Saturday, September 17, 2016

FDU-Florham - Devils Fall to Widener in MAC Opener

Photo Courtesy of FDU-Florham Athletics
MADISON, N.J. – The Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham football team dropped its 2016 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) opener to Widener University 40-7 at Robert T. Shields Field on Friday night.

The Devils (0-2, 0-1 MAC) received a big performance from senior wide out Esaun Mobley, who hauled in six catches for 142 yards in the loss.

Widener (1-1, 1-0 MAC) led 19-0 at the break and proceeded to break the game wide open with key plays on both defense and special teams.

Sophomore running back Donte Harrell rushed for 124 yards and two scores to lead the Pride attack.

Widener marched down the field on their opening drive tallying 13 plays for 78 yards before D'Andre Sapp ran in the game's first touchdown from six-yards out.

The teams traded stops over the remainder of the first quarter and into the second until the Pride extended their lead with a 10-play, 90-yard excursion, which was capped by Sapp's second rushing score of the night.

Led by Harrell, Widener extended its lead on its next possession to 19-0. Harrell broke loose for a 45-yard run before eventually plunging in from one-yard out with 1:45 to play in the opening half.

Running their two-minute offense, the Devils cruised down the field with quarterback Jagger Green connecting on long-gainers to Mobley. Green hit Mobley for connections of 41, 24 and 10 yards on three consecutive plays to move the Devils deep into Widener territory. However, from the Widener one-yard line, an errant snap sailed over Green's head and was recovered by the Pride, which put an end to the threat and sent the game to intermission.

The FDU-Florham defense stopped the Pride on the opening possession of the second stanza but a special teams miscue set the home team back even further.

A bad snap by the Devils deep in their own territory forced punter Nick Maciejewski to scramble under duress. The freshman punter was unable to get the ball back to the line of scrimmage and it was scooped up by Widener's Joe Fox, who scampered into the end zone from 11-yards out. The score by Fox enhanced the Pride lead to 26-0.

The Pride's lead eventually grew to 40-0 thanks to another touchdown from Harrell and a 90-yard interception return byJustin Hardy.

FDU-Florham broke through when Green connected with freshman tight end John Pelligrini on a three-yard touchdown pass for the game's final score. Pelligrini finished with three catches for 23 yards on the night.
Green completed 29 of his 45 pass attempts for 284 yards and the one touchdown, while Michael Panzarino hauled in seven catches for 37 yards.

Defensively, Troy Scales and Tim Brown led the Devils with six tackles apiece. Brown also recorded his first sack of the season, one of two on the night by the Devils as Ryan Sullivan nabbed the other.

Next Saturday, September 24, the Devils head on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Owings Mills, Md. to take on Stevenson University at 1 p.m.

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