Robert Morris brings home the shutout win



Reggie Green pulls in his first career touchdown grab as a Colonial in the first quarter against VMI Photo credit: Katey Ladika

Samuel Anthony and Samuel Anthony

On homecoming day, the Robert Morris Colonials brought home the 23-0 win over the Virginia Military Institute Keydets.

On the first play from scrimmage, Jimmy Walker tosses a dime to wide receiver Warren Robinson, all the way to the VMI 29-yard line, to make a statement to the Keydets that the Colonials are here to play.

Two more plays later and RMU puts themselves on the board with an incredible touch pass from Walker and a toe-touch basket catch from receiver Brandon Magee to put the Colonials up 7-0 early.

RMU’s quickest score of the season and arguably their strongest offensive drive of the season.

And it was a Robert Morris offense, unlike anything RMU fans of recent memory have ever seen. Walker found his receivers with ease, the ball seemed to move down the field without being plagued by penalties and points were seamlessly being put on the board.

Reggie Green claimed his first career touchdown in his second season with the Colonials, and all of a sudden the Colonials had scored more points in one quarter than they had in their first two games combined with a 14-0 lead.

“It was the first time since high school that I got a touchdown,” said Green.

“It was a big moment, when I caught the ball, I didn’t realize I was in the end zone, like I didn’t even believe it,” said Green.

A quieter second quarter for the offense was replaced by an aggressive and very impressive defense.

Coach Scott Farison’s defense ended the second quarter with a forced fumble and only 78 yards on their stat line as the Colonials rode into halftime with a 14-0 lead over the Keydets.

“Their (offensive) line wasn’t that big. And we attacked the line and forced the quarterback to rush his throws,” said linebacker Gerald Ferguson.

But that RMU offense would come roaring back right at the beginning of the third quarter with big help from Warren Robinson, whose big performance in this game continued to grow with a 38-yard punt return, bobbing and weaving through every single VMI defender all the way to the VMI 26-yard line.

From there, it was simply too easy as Jimmy Walker sent a quick pass to Harrison Dreher who ran it in for the 15-yard touchdown reception, expanding the lead to 20-0 after the Bisceglia missed field goal.

“I thought they (the offense) did a very good job today,” said head coach John Banaszak.

“We gave Jimmy (Walker) some time, and he threw three touchdowns, I think we really improved,” said Green.

The Colonial defense continued to stymie the VMI offense on the other side of the ball, as it appeared VMI quarterback Austin Coulling could find no answers to the constant pressure RMU’s defensive line was applying.

The only semblance of quality drives the Keydets had would be marked by the two missed field goals from kicker Grant Clemons, as he was unable to help keep his team in this one.

The Colonials, meanwhile, despite the misses from their own kicker, Nick Bisceglia, which included three missed field goals and a missed extra point, the Colonial offense continued to power down the field against an increasingly exhausted Virginia Military defense.

“We left points on the field, I’m not happy about that, we hit the upright three times on four field goals. We can’t leave ten points on the field, we aren’t that good of a football team,” said Banaszak.

The dagger that ended this game for the Keydets was an interception from redshirt senior Andy Smigiera, who not only missed the first two games of the season but the entire previous season due to a variety of injuries and surgeries. Smigiera was able to bring the football to the VMI 11-yard line, where RMU simply took control till the end of the game where the final score was 23-0 in favor of the Colonials.

RMU moves to 2-1 on the season with the win and heads on the road to face the most successful team in the history of FCS football in the Bison of North Dakota State. It will be the biggest challenge most likely all season for the Colonials.