September 25, 2010

Union defeats Rochester, 16-14

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SCHENECTADY, NY -- Senior kicker/punter Blaise Ancona made three field goals and

running back Chris Coney eclipsed the 3,000 yard career rushing mark to lead Union College to a 16-14 victory over the University of Rochester in Liberty League action at Frank Bailey Field Saturday night.
 
Ancona made a 41 yard field goal with 3:51 remaining for the eventual game winner.
 
The Dutchmen are now 1-0 in league play and 1-1 overall while the Yellowjackets fell to 0-1 in the league and 0-3 overall.
 
Coney ran for 157 yards on 33 carries and senior wide receiver Justin Gallo had 113 yards on seven catches. Junior quarterback Drew Connolly passed for 189 yards (11 for 29) with a touchdown and senior defensive back Josh Angoff had nine tackles for the Dutchmen. Steve Modliszewski made eight stops for the hosts.

Coney entered the game needing 48 yards to become the fourth Union runner to get 3,000 career yards. He now has 3,109, and joined Tom Arcidiacono '06 (the all-time leader with 4,915), George Beebe '02(3,615) and Chris Irving '94 (3,408).
 
Rochester was led by junior running back Byron Saggese, who had 74 yards on 18 carries. Senior quarterback Patrick Keegan was 21 for 43 with two interceptions for 225 yards. Receivers Tony Messana (8 catches for 67 yards) and Thomas Norman (6 for 90) were the top targets. Defensively, the Yellowjackets featured strong performances from sophomore linebacker Brendan Pidgeon (game high 12 tackles) and freshman linebacker Tony Ortega (11 tackles).

Union held Rochester to 85 net yards rushing and had 180 yards rushing. The Dutchmen posted 369 yards in total offense while the Yellowjackets finished with 310 total yards.
 
Trailing 14-13 with 9:07 left in the third period, the Dutchmen took over at the Rochester 45. Coney carried four straight times for 23 yards and four plays later, Ancona nailed the 41 yarder, a career best, with 5:16 left for the 16-14 lead. It was his third of the day, and the pre-season All-American punter had not had any field goal attempts in his career entering the game. The drive took eight plays and 21 yards in 3:56.
 
Rochester opened the scoring when Chris Bickford ran from two yards out with 9:10 left in the first quarter. Saggese had 26 yards rushing during the five play, 37 yard drive that consumed just 1:55. Union tied it at 7-7 with 6:22 left in the first period. Connolly found Connor Gallo behind the coverage for a 51 yard touchdown strike on a first down play.
 
The Dutchmen later took over with 4:41 left in the period from their own 10 yard line, and began an eventual scoring drive that took 12 plays and the 90 yards in 5:32. Ancona hit a 24 yard field goal just 45 seconds into the second quarter, his first career three point boot, for the 10-7 lead. On a third and 10 from the Rochester 20, a Yellowjacket pass was intercepted by Union's Anthony Cassese at the Rochester 48 and the Dutchmen began an ensuing drive from the Rochester 47 with 9:42 left in the half. But the Yellowjacket defense forced a four-and-out.
 
Ancona's 33 yard field goal with 1:33 left in the first half provided the 13-7 Union advantage. The drive, which took six plays and 53 yards in 1:53, featured a 40 yard completion from Connelly to Justin Gallo. But The Yellowjackets regained the lead on the ensuing drive. Marching 69 yards on seven plays in 1:22. Bickford had another two yard scoring rush with 30 seconds left in the half for the 14-13 lead.
 
JP Sticco intercepted a Keegan pass at the Rochester 45 with 11:05 remaining in the third quarter, but the Yellowjackets forced another four-and-out and held onto the lead until the eventual game winning drive that started with 9:07 left in the third.
 
Union held the ball for 10:14 in the fourth quarter in protecting the lead.
 
The Dutchmen defeated Rochester for the 18th time in the last 20 meetings, and the 50th time in 101 all time meetings. But this was the fifth straight game decided by seven or less points.
 
Union plays at WPI on October 2, while Rochester hosts RPI on October 2.
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