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URI Over Powers UMass On Seniorsí Day

 

Photos by Gabe and Nick Murgo
Special to PhotoSports.Com copyright 2010 Nick Murgo

November 20, 2010 - Kingston, RI.     One never knows just how the emotions of players will affect the outcome of a football game.  Prior to the kickoff against UMass, the URI tradition of calling out seniors with their parents and friends on to the football field took place.  Some of the players were outwardly more emotional than others but all were keenly aware that today would be the last day that they would be wearing their  Keaney Blue football colors.

 

Four years ago, I recall the Rams beating the another much heralded UMAss football team that at the time featured a QB (Cowen - native of RI) who was on pace to break all school records for passing.  He needed less than 100 yards or so.  It didnít happen that day, as a relentless defense kept the Minutemen from executing their game plan of passing.  As it turned out,  the victory for URI was somewhat bitter sweet in that it marked the end of the Coach Stowers triple option running era.  Four years ago some of these seniors were freshman on that Rams' team, and they have played under three head coaches.  Through it all, they stayed and played with passion and pride and with the belief that good things would come for Rhode Island football.

 

Jr. Louis Feinstein had his best day with FG's of 34, 45, and 27 yards and 1 for 1 on point after attempts.

 

Fast forward to yesterday; the Minutemen came into the game featuring the best passing QB in the Colonial Athletic Conference.  By the numbers, Rhody was about even in most other statistical categories including wins in the conference.  Rhode Island did have the overall best QB (Steve Probst) when you add the individual passing and rushing yards per game.  It was, as stated above, a home game for the Rams who were looking to close out the season on a high note.  For the Minutemen, coming in ranked #19; it was a game that held the promise of marking another conference win with the goal of post season play.  Tell that to Anthony Ferrer who rushed for a career high 125 yards including 1 touch down.


#81 Abdullah Ramadan - freshman with the catch in the fourth quarter.  Everyone contributed.          Defensive end and team Captain, Victor Adesanya with the sack in the third quarter.

 

 

Above: Total team effort of getting the ball into the end zone.  Rhody would not be denied on this day.  The offensive line did all that it was called upon to do in protecting the QB and opening up holes for the running back, or in this case the QB (Stve Probst).
Without going into the minutiae which can be gleaned by reading the box score and play by play results, suffice it to say that Rhody came to play, UMass also came to play, but Rhode Island played just a little bit harder, made one play more than UMass.  The men in Rhody Blue proved to everyone that they are just as good as any team in the conference.   The seniors proved that hard work and dedication in the face of  great adversity can produce good results.  The coaching staff also can be justifiably proud of their teamís efforts and the turnaround in the program.  Starting August under the cloud of dropping down to a lower conference and hoping they could compete against teams in the Northeast Conference for example, the Rams gave everyone reason to pause, to rethink that the earth beneath Meade Field was forever cursed, and that Rhode Island would forever languish in the shadows of UMass, UNH, and Maine.  No one will know what 2011 will bring except the feeling of a welcome anticipation of the opening kickoff.  For this, we can thank the seniors who set the example and who walked off Meade Field proudly with their heads held high, after the final musical notes of the Rhody fight song had fallen silent to the north wind.

Game Ender: With about 1 minute to go in the game,  Rhode Island's #4 Evan Shields (CB- Jr.) comes up with the interception
that put a final stop to the passing attack by UMass.


Coach Griffin being congratulated by Thor Bjorn - URI's AD. 
#8 - QB Steve Probst has been a big part of the URI turnaround as the team finished with 4 division wins.

A wonderful and happy moment for Ram fans and head coach Joe Trainer.

 

Coach Trainer talking about the great win and the tremendous effort put forth by his team.
 
Custom Photo Collages by Nick Murgo nmurgo@yahoo.com