ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany football team, ranked No. 23 in the nation, put on a stellar defensive performance Saturday afternoon with a 24-8 win over 24th-ranked William & Mary. The defense totaled six sacks, two interceptions, and a touchdown – all while keeping the Tribe to just eight points. Defensive back Aamir Hall made the play of the game, and arguably the season, intercepting William & Mary’s Darius Wilson and dragging him 20 yards for the pick-six.
Key Stat Lines
- In addition to the INT, Hall finished with six tackles, three solo.
- Quarterback Reese Poffenbarger went 12-22 throwing the ball, recording a TD and an INT.
- Wideout Brevin Easton hauled in a TD on the game’s opening drive, a 37-yard pass from Poffenbarger. It’s Easton’s fourth-straight game with an TD. He led the receiving corps with 90 yards on four receptions.
- Running back Griffin Woodell recorded another 100-yard rushing game, also scoring a TD late to all but assure the win for UAlbany.
- The defense recorded six total sacks, led by AJ Simon with 2.5. Adding their name to the list with one each was Anton Juncaj, Bill Hackett, and Ori Jean-Charles. Elijah Hills recorded half a sack.
Head Coach Greg Gattuso: “I think we played well. I think we took some bad penalties in the first half that hurt us and took away our opportunity to open up the score a little more. But overall, I think the defense was lights out all game and the offense did what they had to do… Great day, great win. William & Mary is a quality football team.”
How it Happened:
- The Great Danes were first to get the ball on offense, wasting no time. UAlbany marched 74 yards on just three plays to open the game. Running back Griffin Woodell brought in a pass on the flat for a 37-yard gain to get the unit into W&M territory. The next play, Reese Poffenbarger found Brevin Easton on another 37-yard pass, this one into the end zone for a TD and a 7-0 lead.
- John Opalko sent a 42-yard field goal through the uprights halfway through the second quarter, putting the Great Danes up 10-0.
- With just over two minutes remaining in the first half, W&M quarterback Darius Wilson attempted a pass out to the right side that was picked off by Aamir Hall at the 49-yard line. Hall ran the ball back all the way for the pick-6, dragging Wilson 20 yards in the process for a highlight-level play. The score made it 17-0 UAlbany.
- Linebacker Brian Abraham picked off W&M’s Wilson on the final play of the first half, a Hail Mary into the end zone.
- The UAlbany defense recorded six sacks in the first half, holding the Tribe scoreless.
- The W&M defense recorded its first turnover of the day on UAlbany’s first offensive drive of the second half. Malcolm Spencer brought in the INT after a juggled ball in the end zone fell into his lap just before he was pushed out of bounds.
- The Tribe drove all the way down the field on their ensuing possession, making it to the UAlbany half-yard line. The Great Dane defense stood tall, holding W&M out of the end zone on fourth down to keep the score 17-0.
- Griffin Woodell scored from 15 yards out on a rush to the outside with seven minutes remaining, making it a 24-0 ballgame. The run completed a five-play, 61-yard drive.
- The Tribe got on the board with 3:28 remaining on a 20-yard rush from Wilson. The Tribe went for two points after the score and were successful, bringing the score to 24-8.
Next: The Great Danes face archrival Stony Brook next weekend on the road in the annual battle for the Golden Apple.