Despite Recent Scores, Colonials are Turning the Corner


The huddles before their game against Appalachian State Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

Kevin Plowcha

Robert Morris football has lost its last four games by an average of 35.5 points. They are 0-8 following a 42-3 loss to FBS opponent Appalachian State. The offense woes have continued, averaging just over nine points per game.

However, the Colonials seem to be turning the corner. Head coach Bernard Clark preaches that there are no “moral victories,” but statistical evidence shows that the Colonials are getting better on both sides of the ball.

Since returning from injury, quarterback Anthony Chiccitt has thrown just one interception in two games, and it came on his very first throw against Appalachian State. After that throw, Chiccitt stayed clean for the rest of the game.

Chiccitt has used his legs more often in recent weeks as well. The junior quarterback ran for a four-yard touchdown in the second half against NC A&T and converted a second-quarter 3rd & 10 thanks to an 11-yard run. This would lead to a Colonials field goal.

Head coach Bernard Clark talked postgame at Appalachian State about Chiccitt’s improvement.

Ricardo Watson tackles App State quarterback Chase Brice in the 42-3 loss.

“He’s making the right decisions,” Clark said. “When it comes to QB, it’s not so much about the arm strength. It’s things like making the proper decisions. Even when he threw the ball long and incomplete, he still made the right decision.”

Last week against Big South conference leader North Carolina A&T, the Colonials fell behind 30-0 at halftime. However, in the second half, RMU would outscore the Aggies 14-8.

Running back Alijah Jackson had his first 100-yard rushing performance last week against NC A&T and 36 rushing yards against Appalachian State, including a long run of 13 yards.

The Colonials forced two three-and-outs to start the game on the defensive side. They put pressure on Mountaineers QB Chase Brice, which led to an interception by Brice and a sack by the Colonials.

After the first quarter, discounting two runs of 21 yards and 15 yards, the Colonials held the

Mountaineers’ RBs to just four yards on seven carries.

The Colonials held App State to just seven points in the first quarter. Even in the second quarter, a statistical nightmare for RMU, the Colonials only allowed 14 points. They had been outscored 102-14 in the second quarter coming into the matchup against the Mountaineers.

Clark also discussed the effort that the defense had shown lately.

“There are no moral victories, but our guys are working hard,” Clark said. “Despite our record, they continue to practice hard and push themselves, and that’s what I’m proud of.”

Linebacker Joe Casale, who leads the team in total tackles, got his first interception of the season from an errant pass by Chase Brice.

Head coach Clark spoke on what has been worked on to improve the defense.

“Guys are just executing,” Clark said. “We’re trying to be disciplined. Being where we’re supposed to be and executing what we’re asked to do, and the guys did a great job of that today.”

The Colonials will look to snap their winless streak next Saturday when they take on Charleston Southern on the road at noon.