Homecoming Colonials Down Dukes, 34-27

Robert Morris sophomore Myles Russ ran for 246 yards and two touchdowns as the Colonials downed Duquesne, 34-27, before an SRO homecoming crowd at Joe Walton Stadium, Saturday afternoon in a Pittsburgh-area battle televised by Fox Sports-Pgh.

Box Score

The win evened the series to 5-5 and broke two RMU losing streaks, of four games this season and three games in the rivalry.

Junior quarterback Kevin Rombach saw his first substantial action of the season. He came into the game after starting QB, sophomore Connor Dixon, injured his left forearm. Rombach was 6-of-12 for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Dixon was able to return and played most of the second half. He was 13-of-23 for 130 yards.

Cleodis Williams gained 67 yards on 18 carries and scored a pair of one-yard touchdowns. Alex Roberson caught five for 98 yards and a touchdown. Nathan Totino, the NEC Defensive Player of the Week, had a game-high 14 tackles.

Robert Morris came out on top by inserting enough passing in their run-first offense, by stopping DU's offense and overcoming two turnovers, a fumble and an interception, both by senior play-caller Erik Cwalinski. Cwalinski was 13-of-21 for 165 yards and two TDs.

Myles Russ rushed for a season-high 246 yards on 37 yards. He also scored twice. This raised his season stats to 870 yards on 125 attempts with four TDs.

Duquesne opened the scoring via Rombach's first play from scrimmage, a 31-yard pass to Roberson who was open behind the Colonial defensive back.

Three straight field goals from DU's Mark Troyan (20, 27) and RMU's Garret Clawson (35) put the Dukes up 13-3 with 6:13 left before the break.

Russ broke free and tip-toed down the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown run. Clawson hit his second FG of the afternoon with two seconds left in the half to tie the score at 13-13.

Cwalinski hit T.J. Green for a five-yard score to put RMU on top for the first time, 19-13, at 10:01 of the third quarter. The Colonials had a botched hold on the extra point attempt. They would "erase" that error later.

Williams scored his first TD five minutes later. Mark Troyan's successful point-after-touchdown gave the Dukes a 20-19 lead.

    Both kickers, Troyan and Garret Clawson, were perfect each with two field goals and four PATs. Clawson didn't get a chance to kick the ball on the botched PAT; Camden Crouse got up but was stopped in the backfield.

Russ returned the advantage to the host squad with a 18-yard run. RMU's attempt for a two-point conversion appeared to have failed. An interception call gave the Colonials a second chance. Jesse Kastelic scored from 1.5 yards out for a 27-20 lead with 1:19 to go in the 3rd.

At 11:31 of the fourth, Cleo Williams was initially stopped on a one-yard rush but kept pumping and slid into the end zone. That tied the game at 27-all.

Cwalinski hit Regis Flowers for the 21-yard game-winning score with 5:01 left in the game.

Duquesne's attempt to gain 10 yards on fourth down via a pass to Conrad Carter in the backfield picked up just a few.

RMU ran out the clock, aided by a first down from a late-hit call against a Duke that canceled a fourth-and-short situation. Robert Morris was likely to punt. Instead, three plays got the clock to 0:00.

Duquesne, now 2-3 and 1-2 in Northeast Conference play, next heads to Central Connecticut State for a 1:00 p.m. game on Saturday, October 18, 2008. RMU (2-4, 1-3) also will be on the road at the same time against future NEC-member Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I.

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