By Tom Czop, Robert Morris (Ill.) Director of Sports Information
Fort Wayne, Ind. – The Robert Morris (Ill.) Football team shocked the fourth-ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.) by the score of 28-24 on Saturday, October 26th in MSFA Mid-East League action to keep its post-season hopes alive. The victory evened RMU’s conference record at 2-2 and raised its overall record to 6-3 on the season.
The Eagles took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on an eight-yard touchdown run by Lamont Wims that capped off an eight-play, 41-yard drive. The TD was the 14th of the season for Wims and the drive was set up by an interception by RMU’s Dontaye Johnson, his first of the year.
The RMU defense kept the Cougars off of the board in the first quarter and produced another interception. This time by Jimmy McClinton, who returned it 32 yards to the RMU 47-yardline. Eight plays later, quarterback Matt Westerkamp connected on a seven-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Warden for a 14-0 lead after Josh Techeira converted the PAT.
However, Saint Francis stunned the Eagles by scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half to tie the game at 14-14. The Cougars blocked a Techeira punt to set up its first score and a 39-yard Aaron Knight punt return set up the second score after the USF defense forced a three and out from the RMU offense.
Two big pass plays from Cougars’ quarterback Wesley Hunsucker set up another touchdown to give Saint Francis a 21-14 lead with 8:40 to play in the third quarter. The Cougars would also add a field goal with eight seconds to play in the quarter to take a 24-14 lead.
The fourth quarter was all Eagles, as they cut the Cougars’ lead to 24-21 with 10:39 left in the game when Westerkamp hit Deshawn Weaver on a 17-yard TD pass. RMU drove 67 yards in 12 plays for the score.
Robert Morris had almost an identical drive late in the game, when it drove 67 yards again but this time on 13 plays for the game-winning drive. Westerkamp would throw his third touchdown pass of the game and second to Tyler Warden with 33 seconds left on the clock for a six-yard score. The RMU defense would hold the Cougars in the final seconds and Moe Almasri intercepted a Hunsucker pass to dash any comeback hopes and secure the upset win.
Quarterback Matt Westerkamp had a strong game, going 21-29 for 177 yards and three TD’s with an interception while Lamont Wims ran for 107 yards on 31 carries and had a touchdown. Receiver Sean Zingsheim made six catches for 65 yards.
Angelo Parker led the way on the defensive side with eight tackles while Doug Sachtleban and Tom Hughes both had 7.5 tackles in the game.
The Eagles will now have some time to rest as they enter a bye week before hosting Siena Heights University (Mich.) on Saturday, November 9th. Kick-off versus the Saints will be at 1pm at Morris Field.