Northeast Conference Football - Week 3 Recap

The Northeast Conference's two Walter Payton Award candidates both eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark and found themselves on the winning side of second-half comebacks Saturday.

Monmouth and tailback David Sinisi outlasted Duquesne, 17-10, in the Northeast Conference opener on NEC-TV while David McCarty and defending NEC champion Albany closed out their non-league schedule in dramatic fashion. The Great Danes used a fourth-quarter comeback to down nationally-ranked Maine, 20-16, in what was the home opener at University Field. Saint Francis (PA), Wagner, and Robert Morris were also in action during Week Three.

Monmouth 17, Duquesne 10
Monmouth took advantage of four Duquesne turnovers and its defense denied the Dukes at the doorstep in the game's final seconds to preserve a 17-10 victory. Played at Monmouth's Kessler Field before a NEC-TV audience, the first Northeast Conference game of the 2009 slate took a turn in Monmouth's favor when junior safety Kendall Haley broke a 10-10 tie by returning an interception 65 yards for a touchdown with 6:22 remaining in the third quarter. Hawks' tailback David Sinisi rushed 32 times for 122 yards, marking the 19th time he's reached the century mark in his career. Duquesne, which led 10-7 at the half, received a 100-yard rushing performance from Cleodis Williams (23 car., 109 yds,).

Albany 20, #20 Maine 16
Senior tailback David McCarty scored on a 24-yard run with just over two minutes remaining, as UAlbany rallied in the fourth quarter to upend No. 20 Maine before 4,823 fans on Saturday afternoon at University Field. UAlbany trailed 16-3 heading into the final period, but finally gained some momentum with a 77-yard drive that ended when quarterback Vinny Esposito hit tight end Paul Booker on a 22-yard TD strike. After Herb Glass' field goal cut the deficit to 16-13 with 3:45 remaining, the Danes' defense stood strong again. On a third-down play, linebacker Chris Simpson forced the ball loose and Tony Sparano recovered at Maine's 26-yard line. McCarty, who notched his 20th career 100-yard rushing performance (27 car., 109 yds.), walked into the end zone two plays later.

#3 Northern Iowa 30, Saint Francis (PA) 0
Playing its second top-10 opponent in three weeks, Saint Francis (PA) fell to #3 Northern Iowa, 30-0, at the UNI Dome. The Red Flash, which opened at New Hampshire before shutting out Morehead State last week, trailed from the start as UNI returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. SFPA linebacker Scott Lewis, a preseason All-America selection, led the team with 11 tackles, while fellow ‘backer Ryan Shepard had 10 stops and a sack.

North Dakota State 59, Wagner 28
Wagner found itself tied with North Dakota State, 14-14, in the second quarter of its visit to the Fargo Dome before the host Bison took control by reeling off 31 consecutive points. NDSU went on to an eventual 59-28 victory before 18,128 fans. Following his 114-yard performance last week, Wagner freshman running back Dominique Williams rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries.

Dayton 21, Robert Morris 14
Robert Morris opened the home portion of its schedule Saturday afternoon by dropping a 21-14 decision to Dayton in a non-conference matchup. The Colonials took a 7-0 advantage before the visitors rattled off 21 straight points. Robert Morris, which is 0-3 for only the second time in program history, has lost its first three games by a combined 11 points. RMU tailback Myles Russ rushed 19 times for 87 yards.