Bill Ziskin

UAlbany football takes down Monmouth, 28-14

UAlbany Sports Information   09-16-2017

Football score: UAlbany 28, Monmouth 14

Location: Tom and Mary Casey Stadium, Albany, N.Y. 

Records: UAlbany (2-1), Monmouth (2-1) 

Short story: Quarterback Will Brunson threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks scored in his season debut, and the UAlbany defense held what had been one of the nation’s most prolific running games to just 63 yards on the ground.

Key stats

  • The Great Danes put together their best passing game yet. Will Brunson completed 17-of-25 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown, and Jerod Diggs caught five passes for 112 yards. Donovan McDonald also caught a TD pass.
  • McDonald electrified the Casey Stadium crowd on punt returns. He brought back six for a total of 94 yards, including a 34-yard return that set up a touchdown. 

Key plays

  • Junior tailback Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks ran for a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of his season debut, opening up a 28-14 lead.
  • With two minutes left before halftime, Will Brunson scrambled to his left and then darted 20 yards to the end zone, giving the Great Danes a 22-17 lead at intermission.

Quote

Head coach Greg Gattuso on Nate Hatalsky (15 tackles): “I’m proud of him. When something like that happens, where a kid that’s such a great kid like Nate Hatalsky and he’s out there living the dream right now, that’s a great feeling for a coach.”

Recap

Quarterback Will Brunson threw for 196 yards and tailback Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to help the University at Albany football team to a 28-14 victory over Monmouth in the home opener at Casey Stadium.

The Great Danes’ defense smothered what had been one of the nation’s top rushing attacks, holding Monmouth’s Pete Guerriero, the fourth-leading rusher in the Football Championship Subdivision entering the game, to just 26 yards on 13 carries.

UAlbany now has won back-to-back games as it prepares to begin Colonial Athletic Association play against Villanova on Saturday back at Casey Stadium.

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Ibitokun-Hanks, who sat out the season’s first two games with a lower-body injury, scored on a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring in a game the Great Danes never trailed. The touchdown was set up by Donovan McDonald’s 34-yard punt return that gave UAlbany the ball at the Monmouth 16-yard line.

Ibitokun-Hanks finished with 63 yards on 17 carries. As a team, UAlbany surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive game, this time netting 107.

The Great Danes opened the score with 11:29 left in the first quarter when Neven Sussman scored on a 4-yard run.

Brunson completed his first eight passes, the last of which was a 13-yard touchdown pass to McDonald, extending the lead to 13-0.

Later, with UAlbany leading 16-6 following Ethan Stark’s 22-yard field goal, Brunson added a 20-yard rushing touchdown with 2:01 remaining in the half. He dashed around the left side of the line and eluded a tackler on his way to the goal to put the Great Danes ahead 22-7 at the intermission.

Monmouth’s Ugo Ezemma caught a 6-yard touchdown pass, and Devell Jones ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

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