The Yellowjackets opened Liberty League play this weekend against the Union College Dutchmen. It was a well fought match, but the Yellowjackets came up short, losing 28-41.
The Dutchmen ran up a total of 519 yards from the line of scrimmage – 290 rushing, 219 passing – and ate up more than 35 minutes of the game clock to pull away from the Yellowjackets in the second half.
The Yellowjackets jumped on the board early with a four-play, 50-yard scoring drive on their first possession. Senior and quarterback Aaron Molisani assisted sophomore and wide receiver Tom Shay with a 20-yard touchdown pass to cap off the drive.
The Dutchmen needed only one play to tie the game after the kickoff. Using a throwback pass, Dutchmen tight end Ryan Perry hit a Dutchman receiver for a 65-yard scoring pass to tie the game at seven.
The Yellowjackets answered with their running game later in the first quarter. Sophomore and running back Matt Bielecki drove through the Dutchmen defense for a one-yard touchdown dive to give the Yellowjackets back their lead. Bielecki paced the Yellowjacket ground attack with a career best 135 yards, rushing on 24 carries and two touchdowns.
The Dutchmen were quick to answer after an interception put them deep in Yellowjacket territory.
Bielecki gave UR back its lead quickly in the beginning of the second quarter. The running back out-raced the Dutchmen 40 yards to give UR its final lead of the game.
The Dutchmen took a one point lead into halftime and never looked back, scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter. After the Dutchmen’s first score, the Yellowjackets looked to answer taking a drive to Union’s 11. The drive ended on a fumble, which led to the Dutchmen’s second score of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began much like the third quarter, as the Dutchmen put the game out of reach with another score after a Molisani interception gave them possession. The Yellowjackets showed a glimpse of a possible comeback by scoring with just under nine minutes to go in the fourth when Molisani hit senior and wideout David Ferris on a four-yard touchdown pass. The Dutchmen, however, milked the clock on their next possession, giving UR the ball with just under three minutes to play. Their drive stalled on fourth down.
Molisani finished the game completing eight of 20 passes for 112 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior and wideout Nate Gibbons led the receivers with 44 yards on three grabs.
While Bielecki paced the ground attack, Molisani nearly eclipsed the century mark with 99 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
On the defensive side, the Yellowjackets were led by sophomore and safety Jim Milks, who had 13 tackles. Freshman Joe Galenti and senior Matt Simon, the linebackers, contributed 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.
The Yellowjackets will continue Liberty League play this weekend, visiting St. Lawrence University for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Allard can be reached at email@example.com.