Dutchmen outgun Jackets, 41-34

Union finally discovered the formula to winning on Saturday at Fauver Stadium.

Score, score


Union finally discovered the formula to winning on Saturday at Fauver Stadium.

Score, score and score some more.

In a shootout that featured 992 total yards between the two teams, the Dutchmen rode the passing combination of Drew Connolly to Justin Gallo to hold off Rochester, 41-34, in the Liberty League opener for both teams.

Both quarterbacks threw for career highs in yardage. Connolly completed 22 of 33 passes for 363 yards and three scoring strikes to Gallo, who is second on the school’s all-time pass receiving yards list. Gallo caught 14 passes for 237 yards. Connolly also ran in for a score.

Union’s Rob Johnson rambled for 94 yards, but almost of them were on an electrifying 83-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Yet, despite Union’s sparkling offense, the 1-3 Dutchmen’s defense continued to be porous. While Union piled up 581 total yards, Rochester cranked out 411, including a career-high 310 and four TD strikes from quarterback Braezen Subick. He tied a school record for most TD passes in a game.

Rochester (1-2) never gave up, and the Yellowjackets made things very interesting at the end of the game. Clarence Onyiriuka caught a 25-yard TD pass from Subick, and then the Yellowjackets recovered an onside kick to get one final chance to send the game into overtime. Subick’s pass into the end zone with three seconds left was incomplete.

“It’s been a long time since we won a game,” said Union head coach John Audino, whose Dutchmen started 0-3 for the first time since 1975. “I feel so happy for the kids and for the program. We told them this week that they were holding on to the steering wheel too tightly. We told them to lighten up and drive.

“It’s unfortunate what happened in the last seven minutes, when we let them back into the game. We should have been a little more aggressive, but we were trying to run out the clock. We’ll be more aggressive next time and not stop trying to score. I think we probably could have scored a few more points, and against a team like this, we almost needed to.”

Audino said it’s hard to believe his team is in first place in the Liberty League.

“We’re very relieved, but right now we realize we still have a chance to win the league,” he said. “We grew up as a team today.”

Union’s offense was almost unstoppable throughout the game until the Dutchmen began to play conservatively in the fourth quarter.

The Dutchmen scored on their first drive of the game when Connolly bulled over from the one-yard line. Rochester came back with a five-yard pass from Subick to Will Roberson, but the Dutchmen were clicking again until Adam Henry’s 36-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Henry nailed a 35-yarder in the second quarter for a 10-7 lead, and the Dutchmen went into the intermission up, 17-7, when Connolly hit Gallo for a 21-yard TD strike along the far sidelines.

Rochester climbed to within 17-13 on a five-yard TD strike from Subick to Richard Brunet early in the third quarter, but then Union went on a tear.

Connolly found Gallo for back-to-back TD passes to build the Dutchmen’s lead to 31-13.

That’s when Johnson, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound freshman, broke free for his big TD run to give Union what appeared to be an extremely comfortable 38-13 lead.

Rochester stormed back against a loose Union defense. Subick scored on a keeper and then he hit Thomas Norman with a 75-yard bomb to slice the deficit to 38-27 with 11:16 in the game.

Henry booted a 27-yard field goal to restore some breathing room for Union at 41-27, but the Yellowjackets scored late and had one more shot to tie the game in the final seconds.

“We’ve lost so many games in a row that this feels fantastic to finally win a game,” said Gallo. “I never felt better after a win.”

Connolly agreed. “We kept on throwing the same basic play to Justin. He would bump outside, and if they took the fake, I threw the ball to him. Justin is a fantastic athlete,” Connolly said.

“This was an extremely important victory for us, and it won’t be our last. It got scary at the end, but a win is a win, and we’ve worked very hard to get this one.”

Union returns home to play WPI Saturday at 1 p.m.

Union 7 10 21 3 — 41

Rochester 7 0 13 14 — 34

U — Connolly 1 run (Henry kick).

R — Roberson 5 pass from Subik (Anton­ucci kick).

U — Henry 35 FG.

U — J. Gallo 21 pass from Connolly (Henry kick).

R — Brunet 5 pass from Subick (kick failed).

U — J. Gallo 4 pass from Connolly (Henry kick).

U — Gallo 58 pass from Connolly (Henry kick).

U — Johnson 83 run (Henry kick).

R — Subick 4 run (Antonucci kick).

R — Norman 75 pass from Subick (Ant­onucci kick).

U — Henry 27 FG.

R — Onyiuriuka 25 pass from Subick (Antonucci kick).



Union Roch.

First downs 41 34

Rushes-yards 41-218 27-101

Passing yards 363 310

Att-Comp-Int 33-22-0 38-21-1

Return yards 10 0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0

Punts-avg. 2-40.5 4-37.8

Penalties-yards 2-10 3-28

Categories: College Sports

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