OPINION: Robert Morris football is back


Photo credit: David Auth

Samuel Anthony, Digital Content Manager

Editor’s Note: Opinions on RMU Sentry Media are the writer’s own. 

A soul-crushing 49-46 defeat against the Bryant Bulldogs has many of the RMU faithful feeling lost and defeated on Saturday afternoon. But what people don’t see is what this loss symbolizes: a new beginning and competitiveness not felt by Robert Morris football in almost a decade.

This was a game that started out feeling like many of the Colonials games from the John Banaszak Era. Marred by early offensive turnovers making way for quick offensive scores that found the Colonials down 21-3 early in their first NEC match-up of the Bernard Clark Era.

A 28-10 deficit at the half made the feeling a little more real as the offense was able to muster up very little while the defense was seemingly helpless at the hands of the Bulldog offense.

But the second half was an offensive masterpiece and flashes of what this RMU defense has the potential of being.

It felt like a team that could become Northeast Conference champions.

Thirty-two second-half points. That is more points than RMU scored in their previous two games combined.

The 46-points total was the most points RMU has scored since Nov. 9, 2013, when the Colonials were being coached in their final season by legendary head coach Joe Walton.

In what feels like a lifetime since then, the Colonials’ offense has shown a life not seen by most current Robert Morris students and the entire Colonials’ coaching staff.

Last year, Robert Morris made history defeating the Dayton Flyers for the first time in 17 years, this loss means so much more than that win did or ever will. The sour taste this loss leaves in the mouths of those who follow RMU football will soon be washed away but what this team can be capable of in the immediate future.

This is a Robert Morris team that forced two turnovers, saw eight different receivers with a reception, a rushing game that accumulated 158 yards of offense mostly thanks to a sensational freshman, 181 return yards including a kickoff taken back to the three-yard line and a quarterback with 238 yards passing and no interceptions.

And while the biggest negatives may be what happened at the end of this offensive shootout at Bryant, the positives of this match-up are overwhelming.

This sends a message. a true “Culture Shock” that shows something greater is just on the horizon.

It truly is darkest just before the dawn and this is the dawn that Robert Morris has waited for since their last NEC championship in 2010. With names that are not only notable but worth rooting for.

Names like All-NEC preseason defensive players Adam Wollet and Amir Fenwick, star quarterback and member of the RMU leadership committee Jimmy Walker, the best running back duo Moon Township has ever seen in Terence Stephens and Alijah Jackson and one of the best tight ends in the entire country Matthew Gonzalez.

They are names you are going to want to remember as they etch their names into something even greater, the moment that will mark the turnaround of a program that has seen almost 20 years of consistent failures.

This is how sports legends are made, paved through the fire and flames.

It’s never easy to build something truly legendary. It takes grit, determination, hard work and something special that only so many people actually possess.

While this loss is crushing and defeating and leaves a sort of empty feeling. The important thing to take from this Robert Morris football loss this Saturday in Rhode Island is that this team is on the verge of greatness.

Like a hunter stalking its prey, this Robert Morris team is close to the kill, and once they get there, they are going to be hard to stop.

So stay strong Robert Morris, the wait is almost over.