Spi­ders turn to Lauletta

He passes UR to win in sec­ond OT pe­riod

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SPORTS - BY JOHN O’CON­NOR

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

SHELBY LUM/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Rich­mond’s Jar­riel Jor­dan in­ter­cepts aWill Brun­son pass in­tended for Al­bany­wide re­ceiver Jerod Diggs.

SHELBY LUM/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Jar­riel Jor­dan of UR cel­e­brates af­ter in­ter­cept­ing a pass thrown by quar­ter­back Will Brun­son of Al­bany.

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