September 23, 2006

Defense Stops Randolph-Macon

Defense Stops Randolph-Macon
Cardinals have seven sacks for the afternoon

ASHLAND, Va. - The CUA Cardinal football team (3-1, 1-0 ODAC) proved that defense truly wins games Saturday against the Randolph-Macon College Yellowjackets (2-2, 0-1 ODAC).  The Cardinal defense accounted for an impressive seven sacks for 44 yards.  CUA also stopped the aerial game allowing only three completions by the Yellowjackets and one interception.

The Yellowjackets' defense was looked to be in control from the get go intercepting Keith Ricca's (Poolesville, Md./St. John's Prospect Hall) bullet up the middle and returning it for a touchdown on the Cardinals' first series of the game.  The 41-yard return by Chris Collins on third and seven put Randolph-Macon up 7-0 very early in the contest.

The rocky first quarter was nothing, however, compared to an even shakier second for CUA as the Yellowjackets dominated time of possesion.  A long pass play that finally looked to get things going was called back due to an illegal block at the line of scrimmage midway through the period.  Following the series on third down, Ricca completed a pass but released the ball just past the line of scrimmage to cancel out the catch and went down on the play.  Into the game came backup freshman Brendan Salvatore (Stamford, Conn./Stamford).  The new signal caller finished the series with a handoff to Reuben Simmons (Beacon, N.Y./Beacon) who was stood up at the line of scrimmage.

With six minutes left in the half, the Yellowjackets took over with momentum building.  However CUA finally stepped up to the challenge with an impressive defensive series that ended with Dweh Siklo (Silver Spring, Md./Albert Einstein) blocking the punt to give the Cards tremendous field position at the Randolph Macon 43.  CUA took four plays and three first downs with Ricca back under center to get the ball into the end zone on a pass to Ryan Bowman (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) in the right corner.  The teams went into the locker rooms tied at seven apiece.

The second half was all CUA as the blitzing began.  The Cardinal defense made a game-changing play midway through the third when Tony Delborrell (Laurel, Md./Dematha) forced a Yellowjacket fumble on the Randolph Macon eight-yard line which was recovered by David Woo (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East).  This gave the Cards first and goal which they converted to a touchdown on the first play of the series as Jeff Sheehan (Haddonfield, N.J./Paul VI) lumbered through the Yellowjacket defense past the goal line. 

It looked as though RMC would return the favor on the next drive but again the defense came up with a big stop.  Asley Williams (Hyattsville, Md./Archbishop Carrol) intercepted Kevin Allen's pass at the CUA six to  give the Cards a first down.

The Yellowjackets would threaten, but never come close to overpowering the Cardinal defense making the final 14-7 in favor of CUA.

Ricca completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards while RMC had just 53 yards through the air.  In 38 rushing attempts the Cards racked up 68 yards including 47 by Sheehan.  Noah Rogers (Lorton, Va./Bishop O'Connell) led all receivers six catches for 61 yards.

The Cardinals will have a week off before returning home to face ODAC-foe Washington and Lee on October 7th at 1:00 p.m.

 

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