T.J. Franzese ran for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Jafar Johnson made two key interceptions to help Union clip Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 21-6, in a Liberty League football game Saturday at Alumni Field.
With its third straight win, Union is unbeaten in the Liberty League (3-0) and 3-3 overall. The Dutchmen have a bye this weekend before hosting the University of Rochester on Oct. 20.
“No matter what happens next week, we’ll be undefeated in the league,” said Union head coach John Audino, whose team is tied with Hobart on top of the league standings. “We have a tough road ahead, but we are banged up a bit, and the bye week comes at a good time.
“I like seeing the flow in the run and pass, and the run and pass defense. Every week, we are getting better and better.”
Sophomore quarterback Connor Eck added 51 yards rushing on 16 carries and ran for a touchdown. He connected on 16 of 23 passes for 173 yards and a scoring strike to Kyle Reynolds. Eck has now gone 19 quarters and 122 passing attempts without an interception.
“It is a shame for him [because] we just wanted to make sure that we possessed the ball as much as possible in the second half, and could have thrown it more,” said Audino about Eck. “He was very accurate and getting good protection, but we wanted to move it around to everybody and ran the ball in the second half. He is not making mistakes, and [he’s] knowing when to run and get rid of it. I thought he played really well today.”
Audino was also pleased with his defense, which held WPI to 255 total yards. It’s the third straight game that Union has held its opponent under 300 yards, and the Dutchmen held another foe to an even 300 yards.
“Up front, we are tough to run against,” said Audino. “We are getting pressure on the passer, and the linebackers and secondary are doing a great job on coverage. Once again, we held an opponent under 300 yards. Our red zone and short yardage defense have been outstanding.”
Reynolds caught seven passes for 79 yards, while Franzese added five receptions for 44 yards.
WPI was led by Chris Turner, who scored on a 17-yard run and finished with 154 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Union 0 14 7 0 — 21
WPI 0 6 0 0 — 6
U — Franzese 6 run (Kazeem kick).
WPI — Turner 17 run (kick failed).
U — Reynolds 26 pass from Eck (Kazeem kick).
U — Eck 2 run (Kazeem kick).
First downs 23 17
Rushes-yards 46-186 31-166
Passing yards 173 89
Comp-Att-Int 16-23-0 10-20-3
Return yards 91 0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Punts-avg. 2-27.5 3-33.7
Penalties-yards 5-49 7-85
UALBANY 31, BRYANT 14
SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Senior wide receiver Ryan Kirchner caught seven passes for 103 yards, breaking University at Albany’s career mark for receptions, and Guilderland product Drew Smith ran for three touchdowns to lift the Great Danes over the Bulldogs at Bulldog Stadium.
UAlbany improved to 3-0 in Northeast Conference play and 5-1 overall.
With 149 career catches, Kirchner snapped Tim Bush’s career receiving mark of 147 with five regular-season games still remaining.
“Tim’s a good friend of mine. To be up there with him is an absolute honor,” said Kirchner. “I’m proud of it, but we still have some business to take care of. We’ve got to get another ring here.”
Smith recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing performance of the season and 23rd of his career with 105 yards, while sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi completed 23 of 34 passes for a career-best 262 yards.
Defensively, Jon Morgan and Kyle Jordan made five tackles apiece. Justinian Mason intercepted a pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.
The Great Danes host Saint Francis (Pa.) on University Field Saturday at 1 p.m.
UAlbany 0 7 14 10 — 31
Bryant 0 14 0 0 — 14
UAlb—D.Smith 3 run (Kenny kick), 6:59.
B—Harris 12 pass from Westerhaus (Kozlowski kick), 3:14.
B—Ingebresten 18 pass from Harris (Kozlowski kick), 3:03.
UAlb—D.Smith 1 run (Kenny kick), 3:37.
UAlb—Mason 75 interception return (Kenny kick), 1:19.
UAlb—D.Smith 2 run (Kenny kick), 10:50.
UAlb—FG Kenny 35, 4:02.
First downs 25 11
Rushes-yards 49-164 25-27
Passing 262 175
Comp-Att-Int 23-34-1 18-33-1
Return yards 89 4
Punts-avg 2-38.0 8-32.8
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-20 5-48
Time of possession 33:47 26:13
RPI 46, ST. LAWRENCE 27
TROY — Senior quarterback Mike Hermann threw three touchdown passes and broke loose for an 88-yard scoring run to propel the Engineers over the Saints at ECAV Stadium.
Each team threw for more than 300 yards, but the Engineers also tacked on 302 yards rushing.
T.J. Strunk and Andrew Armato also rushed for touchdowns, and Hermann connected with Austin Caswell, Reggie Colas and Steven Burpoe.
Hermann, who finished with 138 yards on the ground, completed 19 of 35 passes for 277 yards.
The Engineers improved to 2-1 in the Liberty League and 4-1 overall.
St. Lawrence (0-3, 0-6) used a pair of quarterbacks, but backup Danny Metzgar threw three TD passes and completed 13 of 22 passes for 189 yards.
St. Lawrence 7 0 7 13 — 27
RPI 16 9 7 14 — 46
SLU — Stewart 4 run (Dris kick).
RPI — Strunk 9 run (Franks kick).
RPI — Caswell 23 pass from Hermann (Franks kick).
RPI — safety.
RPI — Franks 31 FG.
RPI — Colas 14 pass from Hermann (kick failed).
RPI — Hermann 88 run (Franks kick).
SLU — Tateosian 10 pass from Metzgar (Dris kick).
RPI — Armato 18 run (Franks kick).
SLU — Crump 13 pass from Metzgar (Dris kick).
RPI — Burpoe 41 pass from Hermann (Franks kick).
SLU — Crump 7 pass from Metzgar (kick failed).
First downs 26 26
Rushes-yards 36-64 31-302
Passing yards 360 306
Comp-Att-Int 27-49-3 20-36-0
Return yards 22 37
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Punts-avg. 3-49.0 3-36.7
Penalties-yards 6-55 9-80
NASSAU CC 47, HVCC 0
TROY — Sixth-ranked Nassau Community College (6-0) pounded the Vikings.
Nathaniel Robinson, from Sar-atoga Springs High School, led the rushing attack for the 0-6 Vikings with 34 yards, while Brandon Rowe caught four passes for 35 yards.
Malcolm Cater made 141⁄2 tackles for the Vikings, who travel to Monroe CC Saturday.