#17 Minutemen Roll Over The Rams, 30-10

Fullback Chris Zardas had a career-high three receptions.

Fullback Chris Zardas had a career-high three receptions.

Sept. 19, 2009

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

AMHERST, Mass. - The Minutemen continued to dominate Rhode Island, beating the Rams for the ninth time in a row at home, winning 30-10 on a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. UMass has outscored the Rams 79-10 over the last two meetings including last year's 49-0 whitewash. The Minutemen moved to 2-1 overall, with a win in the conference opener for both teams. Rhode Island falls to 1-1.

Junior quarterback Kyle Havens was sensational in the game as he completed 22-of-30 for 329 yards and two touchdowns. That included a first half where he was 15-of-17 for 206 yards. On the ground, Tony Nelson rushed for 158 yards on 29 carries and a score. It was his ninth-career 100-yard game and second this season.

The defense continued to be stout, not giving up a point in the first or fourth quarters this season. Outscoring opponents 64-10. Kyle Harrington and Eric Dickson led the defense with seven tackles each.

Senior linebacker Kurt Filler had two huge plays to thwart Rhode Island's two best potential offensive-touchdown scoring drives. Filler had his career-interception in the UMass end zone to end a URI drive in the first quarter. Then in the fourth with Rhode Island down to the UMass 5-yard line and looking to get within one score on a fourth-down and goal, Filler tackled Rhode Island's quarterback Chris Paul-Etienne after he fumbled to end the drive and give UMass the ball back.

The Rams did score a touchdown on defense in the third quarter to end UMass' shutout in the second half. But still, UMass' defense has yet to allow a second-half touchdown.

Rhode Island was held to just seven rushing yards in the first half and 70 overall in the game.

UMass set the tone from the start with a 12-play drive to open the game. That finished with a 4-yard pass from Havens to Chris Zardas, 5:48 into the game.

The Minutemen would go on to scored two more times in the second quarter, each with a drive or more than 10 plays. UMass was also perfect on third-down conversions in the first half, making all seven attempts.

Victor Cruz caught a 5-yard pass from Havens 1:29 into the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. Nelson ran in from 3 yards with 2:44 left in the first half for a 21-0 intermission edge.

Rhode Island scored the first points against UMass in the second half this season as Jarrod Williams returned a fumble 68 yards with 8:49 left in the third quarter to cut the Minuteman lead to 21-7.

The Rams tried and on-sides kick, but Jonathan Hernandez recovered the ball and set UMass up for a drive that ended with an Armando Cuko 22-yard field goal. Rhode Island answered with a 38-yard field goal by Louis Feinstein to make the score 24-10 UMass with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Cuko added two more field goals from 37 and 42 yards away in the fourth quarter for a 30-10 advantage.

UMass wraps up its three-game homestand next Saturday as the Minutemen host Stony Brook at 6 p.m. Its Band Day, where more than 5000 local band members will be on hand at McGuirk Stadium.




    Event Calendar

    July 25
    vs Gridiron Club Golf Event, Pine Hills G.C. TBA
    September 3
    at Florida TBA
    September 10
    vs Boston College TBA
    September 17
    vs Florida International TBA
    September 24
    vs Mississippi State TBA
    October 1
    vs Tulane TBA
    October 8
    at Old Dominion TBA
    October 15
    vs Louisiana Tech TBA
    October 22
    at South Carolina TBA
    October 29
    vs Wagner TBA
    November 5
    at Troy TBA
    November 19
    at BYU TBA
    November 26
    at Hawai'i TBA
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago