Courtesy of UR Athletics

Coming into their game against Gallaudet University on Saturday, Sept. 21, the UR football team was feeling good about themselves. Having opened the season with a win at Thiel College, the ‘Jackets were hopeful that they could continue their strong play as they traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on the 3-0 Bison. Although several UR freshmen had big games, the team’s downfall would end up being its inability to hold onto the ball. A series of turnovers in the second quarter would come back to bite the ‘Jackets, who had possession of the ball for 16 minutes less than their opponents. In the end, the Bison’s disproportionate time with the ball proved to be a major factor in their 37-13 victory.

Gallaudet recorded the first score  of the game midway through the first quarter when they were able to push the ‘Jackets into their own end zone and force a safety, a result of a punt that pinned UR at its own one-yard line. The Bison followed this up with a two-yard touchdown, bringing their lead to 9-0.

UR later responded in the second quarter with a rushing touchdown of its own, when freshman Miles Allen ran in from three yards out. With the extra point from freshman Matthew Pasternak, the ‘Jackets brought the score within two points to 9-7.
Following the touchdown, the teams exchanged four straight turnovers. Gallaudet would fumble twice, and the ‘Jackets would throw an interception before also fumbling in a play that proved to be the turning point of the game. The Bison picked up a fumble by senior quarterback Dean Kennedy and carried it 45 yards for a touchdown, providing the home team with some breathing room and a much needed boost of energy. Gallaudet tacked on another touchdown soon after, giving themselves a 23-7 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Bison struck first with another rushing touchdown, adding to their lead and making a comeback almost impossible for UR. Despite another run from Allen, this time from 21 yards out to give the ‘Jackets their second touchdown, UR struggled for the remainder of the game on both offense and defense, eventually falling 37-13.

While the score indicates a blowout, the game was a fairly tight affair. Without question, Gallaudet’s fumble recovery touchdown in the second quarter was the most important play of the game, setting the tone for the second half and completely crushing the momentum the ‘Jackets had been building up to that point.

The YellowJackets will next see action on Saturday, Sept. 28 when they welcome Liberty League opponent Springfield College to Fauver Stadium in what will be the team’s first home game of the year. Springfield comes into the game with a 3-0 record, which includes winning their past two games with the impressive combined score of 77-0. The action begins at noon.

Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.

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