This past weekend, the seniors on the UR football team finished their final game at Fauver Stadium on a positive note with a big 34-20 win over the Saints of St. Lawrence University. Despite the fact that the season did not turn out as they had hoped, the ‘Jackets came out and played hard for their final home game, improving their overall record to 3-6 on the season.

Following an emotional introductory ceremony for the 12 seniors on the team, however, the game got off to a rough start for the ‘Jackets.

On his first pass as a starter, sophomore quarterback Patrick Keegan threw an interception that St. Lawrence returned to the UR 16-yard line. St. Lawrence eventually took advantage of the field position, scoring the touchdown that gave it the early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Despite the demoralizing interception, Keegan was able to bounce back strongly. Instead of folding under pressure, he came back and improved his game tremendously. He finished the day 13 for 23, totaling 158 yards and four touchdowns, which ties the school record for most touchdowns thrown in a single game.

The sophomore showed his ability to stay cool in tough situations and got the ball in the hands of open receivers.

The ‘Jackets had a quick answer to the Saints’ early touchdown. Freshman running back Andrew Carr-Harris had a stunning 50-yard kickoff return, which gave the Yellowjackets great field position.

One play later, senior running back Mike Sondericker broke free and scampered 32 yards to put UR on the board. Sondericker, who is generously listed as 5-foot-8-inches and 161 pounds, had a career day on Saturday afternoon. Sondericker’s 7.2 yards per carry on Saturday proved to be a monumental improvement over a season average of just 3.3 yards per carry.

He finished the game with 28 carries for a net total of 202 yards and a touchdown.

It was the first game this season in which Sondericker got a majority of the carries, and he undoubtedly proved himself to be a viable option for the running attack.

‘Overall, it was a great effort by the entire team,” Sondericker said. ‘For me, it will be the memory of a lifetime. Any time I think of my college football experience, I will always think about this game.”

Following Sondericker’s score, the teams once again exchanged touchdowns and missed extra points, making the score at the half 13-13.

There was a noticeable change that took place in the ‘Jackets’ defensive mentality after halftime. The Yellowjackets came out at the start of the third quarter determined to stonewall the Saints’ offensive attack, and it did just that, allowing St. Lawrence’s offense to score only seven points in the second half.

Leading the defense were senior defensive captains Sean Simpson and Matt Stack, who combined for a total of 14 tackles and multiple pass deflections throughout the course of the game.

‘We just got more comfortable with what they were trying to do offensively,” Stack said about the win. ‘We got into a comfort zone in the second half and we were able to effectively stop their offense. It was a great way to finish out a four-year career with a win like that.”

The Saints’ only touchdown of the second half came early in the third quarter and gave them a 20-13 lead. The Yellowjackets showed their resiliency on both sides of the ball and dominated St. Lawrence for the remainder of the game.

Keegan’s favorite target of the day was junior wide receiver Zach Ingoldsby. Ingoldsby led the ‘Jackets in receiving with a total of six catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were scored in the second half.

Overall, the Yellowjackets’ nearly flawless performance in the second half proved to be too much for the Saints to overcome and ultimately led to victory for the team.

All of the seniors on the team seemed to agree that, although the season did not go the way they had hoped, there were still a lot of positives.

‘There are a lot of young, talented players on this team who are going to develop into great players with a little experience,” Sondericker said.

The UR football seniors will wrap up their careers this weekend at Hobart College when they take on the Statesmen on Saturday afternoon.

Horowitz is a member of the class of 2009.

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