Union's Ground Game Aids LL Win over Rochester

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SCHENECTADY, NY – Union College rumbled for nearly 300 rushing yards and earned a 35-14 victory over the University of Rochester on Saturday afternoon at Frank Bailey Field.


Rochester (1-8, 0-5 Liberty League) finished the contest strong, outscoring Union 14-0 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as the Dutchmen improve to 6-2 on the season and 2-2 in the Liberty League.


Both of UR's quarterbacks tossed touchdown passes in the fourth, with Henry Josephson catching a four yarder from Matt Gallagher early in the quarter, with Josh Brown connecting with Stephen Glinski for a 10-yard TD with just over a minute on the clock.


Union was led offensively by Ike Irabor who had 175 yards rushing on 18 carries, for an average of 9.7 yards per tote.  He added two touchdowns on the ground.  Teammate Travis Demby recorded 77 yards rushing and added a score.


The Dutchmen were nearly perfect through the air as well, going 14-15 on day as a team.  Will Bellamy had 83 yards passing and two TD's, one to Andre Ross Jr. and the other to Packy Brown.


For Rochester, Gallagher led UR's aerial attack with 136 yards and a score, completing 11-20 passes.  Brown was 8-11 for 48 yards.  First-year Noah Shinaman led the way with eight catches for 83 yards while teammate Dan Diaz hauled in six receptions for 52 yards.


On the ground, Damon Yargeau rushed for 52 yards, while Brown added 21 for the Yellowjackets.


Union set the tone early that it was going to pound the ball on the ground.  On the first drive and second play from scrimmage, Irabor scampered for 45 yards, immediately putting the Dutchmen deep in Rochester territory.  After a Demby 12 yard rush got them in the red zone, Union's Bellamy connected with Ross Jr. for a two yard strike and the early lead.


After a Rochester 3-and-out, Union used a 13-play, 68-yard drive to increase its lead to 14-0, capped by a Demby 9-yard rushing score.  Irabor again was the focal point on the drive, picking up 41 yards on six carries.


Irabor's first rushing TD of the game pushed the score to 21-0 Union on the Dutchmen's next drive before Rochester mounted a long drive of their own just before halftime.  UR's 12-play drive worked down inside the Union 20-yard line, but Dawson Klinger's field goal attempt from 34 yards missed wide right.  The Yellowjackets were able to convert a couple of nice third downs on the drive thanks to catches from Diaz and Shinaman.


The kickoff to start the second half saw a nice Diaz kick return set up the Yellowjackets at the 35-yardline for a drive which penetrated Union territory, but stalled out just over midfield.  Union then gained possession and Irabor scampered 43 yards for a TD to increase the lead.


Rochester was pinned deep on its next drive and eventually gave up the ball to Union in Yellowjacket territory.  The Dutchmen were able to convert for another score, making it 35-0.


UR's first scoring drive spanned the third and fourth quarters, encompassing 80 yards.  Two big completions from Gallagher to Shinaman kept the drive alive, while Yargeau was able to pick up chunk yards on the ground as well.  Union picked up a penalty on fourth down, keeping the drive alive and Gallagher finished it off with a TD toss to Josephson to put Rochester on the scoreboard.


The Yellowjackets forced Union to turn the ball over on downs on its next drive and again marched down the field for its second scoring drive of the day.  Brown was in at quarterback this time, starting the drive with two big run plays to quickly reach Union territory.  Passes to Shinaman and Glinski then set up UR inside the 10-yard line before Glinski found the end zone with 67 remaining in the contest.


Defensively, Caden Cole led the Yellowjackets with 13 tackles while Christian Marini had 10 stops.  Tim Mascari was able to pick up six tackles, including 2.5 for loss along the defensive line.  Troy Warner forced the lone fumble of the game, but Union was able to fall on it as neither team committed any turnovers.


Rochester concludes the regular season next weekend when it hosts Alfred University at Fauver Stadium for a 12 pm kickoff on November 10th.

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