UR Football rallied in the second half to gain its first win of the season by a score of 14–7. The team bounced back from its 42–14 defeat at Carnegie Mellon last week, evening its record at 1–1. The game was UR’s home opener, and many ‘Jackets fans were in the Fauver Stadium crowds, along with some fans of the Alfred State Pioneers (0–3). For the first time, the football team used the brand new Boehning Varsity House during a game.

In the first half, Rochester’s offense couldn’t quite seal the deal, missing a field goal (continuing a missed-field goal streak lasting over a year) after bringing a promising second quarter drive into the red zone. The defense was fantastic, forcing five punts. However, with just six seconds left in the half, Alfred State quarterback Hunter Evingham completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Long in the front corner of the end zone, despite close defensive coverage from senior cornerback Ricky Sparks.

In the second half, the ‘Jackets’ offense began to wake up, and junior quarterback Matt Gallagher, in his second career start, led the unit down the field, topping off the 92-yard drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown by Emanuel Calmar. Paul Tricarico tied the game at seven with a successful PAT.

Senior and sophomore linebackers Josh Churchin and Konner Oakes made strong tackles to help hold the Pioneers to a three-and-out, forcing them to punt. On the ensuing drive, the Pioneers nearly stopped the ‘Jackets’ offense, but an offsides penalty on fourth down rekindled the drive. Daniel Bronson caught a 24-yard pass for a touchdown, giving Rochester a 14-7 lead.

Alfred State got the ball back with 6:59 left in the game. A 25-yard pass to Joe Moscato gave the ‘Jackets a scare, but good defense forced the Pioneers to punt again. UR ran out most of the clock, giving the ball back to Alfred State with just 17 seconds left on the clock, which was enough to secure the victory.

Several offensive players stood out for the ‘Jackets. Quarterback Matt Gallagher completed 18 of 29 passes for 196 yards, along with a touchdown pass and an interception. Running back Emanuel Calmar had 120 yards on 29 attempts, along with a rushing touchdown and 27 receiving yards. Daniel Bronson, who made the switch from quarterback to wide receiver this season, had 8 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

There were also some stellar performers on defense. Junior defensive tackle Tim Mascari had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. Oakes had six tackles, many of them coming in critical parts of the game, and a third quarter interception. Churchin had 11 total tackles. Sophomore defensive back Austin Carr was great in coverage and had five tackles.

Rochester will try to continue their success next week at Alfred University (2–0).

Tagged: Football

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