By Trevor Dugan | September 19, 2022
Photo Credit: Mario Terrana (UAlbany Athletics)
The Great Danes fell to 0-3 on the season Saturday, losing 48-45 on the road to the Fordham Rams, despite holding an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.
There was no shortage of offense in this matchup as the teams totaled over 1,000 yards of total offense. Quarterback Reese Poffenbarger continued his excellent start to the season, completing 25 of 40 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. His ability to scramble has helped keep drives alive and resulted in some highlight-reel plays.
Running back Todd Sibley had a monster day, rushing for 123 yards and scoring four total touchdowns. He got UAlbany on the board with a 1-yard rushing TD off a direct snap to make it 10-7 Fordham. After Fordham pushed their lead back to 10, Sibley ripped off a 75-yard TD run on the ensuing drive to cut the lead to three.
A 32-yard field goal from John Opalko made it 17-17, and the Great Danes had the ball again to end the first half. As time expired, Poffenbarger scrambled and found Sibley over the middle, who took it 45 yards to the house to give the Great Danes a 24-17 lead at halftime. UAlbany had 223 total yards and scored 24 points in the second quarter.
UAlbany’s offense continued to thrive in the second half. Sibley scored from 13 yards out to take the lead back after Fordham tied it at 24. UAlbany pushed the lead to 38-27 after a 25-yard TD reception by Julian Hicks late in the third quarter.
Excellent drives by Fordham in the fourth quarter brought them storming back. Rams QB Tim Demorat threw a 50-yard TD to start the quarter, cutting the lead to 38-33. His 19-yard TD pass later in the fourth gave the Rams the lead.
UAlbany went ahead once more when Brevin Easton scored his first TD as a Great Dane from seven yards out. But Fordham would answer with a 56-yard TD drive, and stuffed the Great Danes on their fourth down conversion attempt in the final three minutes to ice the game.
UAlbany was in a great position to win this game and appeared to be heading toward their first victory, entering the fourth quarter with an 11-point advantage.
“It's a heartbreaker, obviously,” UAlbany Head Coach Greg Gattuso lamented the blown lead postgame. “We had an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. We're playing good and have them under control, and just kept giving up deep shots… It's very disappointing.”
The Great Danes return to UAlbany next week for the annual Hometown Heroes game. They will match up with the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, who are coming off a 70-6 loss to Southeastern Louisiana.