Courtesy of Bryant Athletics
– Sophomore running back Jordan Brown rushed for a career-high 200 yards on 38 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead Bryant University to a 24-7 win over visiting University at Albany on a blustery and cool afternoon before 3,756 on Parents & Family Weekend Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.
Senior linebacker Jason Riffe (Newton, Mass.) set both the Bryant single season and career tackles record with a gritty performance against the Great Danes. Riffe broke Andrew McLarty’s 2006 single-season tackles record of 86, with 12 stops Saturday against Albany to give him 90 for the season and at the same time, passing McLarty’s career record of 229 tackles with an all-time best of 231.
Riffe had three tackles for a loss and two of the team’s five sacks as the Bulldogs’ held the Great Danes to only 112 yards rushing on the ground and only 3-of-15 third-down conversions in the game.
Leathley finished the day completing 13 of 29 passes for 179 yards for Albany (3-5, 1-4), but the red-shirt freshman was intercepted twice, both coming in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs pulled away late to improve to 5-3 overall on the year and 2-3 in the Northeast Conference. Leathley also led the Great Danes with 68 yards rushing.
Brown’s 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter put the Bulldogs up 7-0 in the first After Albany came back to tie the game with a score at the start of the second, Brown put the Bulldogs back on top with what would prove to be the game-winning score from a yard out just before halftime and the Bulldogs would pull away late in the game to improve to 5-3 overall (2-3 NEC).
Place kicker Chris Bird (Monument Beach, Mass.) gave the Bulldogs some breathing room with a clutch 38-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter to make the score 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The field goal by Bird equaled the third-longest field goal in school history and helped the senior move into fourth all-time for points in a season with 60 this year.
Leading 17-7, the Bulldogs caught a break when Albany’s Herb Glass missed a 36-yard field goal attempt to the right which would have pulled the visitors to within a touchdown from tying the game. It was the second miss of the game for Glass who missed a 22-yarder back in the first quarter after Albany forced a turnover following a fumble by Brown on Bryant’s opening drive.
With just over a minute to play, junior defensive back Samad Wagstaff (New Rochelle, N.Y.) put the game away with a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown to make it 24-7 following the extra-point kick by Bird.
Bryant quarterback Mike Croce (Waterbury, Conn.) completed 15 of 31 passes for 181 yards including six to receiver Jim Mullane (Hudson, Mass.) who finished with 55 yards receiving. The Bulldogs finished with 409 yards of total offense.
Bryant will travel to Saint Francis (PA) next Saturday for a 1 pm game while Albany visits Sacred Heart next week with a kickoff also at 1 pm.