-and-1 situation, stretching the lead to 30-14 with 10:02 on the clock.

Still hanging around, Colgate answered with a touchdown of their own, as Jimmy DeCicco scampered 40-yards into the end zone with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

Becoming a real threat, the Raiders cut the deficit to three points after picking off Fiacchi’s pass on the 16-yard line, and then rushed for another quick touchdown, making the score, 30-27 with 14:55 left in the game.

However, that is when the Danes’ defense stepped up and held off the Raiders for the remainder of the way.

UAlbany returns to action Saturday, September 14th, when they host Rhode Island for the Great Danes’ inaugural CAA contest and first game at Bob Ford Field.

Albany vs Colgate (Sept 7, 2013 at Hamilton, N.Y.)

Albany (1-1) vs. Colgate (0-2)

Date: Sept 7, 2013 • Site: Hamilton, N.Y.  • Stadium: Andy Kerr Stadium  •  Attendance: 5217

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