ALBANY, N.Y. – The No. 16 ranked University at Albany football team took sixth-ranked Richmond to triple overtime after tying the game with a 51-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining in regulation Saturday night at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
However, the Spiders came away with a 36-30 triumph, spoiling UAlbany’s perfect record in the Homecoming clash with 9,052 in attendance. The Great Danes fell to 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in the CAA, while Richmond improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in league play.
– Sophomore quarterback Neven Sussman led UAlbany’s offense with a career-high 207 passing yards, completing 11-of-33 attempts with two interceptions. Sussman rushed for a 19-yard touchdown and threw a 51-yard game-tying touchdown pass to Jordan Crockett with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter.
– Sophomore Zee Roberson led the receiving corps with five receptions, totaling 98 yards. Austin Ellis and Anthony Manzo-Lewis each had two catches, accruing 26 and 20 yards, respectively.
– Sophomore Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks ran the ball 16 times in the ground attack, totaling 34 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime.
– Redshirt freshman kicker Ethan Stark connected on three field goals from 27, 45, and 24 yards out, while punter Jon Martin punted six time, pinning the Spiders inside the 20 twice and averaged 43.8 yards per punt.
– Defensively, junior Malachi Hoskins recorded a career-high 16 tackles (5 solo), including two sacks, three tackles for a loss, and forced a fumble.
– In addition, sophomore Josh Wynn brought down a career-best 14 tackles (5 solo), Julian Cox added 11 tackles (4 solo), and Michael Nicastro logged 10 while also recovering a fumble and intercepting his third pass of the season.
– Sussman gave the Great Danes a 7-0 advantage with 9:50 remaining in the first quarter, breaking through the defense with a 19-yard touchdown scamper.
– Richmond’s Griffin Trau put the Spider’s on the board with a 30-yard field goal with 2:58 left in the opening quarter.
– Stark countered with a 27-yard field goal of his own, giving UAlbany a 10-3 lead with 9:35 on the clock in the second.
– However, the Spiders put together an 80-yard, 14-play drive, capped by Deontez Thompson’s one-yard run with 16 seconds left in the half.
– In the third quarter, Richmond took a 13-10 advantage with a 20-yard field goal, but Stark answered back with a career-long 45-yarder, tying the game with 2:44 remaining in the quarter.
– Thompson put the Spiders up, 20-13, with 2:44 left in the fourth with a four-yard run, topping off a 70-yard, 11-play drive.
– With time waning, UAlbany moved the ball quickly down the gridiron, as Sussman connected a 51-yard touchdown throw to Crockett, tying the game 20-20 with 1:17 remaining.
– Making a stop on defense, Stark attempted a 50-yard field goal just short and right of the uprights as time in regulation expired.
-In the first overtime, Trau hit a 22-yard field goal and Stark matched it with a 24-yarder, sending the game into a second extra stanza.
– UAlbany took the ball first and Ibitokun-Hanks gave the Danes a 30-23 advantage on his 1-yard push across the goal line.
– However, Richmond answered as Thompson broke free with a 14-yard touchdown run.
– In the third overtime, Richmond used five plays to get into the end zone, capped by David Broadus’ four-yard keeper. The Danes made a stop on the two-point attempt, holding the score at 36-30.
-However, Richmond’s defense held UAlbany off the board in their final drive of the night, ending the triple overtime clash.
Coach Gattuso on UAlbany’s defense: “We knew we were going to have trouble with their offense, and I thought the defense played valiantly through most of the game. We really controlled their big plays for the most part. They survive on it, live off it.”
Coach Gattuso on UAlbany’s offense: “Offensively, they were going to load the box. They were doing everything they could to keep [Ibitokun-Hanks] under wraps. I thought there were some really positive things out of our quarterback and our young players tonight.”
Coach Gattuso on the season’s first loss: “Overall, it’s disappointing we couldn’t come out with a win. We wanted to win the game. I thought the kids played well and played tough, but credit to Richmond, they are a good football team. They have good football players and played a tough road game and came out with a win.”
Coach Gattuso on UAlbany’s fans: “They were unbelievable. The energy in the stadium was unbelievable. They stuck with us. I literally turned and looked at the stands at one point because it was so loud down on the field. I haven’t heard that here. I’ve been in some big stadiums and have heard a lot of noise. It was really impressive. I thank the fans and I hope they had fun.”
UAlbany travels to take on Maine on Oct. 15 at 12 p.m.