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Albany (N.Y.) roughs up Robert Morris

Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Robert Morris wide receiver Donte Jeter can't hold onto the ball as Albany's Leon Saddler defends the pass in the first half Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, at Joe Walton Stadium.

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Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 8:34 p.m.
 

For the second time in as many games, Robert Morris found itself scrounging for offense without suspended quarterback Jeff Sinclair, who will return to the Colonials' lineup next week, according to coach Joe Walton.

With sophomore backup Matt Layman at the controls, Robert Morris scored its first touchdown of the season Saturday against Albany (N.Y.), but it wasn't nearly enough in a 35-10 loss at Joe Walton Stadium.

“They got out to a big lead on us. It was tough,” Walton said.

Will Fiacchi threw three touchdown passes to Cole King and finished 17 for 21 for 208 yards passing to lead Albany (2-0, 1-0), which led at halftime, 21-3.

Robert Morris (0-2, 0-1), after being shutout, 52-0, last week against Division I FCS defending champion North Dakota State, wasn't a lot better in its Northeast Conference opener.

“We've played two good football teams in a row,” Walton said. “At least we played a little better today.”

Walton said Sinclair, suspended in mid-June for an unspecified violation of team rules, will be the starter next Saturday at Dayton.

“He's our starting quarterback,” Walton said of the 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior from Highlands High School. “He's a threat to run the ball and throw it. He'll be with the first team when we resume practicing.”

Robert Morris took a short-lived, 3-0 lead Saturday on Greg Langer's career-high 49-yard field goal, the Colonials' longest kick in 12 seasons. The school record is 55 yards by Jeff Carlo against Division III Buffalo State in 2000.

Langer, a Pine-Richland product, has connected on a school-record nine straight field goals dating to last season, including six of at least 36 yards.

Albany, playing in its final season in the NEC before joining the Colonial Athletic Association, went in front for good on Fiacchi's first scoring pass to King, a 40-yard strike with 9:43 left in the first quarter.

Fiacchi's 6-yard touchdown run 5 12 minutes later pushed the Albany lead to 14-3 before Fiacchi found King, who had five receptions for 124 yards, on a 9-yard scoring pass for the only scoring of the second quarter and gave the Great Danes their 18-point halftime cushion.

Fiacchi's third TD pass to King, a 41-yarder, just 1:01 into the second half made the score 28-3 before Layman found Donte Jeter for 20-yard touchdown pass to account for Robert Morris' other score.

Drew Smith's 2-yard TD run for Albany with 3:31 remaining capped the scoring.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dmackall@tribweb.com or 412-380-5617.

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