ROCHESTER, N.Y. –Dean Kennedy (Scituate, MA/Canterbury School) threw three second half touchdown passes – two to Thomas Hayes (Syracuse, NY/Solvay) – as the University of Rochester rallied to defeat Union College, 21-7, at Edwin Fauver Stadium.
Kennedy completed 10 of 14 passes in the second half for 124 yards. He threw a five-yard pass to Hayes just 1:20 into the third quarter. Mark Torosian (Boston, MA/Belmont) made the extra point to tie the score at 7-7. That was set up when Union made a bad snap back to punter Taylor Ullrich (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) and he was tackled on the five yard line.
For the game, Kennedy completed 18 of 27 for 176 yards. He was sacked twice. He ran 12 times for 85 yards. Rochester totaled 335 yards in offense – 159 on the ground and 176 through the air.
The Yellowjackets (5-2 overall, 3-1 Liberty League) drove 81 yards in six plays to take a 14-7 lead with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Kennedy found Derek Wager (Palmyra, NY/Palmyra-Macedon) for a nine-yard TD and Torosian's PAT increased the lead to 14-7. Devin White (Syracuse, NY/Bishop Ludden) ran 23 yards on first down to set the tone for the drive. Kennedy was 3-3, hitting Wager for seven yards, Nick Perpignan (Brooklyn, NY/Midwood) for 14 yards, then Wager for the touchdown.
With the victory, Rochester clinches a winning record for the first time since 2007. The Yellowjackets were 4-5 in each of the last three seasons and 4-6 in 2009.
Union dropped to 2-5 with the loss (2-2 in the Liberty League). The Dutchmen totaled 164 yards in offense, 67 on the ground and 97 through the air. Quarterback Nick Becker (Coral Springs, FL/Pine Crest) was 13 of 27 for 97 yards and one interception. He was sacked twice.
T.J. Franzese (Allentown, NJ/Don Bosco Prep) ran for 86 yards on 28 carries and scored the Union touchdown in the first quarter.
Midway through the first quarter, Ullrich punted to Wager who fumbled and Mike Ewing (Wellesley, MA/St. Sebastian) recovered on the UR 30. Becker completed two passes in the drive – a 10 yarder to Joseph Vito (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville) and a nine-yarder to Kenny Schunk (Jamesville, NY/Jamesville-DeWitt). The last pass put the ball on the 11. Franzese carried four straight times, finally bulling his way off left tackle for the TD. David Pope's PAT (Beverly, MA/St. John's Prep) made it 7-0.
In the second quarter, Rochester marched from its own 28 to first and goal at the Union 6. Kennedy ran for 35 yards in the drive. On first and goal, his pass for Hayes was broken up by Jake LaRovera (Ansonia,CT/Ansonia). He passed to Garrett Kesel (Avon, NY/Avon) at the 2. Kesel fumbled and Union's Thomas Hayes (no relation – E. Rutherford, NJ/Lyndhurst) recovered.
The bad punt snap occurred on the opening series of the third quarter. Kennedy directed the 81-yard drive on Rochester's second possession of the period.
Rochester missed a chance to build the lead early in the fourth quarter. The Yellowjackets drove from their own 30 to the Union 9 where Torosian missed a 27-yard field goal attempt.
Union committed turnovers on its next two possessions. After the missed field goal, the Dutchmen moved from their own 20 to the 33. Franzese carried up the middle was tackled by Rochester's R.J. Borgolini (Ballston Spa, NY/Ballston Spa) and fumbled with Borgolini recovering at the 38.
Perpignan rushed for 15 yards on first down. Following a holding penalty against the Yellowjackets, Kennedy threw an 11-yard pass to Hayes, then found him again – this time along the left sideline. He dodged one tackle, then carried a defender with him as he dove just inside the pylon for a 22-yard touchdown.
On the first play following the kickoff, Becker's pass was intercepted by Rochester's Ani Okeke Ewo (Romeville, IL/Romeoville). The Yellowjackets pinned Union at its own 12 with a punt. Union drove to the 40 where two Baker passes were broken up and the Dutchmen turned the ball over on downs.
Rochester ran out the final 5:46 picking up two frist downs in the drive – a six-yard pass to Wager and a 19-yarder to Adam Schempp (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas).
Defensively, the Yellowjackets had nine tackles for loss – two apiece by James Barrett (Old Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) and Kristopher Scharles (Canandaigua, NY/Canandaigua) – two sacks (Barrett had 1.5), and six pass breakups.
Union had six tackles for loss, four pass breakups, and one block – Nick Pierce (Shrewsbury, NJ/The Hun School) blocked a pooch punt attempt by Kesel early in the first quarter.