ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany football team kicked off the 2023 season with a convincing win over Fordham, 34-13. The offense was led by quarterback Reese Poffenbarger, tossing four touchdowns, and wideout Roy Alexander, hauling in six receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was led by Anton Juncaj and AJ Simon dominating the line. Both finished with 3.0 sacks, with Juncaj adding a forced fumble in the first half.
Key Stat Lines
- Reese Poffenbarger – 23-40, 253 yards, 4 TDs, 47 rushing
- Anton Juncaj – 4.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 QBH, 6 tackles, FF
- AJ Simon – 3.0 sacks, 4 solo tackles
- Roy Alexander – 6 REC, 58 yards, 2 TD
- Brevin Easton – 2 REC, 31 yards, TD
- Marqeese Dietz – 5 REC, 46 yards
- Griffin Woodell – 1 REC, 8 yards, TD
Coach Greg Gattuso: “It was a good night. I think we played a good overall game in all three phases. Penalties were the big drawback tonight, we have to tighten it up.”
How it Happened:
- The Great Danes got on the board first in the opening frame. On UAlbany’s second drive, the offense was able to march 59 yards on 12 plays for the score. The drive was capped by a six-yard pass from Reese Poffenbarger to Roy Alexander.
- The Rams followed up with points of their own, driving 58 yards on 10 plays to set up a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
- Fordham once again converted on a field goal on the team’s next drive, hitting one from 26 yards out to make it 7-6 just a minute into the second quarter.
- UAlbany pushed the score to 14-6 with 1:31 remaining in the first half. A 12-play 61-yard drive ended with an eight-yard strike to freshman running back Griffin Woodell, the first score of his collegiate career.
- Less than a minute later, with the Rams on offense, defensive end Anton Juncaj forced a fumble on Fordham’s quarterback, CJ Montes, with the Great Danes recovering the football. ON short rest, it only took the offense three plays to drive 30 yards to push the lead to 21-6. Roy Alexander scored his second TD of the game, trucking defenders for 18 yards and the score. The Great Danes would go on to take the 15-point lead into the locker room at the half.
- Fordham capitalized on the team’s first drive of the second half, driving the ball 76 yards on nine plays for the score. The drive was capped by a 24-yard reception by Fordham’s Cole Thornton, making it 21-13.
- The lead was pushed to two scores once again with 2:20 remaining in the third. John Opalko knocked in his first field goal of the year from 21 yards out, making it 24-13. The score capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive.
- The Great Danes came out swinging in the final frame. UAlbany The offense drove the ball 63 yards for another touchdown to push the lead to 31-13. Poffenbarger found receiver Brevin Easton in the back right corner of the end zone on a 30-yard strike for the TD.
Next: The Great Danes travel south to take on FBS foe Marshal next weekend. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. from Huntington, West Virginia.