ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Great Dane’s football team claimed the Golden Apple Trophy in the Fourth Annual Empire Clash Saturday after a 13-6 victory over rival Stony Brook.
The Dane’s finished the regular season with a win Saturday for an overall record of 7-4 and 4-4 in conference play.
It was a quiet first half for both teams as Stony Brook was able to score first with a 22-yard field goal late in the second quarter.
Redshirt sophomore kicker Ethan Stark recorded a career best 50-yard field goal with about a minute left in the half to tie to game at 3 apiece.
UAlbany took its first lead of the game during their first drive of the second half with another field goal by Stark.
The Great Dane’s pinned Stony Brook down in their own five-yard line after a 63-yard punt.
On the first play after the punt, Rayshan Clark recovered a fumble for UAlbany and returned it two-yards to give the Great Danes a 13-3 advantage.
Clark would tie UAlbany’s single-game record with two interceptions as well as the fumble recovery.
The Great Dane’s would hold off Stony Brook with their defense to get a final win.
“We just wanted to win the game. It’s nice when you have a rivalry game like that. They had fun with the apple trophy and that’s what it’s for, but ultimately our job is to win a game,” said Head Coach Gregg Gattuso. “And we found a way to win and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully it gives us a chance at getting into the playoffs and continuing to play.”
The 2016 FCS Football Championship Show will air Sunday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
UAlbany hopes to hear its name called and earn the program’s second NCAA Division I FCS playoff berth.
UAlbany last competed in the FCS playoffs in 2011 when the Great Danes met Stony Brook in the first round.