October 27, 2012

RMU can't rally against Wagner

The hole was just too deep.

Robert Morris scored twice in the fourth quarter but couldn't overcome a large early deficit as the Colonials fell 23-13 to Wagner.

Down 23-0, Robert Morris finally got on the board midway through the fourth quarter when Jeff Sinclair found Donte Jeter for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Robert Morris held Wagner on the ensuing series, and Sinclair struck deep again. This time the touchdown went to freshman D.J. Hayes from 38-yards out. Robert Morris went for two but couldn't convert.

The Colonials did convert on the onside kick, as an offsides call negated Evan Taylor's recovery the first time around. Greg Langer delivered another quality kick, and Taylor fell on it again. But Robert Morris couldn't take advantage of the opportunity, as Sinclair threw four straight incompletions.

Sinclair was 13-of-25 for 238 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He was also sacked twice.

Prior to that fourth quarter flurry, Robert Morris couldn't get anything going offensively. With Evan Taylor (14 carries, 49 yards) stymied for the first time in weeks, the pressure was on Sinclair to convert and he just couldn't find a connection enough. Wagner, meanwhile, settled for holding onto the ball for long stretches, enjoying a 36:39 to 23:21 advantage in time of possession.

The Seahawks started the game on top, as Otis Wright returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. It was the second straight week where the kickoff unit gave up a touchdown. The special teams play bottomed out on Robert Morris' first series. After an impressive 16-play, 67-yard drive, Robert Morris sent Langer out to try a chip-shot field goal. But the kick was blocked as Wagner came storming through on the left side.

It would be the closest RMU would get to scoring until those fourth quarter touchdowns.

Wagner slowly built a lead, using 12-play and 9-play drives that led to David Lopez field goals and a 13-0 edge at the half. Another monster drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth went 17 plays and 89 yards and resulted in Wagner's first offensive touchdown of the day when Nick Doscher scored from a yard out.

Sinclair tried to pull Robert Morris out from the 20-0 hole, but on the first play from scrimmage after the Doscher score, he was picked off. Lopez added one more field goal before Sinclair and the Colonials finally got on the board.

Robert Morris held Wagner running back Dominique Williams off the scoreboard after he put up four touchdowns in last year's game, but he still ran for 112 yards. Doscher was an efficient 12-of-17 for 228 yards. Robert Morris sacked Doscher four times but could not force a turnover.

Brad Banas led the Colonials with ten tackles and a sack, and RMU also had strong games from nose tackle Farren Mason (9 tackles) and defensive end Nolan Nearhoof (8 tackles and a sack).

The Colonials were without TE Paul Evans, FB Nick Groat, and OL Vince Mongelluzzo on offense.

Robert Morris falls to 2-6, guaranteeing a losing season for the fourth time in five years. Robert Morris hosts Duquesne at 3:30 next Saturday.



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