With the heightened energy of both Homecoming Weekend and a bye week to right the ship, men’s football took full advantage of a weak University of Rochester team when they cruised to their first win in over a month on Saturday.
Coming into the weekend, Union was desperate for an opportunity to turn around what was looking to be yet another disappointing season. Having been held to a combined 17 points in their last two games, and losing their last four, a momentum shift was necessary for the Dutchmen.
A cold, damp day gave exactly that, as Union stuck to a potent rushing attack that led the team to a smooth victory.
The game started off with a sloppy first quarter for Rochester that saw four fumbles by the Yellow Jackets.
Union Captain Brian Alebiosu ’17 was a key contributor on the defensive end with both a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Unfortunately the Dutchmen, who entered the game with the 21st best turnover margin in all of DIII, were unable to capitalize on their strong defensive effort until the second quarter when kicker Jonathan Schaible ’18 was able to punch a 28 yard field goal through the uprights, giving the Dutchmen a 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, a big return deep inside Union territory by Rochester’s Kyle Allegrini set up great field position for a Yellow Jacket team that went on to take a 7-3 lead.
The Rochester lead would not last long. A four play 76 yard drive by Union, capped off by a long 52-yard rushing TD by Connor Kinzelmann ’18 gave Union its first visit to the end zone since October 1, and a lead that would last for good. To close out the half, Union would go on to add to its lead on a 21-yard TD pass from Nick Cascione ’19 to Alex Kaplanovich ’18.
The Dutchmen continued to control the flow of the game through the second half as rushing TDs from both Kinzelmann and backfield mate Jermaine Carn ’17 gave Union an insurmountable 31-7 lead.
Rochester would make the score a more respectable 31-15 late in the fourth, but the Dutchmen walked away safely with the win.
The rushing attack was the story of the game, as Carn (153) and Kinzelmann (168) combined for a mammoth 321 yards, as well as a total of three touchdowns on the ground. The win also marked the team’s first Liberty League win since 2014, snapping an 11-game conference losing streak.
The Dutchmen have three games remaining, all in-conference, and have an opportunity to finish the year at .500 for the first time since 2012.
The road will not be easy, however, as that road starts Saturday October 29 against the undefeated Liberty League leaders, #15 St. Lawrence.