Colonials fall in conference opener, see talent in youth

Photo+credit%3A+Noah+Simpson

Photo credit: Noah Simpson

By Collin Wilson

The Robert Morris Colonials (1-5) were unable to complement an eventful homecoming weekend that consisted of President Dr. Christopher Howard’s inauguration into the university. RMU fell to Saint Francis University (3-3), 24-10, in its first Northeast Conference game.

The Colonials’ lone touchdown came from record-breaker sophomore Dante Satcher on his program best 100-yard kickoff return early in the fourth quarter. Satcher also set a new mark for most return yards in a game with 173 against the Red Flash, which will more than likely keep him atop the NCAA leaders in kickoff return yards.

“We got kids that get excited about being first-team special teams players,” said head coach John Banaszak about his team’s return success this season. “They go out there and they work hard and they make blocks knowing all they have to do is give Satcher and Warren Robinson some green field to run to and good things are going to happen.”

One key player missing from the homecoming battle was sophomore receiver Kyle Buss. Coach Banaszak chose not to comment on his absence from the game.

Other absences at the running back position have stuck sophomore Malik Wells into the starting role, and he has held his ground — adding 16 rushes for 61 yards against the Red Flash. Coach Banaszak spoke on Wells after the game.

“He’s just another example of all the kids on our freshman and sophomore class. Those kids are playing as hard as they can and we’re going to go a long way with these kids.”

Freshman Tim Vecchio led Robert Morris with six catches for 48 yards. On the defensive side of the football, freshman Gee Stanley added another sack to give him 6.5 this year. Stanley also forced a fumble and contributed with five total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Romanchak earned the start for the Colonials at quarterback, but after throwing his third interception of the day, Romanchak was tripped up pursuing the defender and left with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.

Junior Joe Carroll became the fifth QB to see action this year through six games. He finished 4-of-13 for 53 yards and an interception.

Saint Francis was in control from the beginning as NEC star Lorenzo Jerome took the opening kickoff 74 yards that put SFU in great position to start. This was a little foreshadowing for what Jerome had in store because the talented wideout/safety finished with a receiving touchdown early in the second half, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, and 10 total tackles.

Saint Francis’ quarterback Zack Drayer added a touchdown through the air in the first quarter to wide receiver Marcus Bagley. Drayer also rushed for a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that followed a blocked punt by the Red Flash that put them at Robert Morris’ goal line.

The Colonials will try to move past the home loss as they are set to face off against backyard foe Duquesne (3-2) and its talented offense on Oct. 15 starting at 7 p.m. at Rooney Field.