SCHENECTADY, NY – Christian Clark hit a 35 yard field goal with 10:01 remaining in the fourth quarter to lead Salve Regina University to a 17-14 non-league football victory over Union College Saturday afternoon at Frank Bailey Field. It was the season opener for both teams.
Matthew Markese had three sacks and five total tackles for losses with 11 total tackles for the Seahawks. Steven Wilken was 13 for 22 for 154 yards with no interceptions and a touchdown, and had a team high 47 yards rushing. Paul Panarelli had 62 yards on two receptions. The Salve Regina defense posted five sacks.
Union was led by wide receiver Jimmer Bennett and linebacker Noah Joseph. Bennett had a career best 172 yards on seven catches with a TD, and Joseph recorded a game high 17 tackles, including two for losses. Brian Daley and Jake Lebowitz had nine tackles each for the Dutchmen. Connor Eck was 10 for 22 in the first varsity game of his career, and also passed for a touchdown with 172 yards. Eck also led the Dutchmen on the ground with 41 rushing yards.
Salve Regina had 92 rushing yards but held the Dutchmen to 126. Union had 340 yards in total offense while the Seahawks recorded 246 yards in offense.
The Seahawks opened the scoring just 2:36 into the contest. Phil Terio intercepted a pass from starting quarterback Nick Becker from the Union 31, and raced down the left sideline into the endzone for a 6-0 Savle Regina lead. The kick failed.
The teams were both held scoreless in the second quarter. In fact, neither team reached the redzone in a total of six drives in the quarter.
The Dutchmen took their first lead of the season in the third period. On a third and 11 from the Union 33, Eck found Jimmer Bennett who took off for a 67 yard touchdown catch with 9:39 left to tie the contest, and Tosin Kazeem nailed the extra point for a 7-6 home advantage. The score capped a three play, 66 yard drive that consumed 1:43.
Two drives later, Union started from the 32. Eck hit Bennett for 21 yards to keep the drive alive on a 3rd and 17 play from the Union 25. Eck also rushed to the 50 on a 3rd and 6 minutes later. On the 12th play of the 68 yard drive (that took 6:30), Darnell Thomas rushed for six yards for the touchdown and the kick made it 14-6 Union with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
But after the kickoff, Salve pulled closer with a four play, 68 yard drive in 1:17. Patrick Keenan caught a 15 yard touchdown pass from Wilken just 51 seconds into the fourth quarter and Trey Scales rushed to the left of the end zone for the two point conversion and a 14-14 tie.
After the Salve defense held Union to four downs on the next drive, the Seahawks took over at the Union 38 with 12:26 left. Six plays later on a 4th and 5, Clark booted the field goal for the eventual final score, 17-14.
Union returns home next Saturday, September 8, to host Utica in another non-league game at 7 p.m. Salve Regina will host Montclair State in the team's home opener on September 8 at 12 p.m.