Rhode Island Pins 21 – 17 Loss on Fordham
80 Yard Drive Needed To Take The Lead In Final Minutes
Special to PhotoSports.Com – Nick Murgo
The ground game came alive today in front of 3,500 fans at Meade Stadium, as Anthony Baskerville (119 yds), Mark Hurd ( 115 yds) and Deontray Johnson (107 yds) led the URI Rams running attack of over 350 net yards. URI QB Steve Probst added 101 yards of passing. Rhode Island was behind 21 -17 with only 4 minutes to go in the game and the ball on their own 22 yard line. Rhode Island gave up the lead that they had held since very early in the first quarter. Fordham took the lead from Rhode Island in the fourth quarter on a 19 yard run by QB Peter Maetzold. On the ensuing kick-off Hurd returned the ball to the URI 22 which is where the URI offensive line really made a big push forward. Speaking after the game, senior offensive guard, Kyle Bogumil said “We put a focus getting out ahead in the last drive after one of our injured linemen told me that we started to look slow getting off the ball.” Added, senior offensive tackle Jason Foster, “We’ve been teammates for four years now, we looked at each other and knew what we had to do. When you are running the ball, it is hard, you get tired, but when the running backs are getting good yardage, you don’t mind it at all.”
Behind the offensive line in the last drive, Deontray Johnson rushed for 27 yards; Travis Hurd rushed for 13 yards - including the final 3 yards for the go ahead touch down. The offensive line also gave Probst time to hit Anthony Baskerville for a 20 yard pass pick-up. Contributing to the final 80 yard drive were two penalties that happened during an attempted pass to Johnson-Faffell, an unsportsmanlike and a pass interference call. The penalities against Fordham gave URI a first and goal on the 1 yard line. For the game, RI was penalized 9 times for 93 yards and Fordham 5 times for 28 yards.
With three time outs and the game clock out (due to a malfunction the final 2 minutes were kept on the field by the referee) Fordham received the ball for their final possession. They actually took the ball 50 yards in only 45 seconds in 9 plays – demonstrating great clock management. With the ball on the URI 21 and no time outs remaining, URI coach Joe Trainer said, “ Maetzold’s pass was possibly tipped and then intercepted by Doug Johnson” who advanced the ball 10 yards and then wisely went down to the ground holding the ball tightly. After the game, Fordham’s coach said that his team needed to make one more big play but give Rhode Island credit, “…they (URI) are a good football team. We tip our hat to them and move on.” URI head coach Joe Trainer said that “We really had a good start but after having over 260 yards on offense in the first half, we still had not put them away.” RI dominated time of play 21 to 9 minutes in the first half. “When that happens you can count on the other team to come back at you. This was a must win for us. You hope we can grow by the way we won. We couldn’t catch a break. Our timing seemed to be off by a split second but anytime you rush the ball for over 300 yards - you should win the game. Next week we face Brown and I told the players, you win by preparation and execution. Emotion will only get you so far, this is a good rivalry against Brown and they play very hard.” Under the lights next Saturday in Providence, URI – Brown should be a good one.
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