By many statistical measures of quarterback play, Saturday’s game against the St. Lawrence University Saints should have
been a rough one for UR sophomore quarterback Dean Kennedy — he completed just nine of his 27 passes and had two interceptions.
Take note of Kennedy’s 218 yards passing and one touchdown pass on the day, though, and it becomes clear that among those nine completions were some game-changing plays. What stands out even more, however, is that the Yellowjackets’ offense came through with these big plays when it mattered most — in the fourth quarter.
Less than two minutes into the fourth, Saints quarterback Zach Miglore connected with receiver Ethan Sutton on a 25-yard touchdown pass to put St. Lawrence up, 13-3. The score capped off a lengthy 80-yard drive by the Cardinals.
But in dramatic fashion, the ’Jackets waited until the final minutes of the contest to break out their A-game. The UR defense pinned Miglore and the Cardinals deep in their own territory, forcing a punt that left UR with great field position to start their next drive, which began at the St. Lawrence 33-yard line.
With 6:20 left in the quarter, senior running back Chris Bickford finished off the drive, pounding the ball across the goal line for a one-yard touchdown run, pulling UR to within three of the Saints.
The ’Jackets defense was quick to get the ball back into the hands of the offense, which didn’t waste any time capitalizing on the opportunity. Just over two minutes after their previous touchdown, Kennedy completed a pass to junior wide receiver Thomas Hayes on third down, who then broke free from would-be tacklers for a huge 82-yard touchdown play, putting the Yellowjackets up for good, 16-13. St. Lawrence’s special teams came through to block the extra point following the touchdown, but it would prove to be too little too late for the Saints.
Bickford rushed just three times for six yards in the game, but his final gain would seal the victory for UR. After the UR defense once again prevented any damage from the Saints’ offense, Bickford had a short two-yard run in the game’s waning minutes, giving the Yellowjackets a first down and allowing them to kneel to run out the clock.
The UR certainly displayed timely offense in the contest, but perhaps the real stars of the game for the ’Jackets were on the other side of the ball. They had several splash plays throughout the game, including a pick and five sacks of Miglore, two of which came courtesy of sophomore Tony Ortega.
What they accomplished as a group, however, was even more impressive. Beyond holding the Saints to just 10 points, they also kept the St. Lawrence offense totally in check yardage-wise, to the tune of 88 rushing yards and 76 passing yards — a total of just 164 yards of total offense from the Saints.
UR’s final Liberty League contest of the semester comes this Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. in Fauver Stadium, against long-standing rival Hobart College.
Fleming is a member of the class of 2013.