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Football fights but falls to Maine

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By Aaron Williams
Staff Writer
sports.asp@gmail.com

The University at Albany football
team returned home to take
on the No. 9 ranked Maine Black
Bears but fell 33-27.
The first quarter was filled
with high energy and tough play
from both sides. Maine had the
first possession and was able to
put together a 9 play, 66-yard
drive that ended in a 1-yard
touchdown run by Nigel Jones.
On UAlbany’s ensuing possession,
after a 4-yard run by running
back Omar Osbourne and a
7-yard pass to wide receiver Cole
King, Osbourne fumbled and the
ball was recovered by Maine’s
Patrick Ricard.
After the fumble, Maine (9-1,6-
0) drove 15-yards from Albany’s
(1-9,0-6) 45 and attempted a 47-
yard field goal that missed. This
turned out to be a blessing in
disguise as the Great Danes were
able to put together a beautiful
9 play, 70-yard drive for a score
highlighted by a 23 yard pass
to tight end Brian Parker and
capped off by a 10-yard touchdown
run by quarterback Will
Fiacchi with 3:11 left in the 1st
quarter to tie the game at 7.
The 2nd quarter started off
slow as both teams ended their
drives with punts. After Maine
failed to convert on 4th down,
the Great Danes took over with
the ball at their own 33-yard line.
A holding penalty against Maine
and a first down run by Osbourne
set up a 44-yard touchdown pass
from Fiacchi to wide receiver
Kevin Chillis streaking down the
sideline. An excessive celebration
call forced UA to kickoff
from their 20-yard line.
Maine was helped out with an
additional 15-yard penalty for
facemask and used it to their
advantage as Maine’s Marcus
Wasilewski completed a 23-yard
touchdown pass to wide receiver
Derrick Johnson. The score was
now tied at 14 after the extra
point conversion.
The Great Danes did not have
a favorable start to the second
half as a penalty set them back
five yards and a Fiacchi interception
was thrown and returned for
34-yards by Maine’s Michael
Mangiarelli to the 6-yard line
which set Nigel Jones up for a
6-yard rush for his second touchdown
of the game. Following the
missed extra point, the score was
now 20-14.
“Parker was open on the route,
I just put too much air under the
pass,” Fiacchi said.
“Our margin of error is so
small,” said head coach Bob
Ford. “We turned the ball over
twice tonight. You can’t do that
against a 9-1 team.
“But, I’m really proud of our
kids I think we’re getting better.
It doesn’t show in the record,
but I know it shows on Sundays
when we look at the film.”
The Great Danes responded
with 12 play 70-yard scoring
drive. With a large emphasis
on the run, Osbourne received
majority of the touches with Jake
Meek getting involved in the
offense.
Fiacchi topped the drive off
with a 16-yard touchdown pass
to tight end Brian Parker. The
Great Danes were in a position to
take a 1 point lead but the extra
point attempt was blocked.
The score was tied at 20.
There was no shortage of
action this quarter as Maine answered
back quickly with an 11
play, 90-yard scoring drive completed
by a touchdown reception
by wide receiver John Ebeling.
After the extra point, Maine led
27-20.
UAlbany was not finished yet.
The Great Danes drove down the
field for a score on a 4 yard run
by Omar Osbourne highlighted
by a 36-yard pass to Chillis and 2
big first down runs; one by wide
receiver Jake Meeks and the
other by the touchdown recipient
Omar Osbourne. This tied the
game at 27 after the extra point
conversion.
Maine was able to respond
with a 6 play 65 yard scoring
drive that took the air right out
of UAlbany’s sails as Ebeling
scored his second touchdown of
the night.
The Great Danes had one more
chance to respond with just under
2 minutes left in the game but
it was squandered with a forced
fumble by a Maine defensive
lineman.
“Maine, I give them a lot of
credit,” said Ford. “They play
hard all the time. Jack Cosgrove
does a great job with them.”
The Great Danes will play their
final home game on Nov. 16 at
3:30 p.m. against New Hampshire.

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