MOON TWP., Pa. — An exciting finish to the season for Robert Morris as they pulled ahead 20-17 in a thrilling overtime victory against conference-foe Campbell. The win cements a 3-4 record in Robert Morris’s first full Big South season with a fifth place finish out of the nine teams. Robert Morris was unanimously predicted to finish dead last in the conference by experts.
Robert Morris never trailed in the game, despite them needing overtime to win it. It also ends a season in which the team gave the fans at home nothing but excitement, winning four of their five games at home by an average of 4.5 points.
“We’re very excited with where we finished up,” said Robert Morris head coach Bernard Clark. “We were picked to finish last in the conference, so for our guys to do what they did, and finish the games is outstanding.”
It didn’t look like it’d be an exciting finish to the season when Robert Morris jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Granted, Campbell had a few drives that were looking nice before being stopped by key defensive plays. The first one, a big fourth down stop on the first drive of the game. The next one, an interception by Sydney Audiger, kept the score at 0-0 despite Campbell getting into the Robert Morris red zone.
Campbell scored 10 unanswered though to tie things up right before halftime. The latter three, coming off a 47-yard boot from the leg of Isaac Riffle. Those three points are being highlighted instead of the touchdown, because Riffle’s leg will play an important factor in determining the outcome of the game.
“I’m very proud of everyone’s perseverance and everyone’s fight in them,” said Supilani ‘Soup’ Mailei, a graduating senior who came back into the game after a scary injury. “They wanted to send us out with a win, so they did everything they could.”
Robert Morris started with the ball in the second half. A long drive gave them the lead back at 17-10. That drive, a 13-play drive, took up nearly eight minutes of the clock. The momentum swing kept Robert Morris in the lead until there was four minutes left in the game.
And thus, with Dylan Earney finding Jalen kelsey for a 27-yard Campbell touchdown, Robert Morris found themselves in another exciting home game.
“It’s all perseverance,” said Clark. “We pushed ahead, we busted our behinds, we finished the game. We talk all long about playing a full 60 minutes, and that’s what our guys had to do today.”
Of course Robert Morris saved the most exciting victory for last. This game didn’t just come down to the wire, but went past it on multiple occasions. The first time was at the end of regulation when Campbell had three field goal attempts to win it.
The first one, a 24-yard attempt, was stopped after a Robert Morris player jumped offsides. The second one, a 19-yard attempt with no time on the clock, was good but called back after a facemask penalty on Julian Hall of Campbell. The third one, now a 34-yard field goal, was no good. This sent the game into overtime.
“That’s the great thing about it,” said Clark. “That’s the great thing about the game, is that you have to play the game, no matter what.”
Robert Morris started with the ball in overtime. A touchdown pass to De’Andre Hicks was called back after a review which led to a field goal by Nick Bisceglia. When Campbell got the ball back, they failed to find the endzone and Riffle’s field goal attempt from 23 yards was no good.
Robert Morris finishes their first full season in the Big South with a 4-6 (3-5) record. 31 seniors were celebrated today, including longtime quarterback George Martin. Martin became the first quarterback since 2006 to pass for 2,000 yards in a single season this week.