October 4, 2014

Colonels Run Away from Devils 52-21

Photo courtesy of FDU-Florham Sports Information
REDWARDSVILLE, Pa. – The FDU-Florham Devils football team produced their largest offensive output of the season but fell to the Wilkes University Colonels 52-21 at Schmidt Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Through one quarter, the Devils (0-4, 0-3 Freedom) led for the first time this season but the Colonels (2-3, 2-2 Freedom) responded with 28-unanswered points to grasp control of the contest.

Junior quarterback Tyler Maurer (West Milford, N.J./West Milford) tossed for 210 yards on 17-of-33 passing with one touchdown in the loss. Maurer's favorite target on the day was junior running back Anthony Ognibene (Chester, N.Y./Chester Academy), who hauled in seven passes for 77 yards in the game.

Freshman wide out Tyler Adams (Port Murray, N.J./Warren Hills) had the best game of his young career, as the first-year man caught two touchdowns on three receptions.

For Wilkes, sophomore quarterback Ryan Dailey recorded his second 300-yard passing effort of the campaign and completed 25-of-30 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown. The 25-for-30 passing day equates to a career-best 83.3% completion percentage.

On their opening possession of the game, the Colonels marched 67 yards on eight plays and jumped out to a 7-0 lead. The scoring drive was capped by a four-yard rush by sophomore William Deemer.

FDU-Florham's next possession was extended on a roughing the punter call, however, the Devils were unable to capitalize and followed with a three-and-out.

Freshman punter Holden Ehrhart (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) continued his outstanding first season in Madison by pinning the Colonels back at their own five-yard line with a picturesque 39-yard punt. The Devils defense backed him up by stuffing Colonel full back Jeremy Hartman into his own end zone on the ensuing play, for a safety.

The Devils next possession appeared promising but eventually stalled out at the Colonels' 29-yard line. After a defensive stop, the FDU-Florham offense went back to work.

With 2:36 remaining in the first quarter, Maurer guided the Devils into Wilkes territory by completing three-straight first-down passes. Maurer hit tight end Joe LeBlanc (Linden, N.J./Linden) and Adams for 16-yards apiece before finding Ognibene for 12 yards down to the Wilkes 20 yard line. On the next play, Maurer hit Adams for an eight-yard touchdown strike to give FDU-Florham their first lead of 2014. After an unsuccessful two-point try, the Devils led 8-7.

Unfortunately for the Devils, it was the last time they led in the contest as Wilkes stole the momentum by going 65 yards in 10 plays on the next possession. The drive concluded with a one-yard touchdown plunge by senior running back Ryan Behrmann and the Colonels claimed a 14-8 lead.

Dailey and the Colonels cruised for a 14-play, 62 yard drive on their next trip, which was capped by another one-yard scoring rush.

Maurer helped engineer an encouraging drive on the Devils next possession, however, inside the Colonel's red zone, defensive lineman Michael Fitz dropped Maurer and jarred the ball loose. The Colonels recovered the fumble and also the game's momentum.

Dailey took advantage by marching the Colonels 69 yards on six plays and hit Hartman for a 34-yard touchdown pass, which sent Wilkes into the break with a 28-8 lead.

The Colonels increased their cushion on their second possession of the third quarter with a 56-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown scamper by Dailey.

On the ensuing possession, Ognibene registered his first touchdown of the season, a two-yard carry, which concluded a six-play 65 yard excursion by the Devils offense and cut the deficit to three scores at 35-14.

Later in the third, the Colonels put the game out of reach when Tanner Stengel intercepted Maurer and setup a 12-yard touchdown run for Wilkes sophomore running back Paul Martin.

The Devils added a late score when junior quarterback Dan Pastor (Wallington, N.J./Wallington connected with Adams on a 24-yard hook up. Pastor's touchdown pass the first of the third-year quarterback's career.

On the defensive end, FDU-Florham sophomore safety Chris Fitzgerald (Ridgefield Park, N.J./Ridgefield Park) recorded an interception for the Devils, while junior linebacker Nick Galletta (Whiting, N.J./Manchester Township) totaled a game-high eight stops, including one for a loss.

The Colonels were outstanding on third down and converted 10-of-15 (66.7%) chances compared to the Devils who converted at a 21.4% clip.

Next up for the Devils:
FDU-Florham is on the road again next Saturday, October 11th when they visit Reading, Pa. to take on Albright College with kickoff slated for 1 p.m.