NEC Recap: Week 10

Defending NEC champion Albany remained undefeated in league play by knocking Monmouth from the conference's unbeaten ranks in a 35-17 comeback victory at Alumni Field.

The Great Danes overcame a 14-0 halftime deficit to move into sole possession of first place with only two games remaining on the league slate. The Hawks struck first on two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Brett Burke (Wall, NJ/Wall Twp.), but Albany wide receiver Tim Bush (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga Springs) opened the second half with two scores of his own, one on a six-yard pass from junior Vinny Esposito (Demarest, NJ/Northern Valley) and the other one a 17-yard running play. Albany junior tailback David McCarty (Gansevoort, NY/LaSalle Institute) continued his dominance in conference play, rushing 31 times for 208 yards. His 14-yard third-quarter scoring burst marked the 17th consecutive game the preseason all-NEC pick has found the end zone.

Sacred Heart pulled into a second-place tie with Monmouth and remained one game back of first-place Albany by downing Wagner, 42-20, in front of a NEC-TV audience on Halloween Night. Sacred Heart sophomore quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL/ALthoff Catholic) threw four touchdown passes in the victory. Wagner running back Shane Smith (Susquehanna, PA/Milford Academy) rushed 18 times for 106 yards and one touchdown to keep the Seahawks within striking range until Sacred Heart cornerback Rishard Brown (Miami, FL/Palmetto) turned the tide on a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown. The senior defensive back's key play extended the Pioneers' lead to 35-20 with exactly 4:00 to play in the third quarter.

Robert Morris cruised to its second consecutive home victory on three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Erik Cwalinski (Jacobsburg, OH/Shadyside) and sophomore tailback Myles Russ' (Boca Raton, FL/West Boca) 163 rushing yards. The Colonials' defense limited the Blue Devils' high-octane attack to 255 yards of total offense and junior running back James Mallory (Buffalo, NY/Kenmore West) under 100 yards rushing for the first time in four games. CCSU sophomore Josue Paul (Delray Beach, FL/Pope John Paul II) returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 86 yards for a score.

Duquesne became the third NEC team to fall at the hands of future league member Bryant this season, stumbling 24-10 at Bulldog Stadium. Dukes' sophomore quarterback Connor Dixon (South Park, PA/South Park) went 16-of-28 passing for 193 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown strike to senior receiver Alex Roberson (Waynesboro, GA/Curtis Baptist), but was intercepted twice. Bryant received a combined 223 rushing yards from Jerrell Smith (129) and Lindsey Gamble (94).

STANDINGS


    School  	       NEC         Overall   Streak
1.  Albany 	       5-0  1.000  6-3 	.667 W5
2.  Sacred Heart       4-1   .800  8-1 	.889 W2
    Monmouth 	       4-1   .800  5-4 	.556 L1
4.  Robert Morris      3-2   .600  4-5 	.444 W2
5.  Central Conn. St.  2-3   .400  5-4 	.556 L2
6.  Wagner 	       1-4   .200  3-6 	.333 L2
    Duquesne 	       1-4   .200  2-6 	.250 L5
8.  St. Francis (PA)   0-5   .000  0-8 	.000 L8

Note: Bryant University, which has a 5-4 overall record, is 3-2 in play against NEC opponents. BU will join the Northeast Conference in 2012.


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