Despite their best efforts, the Raiders dropped their second straight non-conference game this past weekend as they fell to the No. 25 Albany Great Danes on the road. A touchdown run by Great Danes quarterback Will Fiacchi with just 16 ticks remaining on the clock gave them a 24-17 victory on the afternoon.
Playing without sophomore quarterback Jake Melville for the second straight week, first-year quarterback Bret Mooney got the start and played well enough through the air. The Raiders were strong on the ground regardless, with junior tailback James Travellin recording his fifth rushing touchdown of the season on top of 55 rushing yards. In addition, junior tailbacks John Wilkins and Demetrius Russell combined for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Raiders were strong, holding the Great Danes to just a field goal after a long drive in the first quarter. It wasn’t until a 71-yard drive early in the second quarter that Albany recorded their first touchdown of the day, extending their lead to 10-0.
From there, Mooney instrumented a 13 play drive that resulted in Travellin’s rushing touchdown. On the day, Mooney completed eight passes for 69 yards with junior tight end John Quazza catching four of those passes. Junior wide receiver Brian Lalli also caught a 19-yard reception from Mooney.
At the end of the first half, the Raiders were beneficiaries of an instant replay review that rewarded sophomore linebacker Kyle Diener with an interception. First-year linebacker Pat Afriyie continued his strong play, tipping the ball at the line that was eventually intercepted by Diener.
The Raiders turned this opportunity into a 38-yard field goal by sophomore Jonah Bowman with 18 seconds remaining to tie up the game for the Raiders.
It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter that the Great Danes regained the lead. Albany lead a drive that lasted just under six minutes and took them 12 plays but resulted in a 17-10 advantage. Early on in the fourth quarter, the Raiders fought back and tied up the game on Wilkins’ run from one yard out.
While the Raiders looked prime to hold onto the tie, the Great Danes instrumented a beautiful 66-yard drive that took just 2:47 and put Albany in the lead with little time remaining on the clock. With just seconds on the clock, the Raiders failed to score and fell to their opponent from the CAA.
While the Raiders did fall short on the scoreboard, the result is certainly not indicative of the effort they put forward. Facing tough competition in two straight non-conference match ups, the Raiders looked strong on the road. Senior captain Mike Armiento continued his strong season in the secondary, recording 15 tackles and making plays all over the field. His presence was noted as he was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
The Raiders return to their conference portion of the schedule this weekend as they travel downstate to take on the Fordham Rams, a Patriot League foe. The No. 10 Rams are 7-1 on the season and just like the Raiders, undefeated in conference play. The game kicks off from the Bronx at 1 p.m. this Saturday, November 1.