Big Plays Highlight Football's Spring Game
TROY, N.Y. — The University at Albany football team’s Spring Game at Troy High School was highlighted by an interception from Troy native Joe Casale, Nyc Burns’ 40-yard touchdown pass to Donovan McDonald and Xavier Smith’s interception returned for a TD.
The intrasquad scrimmage, which concluded Spring Practice on Saturday, April 27, saw the defense defeat the offense, 26-19, under a scoring system that recognized both traditional scoring plays and also awarded points for big plays, such as sacks and long gains.
Afterward, UAlbany student-athletes and coaches mingled with the several hundred fans who turned out on a cold, blustery afternoon. Wide receiver Dev Holmes, also a native of Troy, autographed posters that were given out free.
“I think getting out in the community is a good thing,” said Greg Gattuso, UAlbany’s head coach. “We’re trying to get fans to come out and see us play. It’s great football. The CAA is one of the most competitive conferences in all of football. We want more people to come out, because when Bob Ford Field is full, Casey Stadium is a great place to play. We were glad to see fans come out today, and we hope to see them come out in the future.”
Both the offense and defense shined at times.
McDonald and Burns connected on the afternoon’s longest play, a 40-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. Burns was 3-for-3 for 67 yards and a TD over the first two quarters.
Casale got the crowd excited when he picked off a pass intended for Holmes during a two-minute drill. Later, he deflected a pass that landed in the arms of Smith, who raced 25 yards down the sideline for a defensive touchdown.
McDonald also contributed on special teams, returning a kickoff nearly 70 yards.
“It was a good day,” Gattuso said. “I thought the conditions were a little hard, but there were some good plays. All in all, the effort was good. We’re making progress, and overall, it was a good spring.”
The season opens Thursday, Aug. 29, at Central Michigan.