Story and photo courtesy of Albany Athletics
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Sophomore wide receiver Cole King's five catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns would help lead UAlbany over Robert Morris, 35-10, on Saturday, September 8 at Joe Walton Stadium. The Great Danes improve to 11-3 in Northeast Conference openers and 7-1 that come on the road.
"The chemistry between myself and Will (Fiacchi) have been going on for the last four years", said sophomore Cole King talking about connection going back to Section 3 high school football. "The second touchdown pass was a "the perfect throw" by Fiacchi, which was placed where only I could have caught it between the two defenders".
Sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi would improve in just the second game of the season, going 17-for-21, throwing for 208 yards, rushing for 35 yards and tallying four total touchdowns (3 passing; 1 rushing) in the win.
"Total team effort and at times a dominating performance today", said head coach Bob Ford on the win. "I like this group a lot and have bought into them from day one this season on how good we can be. At times, I saw that we really were dominating both sides of the ball".
UAlbany, on the offensive side, would record 66 plays for 385 yards, 177 yards came on the ground and 208 in the air. On defense, the Great Danes recorded five sacks for a loss of 43 yards and two interceptions for 29 yards. Robert Morris totaled 208 yards on offense, 87 rushing and 121 passing.
A dominate performance in the first half for the Great Danes on both sides of the ball. After a 49-yd field goal by Robert Morris' Greg Langer, UAlbany would score on three consecutive possessions to go up 21-3 at the half.
Following the Robert Morris field goal, UAlbany drove 81 yards on five plays that would conclude with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Will Fiacchi to Cole King to go up 7-3 with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter. After a quick three and out by the Colonial offense, the Great Danes would move down the field and score their second consecutive touchdown, using nine plays on 58 yards which was capped by a Fiacchi 6-yd qb-option rush for a touchdown to go up 14-3 with 4:18 left in the first quarter.
As the UAlbany defense came up big again and forced Robert Morris to stall out for its second three and out, the offense came storming back using almost nine minutes on the clock (8:54) with 19 plays for 79 yards to score its third consecutive touchdown to go up 21-3 with 8:38 left in the half. King would catch a 6-yd TD pass from Fiacchi, who would throw a dime between two defenders to connect to the sophomore wide receiver.
The Great Danes would continue is dominance on the offense, scoring with just a minute off the clock to begin the second half with a three-play 51-yard drive that converted by King, who caught his third touchdown of the game on a 41-yard play. UAlbany would have its largest lead of the game at 28-3 with 13:59 remaining in the game.
Robert Morris looked to stop the bleeding and would score its first score of the game to cut the deficit to 18, 28-10, with 6:56 remaining in the third quarter. Sophomore quarterback Matt Layman would connect to junior wide receiver Donte Jeter for a 20-yard touchdown for an eight-play 70-yard drive that lasted 3:29.
Then with 3:31 left in the third quarter, senior running back Drew Smith put the final score on the board with a 2-yard rush to put the score at 35-10, which would stay true for the final 18:31 remaining in the game. The UAlbany offense was placed on the two-yard line after a 24-yard interception return by senior free safety Justinian Mason to setup the Smith 2-yd TD run.
Senior defensive end Dean Mercuris would lead the Great Danes in tackles with five and the defense would tally five sacks in the game.
UAlbany, who moves to 2-0 on the season, travel on the road for the second of a three-game road trip to Youngstown State on Saturday, September 15. Kickoff set for 4 p.m.