“ We dont feed off anyone outside of the locker room we just feed off our coaching and our team, just strickly team!”Wesley Neal JR.
Marques DeShields, O’Neil “Buzz” Robinson, and Westley Neal Jr. discuss their thought heading into the last game of the season, and the “Brotherhood”. pic.twitter.com/hxsrKFE1c5— Enveonline (@Enveonline) November 20, 2022
Going into Saturdays game there was one team that had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Great Danes were coming off a thrilling victory last week over Maine 23-21. Loooking to finish the season strong, and surpass last season victory total. Rhode Island on the other hand was looking to get a victory. After the tough loss last week in New Hampshire.
The first drive of the game UAlbany was playing like they had nothing to lose. The Great Danes scored on the first drive of the game. Taking only one minute in twenty three seconds off the clock. Quarterback Reese Poffenburger completed a 66 yard touchdown pass to receiver Jackson Parker. Taking a lead 7-0 lead. After that play both teams to settle down. Both sides of the ball as that was the only score of the quarter.
For the Great Danes the game was going in their favor. The Rams, they were off to a slow start, but one play away from scoring. Once the second quarter started, Rhode Island started making plays, capitalizing off of UAlbany mistakes. At the beginning of the second quarter when UAlbany started their drive defensive back Aaron Carter forced a fumble. Linebacker Even Stewart picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown tying the game 7-7. On the next drive the defense forced UAlbany to punt. The Rams responded with a three play sixty yard drive. This resulted in a quick strike touchdown from quarterback Kasim Hll to receiver Kahtero Summers. The drive took only a minute and four seconds off the clock, giving them a 14-7 lead. This not only gave the Rams the lead, but it would be part of there turning point of the game. After taking that lead UAlbany was never able to get it back.
While the Great Danes were trying to forget the mishaps from this quarter. What happened on the next two drives would create a bigger hole for them. The offense would move down the field, on an 8 play 47 yard drive. This would take four minutes off the clock, but would result in them missing 45 yard field goal. Even though UAlbany forced Rhode Island to punt what happened next is what put them in even a bigger hole. The Great Danes once again drove the field and got into field goal range. Not only missed the goal, it was also blocked by Wesley Neal. Recovered by “Buzz” Robinson for 96 yards for the touchdown. The Rams took a 21-7 lead.
After giving up 21 points in the second quarter, the Great Danes seemed to have settled down. As UAlbany got stops defensively they responded by putting together an 8 play 72 yard drive. This resulted in RB Kevon Chambers scoring on three yard touchdown run. It seems like the Great Danes were fighting their way back into the game. On their next possession, linebacker AJ Pena would block the punt and Rhode Island would get the ball at the 25 yard line. This would be the turning point of the game. Kasim Hill would complete a seven yard pass to wide receiver Darius Savedge. The touchdown would give the Rams a 28-14 lead. While the Rams had solidified the victory, the Great Danes would not go away. Scoring at the 4:04 mark, to cut the lead to seven 28-21. The Rams responded right back with a score giving them a 35-21 lead. Rhode Island never looked back and sealed the victory.
After the game two milestones were announced. One being Rhode Island had their first conference winning record since 1981. Second Running Back Marques Deshields rushed for 1000 yards. Also tying the season rushing touchdown record set back in 1954.
For the Rams it was the last game of the season and they went out with a bang. As for Ualbany this is the second 3-8 season. Even though they could have easily been 6-5 or better, they were not. The good news is that they will have most of their offensive starters back next season. With the exception of tight end Thomas Greaney and Running Back Todd Sibley. Hopefully they can turn it around like Rhode Island did, stay tuned!