By Trevor Dugan | September 12, 2022
Photo Credit: Kathleen Helman (UAlbany Athletics)
Despite a late rally, the Great Danes fell to the University of New Hampshire in their first home game of the season with a score of 28-23.
In the first half, UAlbany struggled to put much together on offense. After a Great Dane three and out to start the game, UNH marched down the field, going 88 yards and capping it off with a two-yard touchdown pass to Joey Corcoran.
In the final minute of the first quarter, after a personal foul gave the Great Danes a third and 30, QB Reese Poffenbarger scrambled for 24 yards and got Albany into scoring range. UAlbany placekicker John Opalko then missed a field goal off the right post.
Poffenbarger has shown he has the ability to extend plays with his legs and scramble for big yardage in his first two games with UAlbany. His arm talent was also on display Saturday night, as he completed 18 of 27 passes for 264 yards and two TDs, while making some difficult throws look routine throughout the course of the game.
In the second quarter, UNH running back Dylan Laube scored his first of three TDs on the day to make it 14-0. On their final drive of the first half the Great Danes were able to take it down the field and kick a 36-yard field goal as time expired to cut the UNH lead to 11.
Albany outgained UNH in the first half with 177 yards to UNH’s 144, but due to costly penalties and the missed field goal, they still ended the second quarter trailing 14-3.
The Great Danes forced a UNH punt to start the second half, but it was muffed and recovered by New Hampshire at the UA 9 yard line. Laube ran it in for a UNH TD on the next play, making it 21-3. It was the second ball muffed by special teams on the day.
Albany was able to answer with a 79-yard drive, ending with a 15 yard TD by RB Todd Sibley. Sibley took a direct snap from the wildcat formation, and made several defenders miss in the backfield before taking it to the house, bringing the score to 21-10.
After stifling the UNH offense for much of the second half, UAlbany cut the lead to 21-16 on a Thomas Greaney TD with 2:47 to go. But on the ensuing drive Laube ripped off a 37-yard TD to effectively ice the game. He finished the day with 202 yards on the ground.
The Great Danes scored once more, but it was too little too late as the game ended in a 28-23 UNH victory.
Head Coach Greg Gattuso was not happy with the special team's errors in his post-game interview, “I mean it just kills you some of the mistakes we’re making in the return game,” Gattuso said. “We continue to not do a great job catching the ball, that is a critical error and it's something I really struggle with… We gave away a touchdown.”
Albany falls to 0-2 on the year, while UNH improves to 2-0. The Great Danes are back in action next week as they travel to the Bronx for an out-of-conference matchup with the Fordham Rams.