The Rhode Island Rams picked up their first win of the season, their first win in 16 tries, and their first road victory in 15 tries by topping the Albany Great Danes 19-13 in overtime. This one was not without drama, either – Rhody saw a 13-0 lead slip away in the third quarter, blocked a huge field goal late in the fourth before missing a FG of their own at the end of regulation.
The Rams had the ball first in OT and they wasted no time. Rhody needed only three plays to punch it into the end zone, culminating in a one-yard TD run by Justin Semmes. The normally sure-footed Dylan Smith missed the extra point, and the hand-wringing began for URI fans. But Rhody’s defense held strong, picking up a big sack on third down before an incompletion in the end zone sealed the first victory of the season. With the win, the Rams move to 1-2 on the season, 1-1 on the road and 1-1 in the CAA.
Rhode Island started off strong on defense, but their offense was a bit sluggish in the first half. The foot of Smith was responsible for URI’s only points in the first 30 minutes as he booted a 45-yard field goal in the first quarter and added a 36-yarder in the second quarter. After a Bob Bentsen touchdown run at the beginning of the second half, the Great Danes mounted their comeback.
An Omar Osbourne touchdown run closed Albany to 13-6 (Rhody blocked the PAT), and Jake Meek knotted things up with a TD run of his own as the third quarter came to a close. Things looked bleak at that point, but the Rams never stopped battling to pick up their first W since 2011.
The emergence of Semmes was the sub-heading in this one. The transfer from Miami (Ohio) carried the ball 19 times for 73 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Rhode Island’s defense also came up HUGE, recording three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception) as well as three big sacks. URI also put together a game with zero turnovers, their first of the season.
All in all, it was a GREAT win, and one that was desperately needed to get this team back on the right track. We’ll have much more from this one coming up tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this one Rhody fans.