Spiders turn to Lauletta
He passes UR to win in second OT period
Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta jogged to the sideline again and again in the first half following unfulfilling drives and conversed with quarterbacks coach Aaron Corp. Corp’s headset connected with offensive coordinator Jeff Durden in the press box.
UR was averaging 38.8 points and had zero midway through the second quarter.
Based on what developed thereafter, apparently the trio reached general agreement that the Spiders should stop fooling around with a ground game that Albany was handling and start chucking the ball on a regular basis.
The Spiders’ belated offensive activation was sufficient to slip by the Great Danes 41- 38 in two overtimes on Saturday at Robins Stadium. Each team scored a
touchdown on its first OT opportunity. Richmond forced Albany to try a 40- yard field- goal attempt to start the second OT. UR’s Daniel Jones, accelerating from the left flank, blocked the Great Danes’ kick.
Griffin Trau’s 34- yard field goal then won it for Richmond on fourth- and- 2 from the 17.
“I think whenever you get in that ( overtimes) situation, you go back to what you’ve done in the offseason, what you put in,” said Richmond linebacker Justin Rubin ( 12 tackles).
“You’re always preaching about finishing, finishing the drive, finishing the game, finishing the workout.
“Being tired isn’t an excuse.” The Spiders rushed for only 60 yards on 23 carries, but passed for 353 yards. With three touchdown passes, Lauletta set the career record of 62, passing the 61 thrown by Eric Ward from 2006- 09. Richmond also had a season- high seven sacks.
The Spiders trailed 31- 21 with 13: 38 left.
“I was thinking there was too much time left for a great quarterback that they have,” Albany coach Greg Gattuso said. “But we have relied on our defense, and they ( the Spiders) made plays. We had opportunities. … Credit them.
“We came in here and played well enough to win and didn’t pull it out.”
Lauletta, a senior from Exton, Pa., completed 24 of 40, for the 353 yards, with no interceptions, and wasn’t sacked.
“When you’ve got him,” Richmond coach Russ Huesman said of Lauletta, “you’ve got a chance.”
The game’s pivotal play was UR’s third- and- 13 conversion with five minutes remaining. The Spiders were behind 31- 24. Lauletta avoided the rush, stepped up in the pocket, and hit Caleb Drake for a 21- yard gain to Albany’s 30. With 1: 27 left, UR tied it on a Lauletta touchdown pass to Dejon Brissett.
“I think they defended well. ... but we knew it was only a matter of time until we would pick it up and start getting in a groove,” Lauletta said.
Richmond’s advantage was its receivers outrunning Albany’s coverage men.
The Great Danes’ advantage was their receivers elevating over UR’s smallish corners for a half- dozen long gainers.
The No. 14 Spiders ( 3- 2, 1- 1 CAA), down 7- 0 and 14- 7 in the second quarter before opening up offensively, were facing the prospect of starting their CAA season with consecutive home defeats. To kick off its league season, UR lost to visiting Elon 36- 33 on Sept. 23, and Richmond was off last weekend.
A scoreless first quarter suggested this was Albany’s kind of
Richmond’s Jarriel Jordan intercepts aWill Brunson pass intended for Albanywide receiver Jerod Diggs.
Jarriel Jordan of UR celebrates after intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Will Brunson of Albany.