Digesting What We Saw in Week 1 on the Gridiron plus other NEC fall sports news

A few staff members here at the Overtime! blog  had a chance to dine with Wagner athletic director Walt Hameline at the annual Northeast Conference administrative spring meetings this past May, and we couldn’t help but temporarily turn the conversation to football for a few minutes.

We asked him what every Seahawk fan had likely been wondering since the young man suffered a season-ending injury back in the summer of 2010.  “How’s Dominique doing?”

Dominique being Dominique Williams, a 2010 preseason all-NEC running back who saw his 2010 seasone end before it even began.

The first words out of the 200-game winner’s mouth were “He’s been working his butt off!”

“You never know coming back from a serious injury,” Hameline continued. “But he looks really good.”

Anyone who saw Saturday’s season opener on Grymes Hill now knows Hameline wasn’t kidding back in May.

Williams, who was named a team captain following the completion of training camp, didn’t look really good on Saturday, he looked GREAT.

Finally returning to game action on the gridiron, Williams carried Wagner to a Week 1 NEC victory over Saint Francis (PA) in his first appearance since November 21, 2009.  The 2010 preseason all-NEC selection opened 2011 by rushing 26 times for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns.  He also caught one pass for 13 yards and hauled a slew of national honors following his performance.

Take a look at highlights for Wagner’s Win & Williams’ memorable performance …

 

 

Here’s Williams post-game thoughts …

For his performance, Williams earned the following monikers – College Sporting News National All-Star, Sports Network/Fathead.com Co-Offensive Player of the Week and CollegeFootballPerformance.com‘s National Running Back of the Week.

Looks like all that hard work during a grueling year-long rehab process has paid off.

A humbled Williams speaks about the national recognition he’s received …

 

Dixon Doesn’t Miss A Beat – It was Friday, September 2, one day before the Dukes would take the field for their 2011 season opener at Bucknell, when Connor Dixon received word – good word.  He had been granted a sixth year of eligibility due to medical hardship.  The 6-foot-4 Dixon, who did not practice with the team since last November, stepped onto the turf at Mathewson Stadium and caught a touchdown pass 16:59 later.  

Bad Bounces for Great Danes, DukesAlbany and Duquesne were on the cusp of notching Week 1 road wins at Patriot League members, but both suffered last-minute losses. – For the Albany Great Danes, it was an overtime loss.  NEC Special Teams Player of the Week Herb Glass kicked a 41-yard field goal, his 2nd 40-plus yarder of the game, but Colgate would have the opportunity to answer and would ultimately do so.  With the Danes clinging to a 34-31 lead and Colgate facing a 3rd-and-10 from the 25-yard line on its overtime possession, it looked as if the Danes may very well be heading home with a win.  With Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney falling to the turf during that 3rd-and-10 play, it really looked like the Danes would finish on the winning side of this battle for upstate New York bragging rights.  Somehow, McCarney was able to get rid of the ball and in some way the pigskin found its way into the hands of  Dan Basil for 14 yards and a first down.  Colgate TB Nate Eachus followed by taking four consecutive hand-offs and finally made his way to pay dirt.  – In Lewisburg, the Duquesne Dukes struck first on a touchdown pass from Sean Patterson to Isaac Spragg and held the lead the rest of the way heading into the final minute of the fourth quarter.  What happened following that first touchdown, however, came back to plague Duquesne in the final minute.  Bucknell blocked the extra point following the Dukes first score and would go onto win by a one-point margin.  Trailing 26-20 and facing a 4th-andGoal from the 1-yard line with 00:57 remaining in regulation, The Bison’s Brandon Wesley plunged into the end zone and Alex Eckard followed with the game-winning PAT.

How Did That Happen? – Robert Morris limited Dayton to 26 yards rushing on 21 carries in Week 1.  In terms of total offense, the Flyers managed only 233 total yards and 10 first downs! Yes, they only moved the sticks 10 times but escaped Joe Walton Stadium with a 19-13 win.  One thing which may help to better explain the result was the fact that preseason all-NEC quarterback Jeff Sinclair was unable to stay upright for much of the game.  With Dayton applying constant pressure, Sinclair suffered eight sacks after taking just 14 all of last season.  Penalties were another reason Dayton downed the defending NEC champion.  Although Robert Morris had the edge in total offense, the Colonials received 65 yards worth of penalties to the Flyers’ 28.

Joe Walton, the former head coach of the New York Jets and the only head coach RMU football has ever known, speaks about his team’s Week 1 showing …

Catch the Colonials in Heavily-Anticipated Matchup on ESPN3
Liberty has likely had this game circled on its calendar since last September when 2010 NEC Offensive Player of the Year Myles Russ put out the Flames and carried the Colonials to a 30-23 win.  One of the best the NEC has to offer and the perennial Big South power will meet again on September 10.  This time, the setting is Lynchburg, VA with kickoff slated for 7:00 pm.  Our computers will be logged onto ESPN3 come Saturday evening, Will Yours?  Game link (will go live 30 minutes prior to start time) – http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/source/espn3/id/241636/

RJ Allen Chasing Hermann Trophy
Nationally-ranked Monmouth men’s soccer has played games, scored two goals, and has two wins.  Had it not been for RJ Allen the Hawks have a pair of scoreless ties to its ledger.

The senior midfielder’s name appears on the Hermann Trophy Watch List and early signs point to hit staying there.

Allen’s had a hand in both of Monmouth’s score this season.  The Old Bridge, NJ product set up fellow Garden State product Ryan Clark (Freehold) for the team’s first goal of the season five minutes into the opener over Saint Peter’s. 

After watching that marker stand up for a 1-0 win, Allen took his turn playing goal scorer against America East preseason favorite Boston U.  His 30-yard strike found the back of the net in the 14th minute as the Hawks went onto beat BU and move up to No. 18 in the latest edition of the NSCAA Poll.

Not a bad start for the Hermann Trophy hopeful, or his team for that matter.

Rider Continues to Roll
Fast starts are becoming routine at Rider.  The defending NEC field hockey champions have won their first four games of the new campaign, meaning the team has started no worse than 3-0 each of the past three seasons.

Lori Hussong’s Broncs aren’t just winning, either.  They are winning big.

Last week’s 2-0 shutout of LaSalle was the Broncs’ smallest margin of victory in the first four games, a span during which they’ve out-scored their opponents 22-4.

And remember two-time NEC Player of the Year Virginia Egusquiza?  She has scored at least one goal in each of the victories. 

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