UAlbany's defense dominates in win over New Hampshire
Score: UAlbany 15, No. 16/14 New Hampshire 0
Location: Tom & Mary Casey Stadium in Albany, N.Y.
Records: UAlbany (4-7, 2-6 Colonial Athletic Association); New Hampshire (7-4, 5-3 CAA)
Short story: A dominating defensive performance delivered the University at Albany football team a 15-0 victory over New Hampshire on Saturday in the Great Danes’ season finale.
- UAlbany’s defense limited New Hampshire to just 122 total yards, including -11 yards rushing. The Wildcats managed only 10 first downs against a Great Danes defense that produced eight sacks and forced four fumbles, two of which were recovered by UAlbany.
- Great Danes quarterback Will Brunson completed 14-of-24 passes for 184 yards. He tossed a 54-yard touchdown pass to Austin Ellis, who scored his first collegiate TD.
- UAlbany linebacker Nate Hatalsky recorded nine tackles in his final college game. He ends the season as the CAA’s leader with 122 tackles.
Head coach Greg Gattuso: “The defense has been playing like that all year. Today, they were not going to be denied. The offense did enough to get us some points. It’s an incredible win against a really good team that was fighting for a playoff berth. I just can’t say enough about this group of seniors.”
Senior linebacker Nate Hatalsky: “We had our brothers to play for. We have been together four, five years now. You can question our wins and losses, how the season is going, but not our brotherhood. We knew it was going to be our last ride together, and we weren’t going out with a loss. We promised each other that.”
Senior defensive end Malachi Hoskins: “I think we’ve been having a solid year as a defense, and we wanted to continue that. We wanted to end the season on a high note, and that’s what we did.”
Senior wide receiver Brad Harris, who wore the name of his uncle, David Scott Harris, on the back of his jersey for Military Appreciation Day: “As soon as I found out we could nominate people (to be honored on jerseys), I immediately thought of my uncle. He’s served in the Air Force for 24 years, and he’s retiring soon. I have a really strong connection with him. We talk all the time, whenever he goes overseas and about what he’s doing over there. I just wanted to support him and say I appreciate all that he’s given up, going overseas and doing what he needs to do.”
Behind a smothering defense, the University at Albany football team ended its 2017 season with a victory, beating No. 16/14 New Hampshire, 15-0, on Saturday at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
The Great Danes held the Wildcats, a potential Football Championship Subdivision playoff team, to just 122 yards of total offense and -11 yards rushing on Military Appreciation Day.
After UAlbany honored 14 seniors in a pregame ceremony, Austin Ellis caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Will Brunson, Ethan Stark kicked two field goals and the Great Danes got a safety on an errant long snap to back up a defense that was dominant.
UAlbany piled up eight sacks, including a pair by senior defensive end Malachi Hoskins, and forced two turnovers on fumbles.
The Great Danes led 3-0 at halftime after Stark kicked a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Then, on New Hampshire’s first drive after halftime, the Wildcats were kicking from their own 31-yard line when the snap sailed over the head of punter Max Pedinoff, leading to the safety and a 5-0 lead.
Brunson and Ellis connected on the ensuing possession. On 1st and 10 from the UAlbany 46, Brunson launched a long throw to Ellis, who was wide open deep in the New Hampshire secondary. He ran untouched to the end zone for his first collegiate touchdown.
Brunson completed 14-of-24 passes for 184 yards on a chilly, blustery afternoon. And he got support in the run game from Kendall Rodgers Jr., who carried 23 times for 50 yards and made several key catches out of the backfield on third down.
Stark closed the scoring with 6:21 to play with his second field goal, this one from 38 yards away.