The Collegian
Thursday, December 08, 2022

Spider football comes out strong in conference opener

<p>Photo courtesy of Stephen Blue / Richmond Athletics.</p>

Photo courtesy of Stephen Blue / Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond football team scored 51 points against Stony Brook University on Sept. 24 at Robins Stadium to beat the Seawolves 51-7.

Graduate quarterback Reece Udinski completed five touchdown passes to get the Spiders the win in their Colonial Athletic Association opener.

Udinski entered the game as the NCAA’s leader in passing completion percentage at 76.7%. He finished the game completing 35 out of the 42 passes thrown, totaling 357 yards. Udinski is now tied for the second-most touchdowns in a single game, with his five scoring passes. He is second only to former UR quarterback Kyle Lauletta’s six in 2017.

“[Udinski] has been doing an incredible job … he’s such a great player and he’s got some wideouts that can catch the football,” head coach Russ Huesman said. “We had some really tremendous catches today.”

Stony Brook began the game strong in the first quarter scoring its only points in the game when the quarterback completed a pass for 38 yards to the endzone. UR quickly responded in the same quarter when Udinski connected with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jasiah Williams to score the first UR touchdown of the game.

Williams collected his first career 100-yard game, totaling 112 yards in 10 receptions. 

The Spiders scored three touchdowns in 58 seconds during the second quarter, beginning with a touchdown from graduate wide receiver Leroy Henley. Shortly after, redshirt sophomore Jeremiah Grant recovered a Stony Brook fumble, allowing the Spiders to regain possession and score another touchdown. 

Redshirt senior defensive back Tyrek Funderburk scored the third touchdown in under a minute of play when he returned the ball 30-yards after picking off a Stony Brook pass. 

Udinski’s final touchdown pass of the game was added on in the third quarter when he threw for 60-yards to redshirt junior Savon Smith for his longest career reception.

“It’s really a quarterback’s dream to have so many guys that can catch the ball well,” Udinski said. “It just makes my job easier.”

Redshirt first-year quarterback Kyle Wickersham came on at the end of the third quarter as relief for Udinski. Wickersham threw his first career touchdown to redshirt first-year wide receiver Ja’Vion Griffin, who also collected his first career receiving touchdown. 

The final points of the games came from the Spiders’ first safety in almost three years. Redshirt sophomore defensive back Jabril Hayes sacked Stony Brook’s quarterback in the endzone, bringing the Spiders to a 44-point lead.

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The 51-7 win over Stony Brook brings UR’s record to 3-1 and 1-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference. 

The Spiders’ next matchup is against Elon University at 2 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Rhodes Stadium in Elon, North Carolina.

Contact sports writer Lucia Helmers at lucia.helmers@richmond.edu.

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