Not since Mike Sondericker in 2008 had a Yellowjacket rushed for 200 yards in a game.
On Saturday, junior running back Emanuel Calmar achieved the feat, with 233 yards on the ground on 36 attempts, two of them for touchdowns. He helped lead UR Football (2–2) to a 28–10 victory over host Becker College (0–5).
The ‘Jackets played far from perfectly in the first half. The Hawks were able to open the scoring four minutes into the game, pulling ahead 7–0 on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Nas Sinkfield-Shelton to Michael Caban. The drive was spurred by a 51-yard rush from the Becker quarterback.
Calmar was a strong presence on Rochester’s next offensive series, rushing for a 42-yard gain to the Becker seven-yard line, which set up an eventual 25-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Paul Tricarico, his first of the season.
The two teams then exchanged turnovers. Sophomore defensive end Devin Woodyard strip-sacked Sinkfield Shelton, and senior cornerback Ricky Sparks recovered on the opponent 19-yard line.
But the red-zone opportunity was wasted as ‘Jackets quarterback Matt Gallagher was picked off at the one-yard line.
In the second quarter, Becker added to its lead on a 19-yard field goal after a penalty-fueled 14-play, 71-yard drive. UR committed three personal fouls on the drive, two of them in the red zone.
At halftime, the ‘Jackets trailed 10–3, and an offense that had averaged fewer than 13 points per game over the first three games continued to struggle.
But Rochester was able to knot the score at 10 at 8:46 in the third quarter on an 11-play, 66-yard drive as Calmar scored on a one-yard run on third down. Soon after, the team had the ball back on the one-yard line on fourth down with an opportunity to take the lead. This time, however, Calmar was tackled for a loss, resulting in a turnover on downs.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the ‘Jackets finally pulled ahead. Gallagher found senior wideout David Angie for a nine-yard touchdown pass, capping off a nine-play, 92-yard drive. Four minutes later, Gallagher had another touchdown pass, this time to sophomore receiver Tyler Tanen for 16 yards. The outcome wasn’t very much in doubt at that point, as Rochester lead Becker 22–10 with 4:16 remaining.
The absolute dagger came at the two-minute mark, when Calmar raced 29 yards for his second score of the day. Beside gaining the most rushing yards in nine seasons, it was the tied for the fourth-highest total in school history.
In the passing game, Matt Gallagher completed 17 of 33 passes for 231 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Angie was the leading receiver, with seven receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown. In total, the ‘Jackets had 455 yards of offense.
Becker, meanwhile, totaled 383 yards, 163 on the ground and 220 through the air. The total indicates that the Rochester defense didn’t completely shut down the opponent, but the unit had a robust finish to the game. In its last eight possessions, Becker threw two interceptions and punted five times, with the other possession ending with the period.
Sophomore defensive end Justin Warner led the team with 10 tackles, one of them a sack and another three-and-a-half for a loss. In the defensive backfield, sophomores Austin Carr and Matt Woodarek both had an interception.
The opponent wasn’t the strongest, but a convincing road victory should help the team build confidence heading into Liberty League play. Rochester’s first game in the conference will be on Oct. 7 at Ithaca College.