Just two weeks after becoming UR’s all-time leading rusher, senior running back Matt Bielecki gave the Yellowjackets four touchdown carries to push the ‘Jackets over Mount Ida College, 43-26, on Saturday in Newton, Mass. Not only did Bielecki contribute points, but he also added a career-high 288 rushing yards to UR’s season-high 382 rushing yards in Saturday’s game. His previous rushing record came in 2006 against Worcester Polytechnic Institute when he rushed for 228 yards.

Most influential in the ‘Jackets’ third consecutive win on the road, which put them at 3-3, was the offensive line.

“The line imposed their will today,” Bielecki said in a press release. “When they play like that, you can’t wait to run behind them.”

Behind the line, the Yellowjackets were able to orchestrate two long scoring drives, one 20-play, 96-yard push and another 3-play, 89-yard march to give the ‘Jackets a commanding 33-7 lead just 30 minutes into the game. The 96-yard drive was ended by a 1-yard run by Bielecki, while the 89-yard drive came to a close with a 3-yard run by freshman running back Clarence Onyiriuka. Onyiriuka had 81 yards in 11 carries in the ‘Jackets’ big win against the Mustangs on their homecoming day.

UR’s season rushing high comes in comparison to 232 and 265 rushing yards in the past two games and an average of 192.2 yards per game this season.

“We’ve got great backs who can run hard and the offensive line has been playing really well,” head coach Scott Greene said in a press release. “We’ve been getting better running the ball.”

Also influential in the victory was senior defensive back Andy Rape. Rape returned a 32-yard punt by Mount Ida late in the first half to the Mount Ida 14, where the ‘Jackets cashed in with an 11-yard run by Bielecki. In the next series, Rape intercepted quarterback P.J. Matthews’s pass and ran it back, setting the Yellowjackets’ offense up at Mount Ida’s 18. On a third and goal, sophomore quarterback Adam Barrett tossed fellow sophomore wide receiver Zach Ingoldsby a 15-yard pass into the end zone, which was capped off by a two-point conversion. Rape had eight tackles, seven of which were solo, on the game. Junior defensive back Sean Simpson and freshman defensive back Matt Francis also added six tackles each.

Noteworthy of mention were the quarterbacks of the game – Barrett, sophomore Kapps Killingstad and freshman Patrick Keegan, who threw for a combined 78 yards while never being sacked. Those 78 passing yards combined with the rushing yards gave the ‘Jackets’ offense an impressive 460 yards. The Yellowjackets had previously been averaging 316.5 total offensive yards per game.

The beginning of the second half came with a Mustang rally. Mount Ida’s Mark Skehan topped off the opening drive of the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown catch. After a 35-yard field goal from UR’s sophomore kicker Griffin Moar, Skehan snatched a handoff from Mustang quarterback Matthews to run it down the sideline for a 59-yard touchdown. The Yellowjackets’ lead was cut down to 36-21 by the fourth quarter.

This only fired the ‘Jackets up, who got major rushing yards from Bielecki and sophomore running back Paul Ferrese in the next drive. Ferrese finished the day with 10 carries for 48 yards. The drive concluded with a one-yard touchdown run by Bielecki and an extra point by Moar.

The Mustangs went three and out on the next drive and had to punt it away to the Rochester 33. UR trekked back up on the field but came up short on an attempted fourth-and-one on Mount Ida’s 22. Mount Ida took the opportunity to turn their 76-yard drive into a scoring run, with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Matthews to James Samuels coming at the end of the drive to give Matthews an impressive 305 passing yards on the day. The Mustangs had 400 overall offensive yards.

After falling in the first three games of the season, things weren’t looking so hot for the Yellowjackets. However, the determined ‘Jackets have overhauled their season to put them at .500. With four games remaining in the season, three of them to be played here at Fauver Stadium, the ‘Jackets are confident in their ability to finish out the season strong, particularly with their newfound strength in the offensive line.

“I can’t stress how big the line was today,” Bielecki said. “We got back on track.”

The ‘Jackets still have WPI, Susquehanna University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Hobart College remaining on their roster for the 2007 season. They play their Meliora Weekend game against WPI at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Stevenson is a member of the class of 2011.



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An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.