Courtesy of Salisbury Athletics
– Sophomore quarterback Dan Griffin factored in five touchdowns on Saturday afternoon as the Salisbury University football team earned a 52-21 victory at Union (N.Y.) College.
Griffin figured in his first two touchdowns in the first quarter. He broke away for a 54-yard scoring run midway through the first quarter to give the Gulls a 7-0 lead. After the Salisbury defense stymied the Dutchmen, Griffin had another drive and capitalized with his third aerial strike of the year, connecting on a 45-yard touchdown pass to junior Tyler Curley.
The 14-0 lead lasted into the second quarter, before Union was able to get on the board for the first time. Drew Connolly scored on a 2-yard run for the Dutchmen, to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half. It marked one of the few successful running plays for the Dutchmen in the game as the Sea Gull defense held Union to negative-12 rushing yards.
Salisbury had posted 259 yards of total offense in the first half, and exploded after the break, accumulating nearly 400 yards of total offense in the third and fourth quarters.
Junior superback Randal Smedley rumbled 71 yards for a score just under two minutes after halftime to push the lead back to two possessions before Union scored on an 18-yard pass play. The Dutchmen found some success through the air, completing 24-of-45 passes for 324 yards on the day. The score marked the final time that the Dutchmen would be within one score as the Gulls stretched the lead to 42-14 before Union would find the end zone again.
Griffin connected on a 92-yard scoring pass to senior Alex Boseman before putting together two more rushing scores. Griffin scored on runs of 47 and 52 yards to cap off his day. The sophomore ran for 196 yards while completing 2-of-5 passes for 137 yards. The 92-yard strike to Boseman is a program record for the longest pass play. The previous long, of 89 yards, was set in 1979, a pass from Tony Bell to Chuck Hebron against Frostburg State University.
Smedley had 22 carries in the game for 210 yards while freshman quarterback Joey Jones ran for a touchdown as well, the first of his career. Sophomore kicker A.J. Rosenthal booted a career-long 43-yard field goal in the win.
While the Dutchmen threw for 324 yards, the Salisbury defense was able to disrupt a few passes, earning three interceptions in the contest. Junior linebacker James Piersanti, sophomore defensive back Chris Everett and freshman defensive back Andre Carter each intercepted a pass. Junior defensive back Ricky Cassidy had a team-high nine tackles for Salisbury while senior lineman Dion Bowen had six tackles, including a pair of sacks.
Salisbury will now gear up for their final regular season home game of the season next Saturday, Oct. 30, when the Sea Gulls will host No. 3 Wesley College at Sea Gull Stadium.