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Leopard Comeback Comes Up Short in First Loss of 2012

Sept. 29, 2012

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opponent Helmet top   lafayettehelmettop
Opponent Helmet Bottom
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
 Lafayette 0 7 7 14 28
 Robert Morris 14 14 0 3 31
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 Quick Stats LC RMU
 First Downs 24 19
 Rushing Yards 83 185
 Passing Yards 261 201
 Total Yards 351 386
 Total Plays 66 60
 Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
 Penalties-Yards 9-82 11-93
 Interceptions-Yards 1-5 2-10
 3rd Down Conversions 5-10 4-12
 4th Down Conversions 0-0 0-0
 Sacks By-Yards 1-8 4-17
 PAT Kicks 4-4 4-4
 Field Goals 0-0 1-1
 Time of Possession 31:24 28:36

 Stat Leaders
 Passing C-Att Yds TD Int
 LC- Shoop 25-38 268 3 2
 RMU - Sinclair 15-28 201 2 1
 Rushing Car Yds TD Long
 LC - Scheuerman 12 75 1 25
 RMU - Taylor 16 94 0 16
 Receiving Rec Yds TD Long
 LC - Ross 13 151 2 30
 RMU - Jeter 7 131 2 47
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Robert Morris dealt Lafayette its first loss of the year, running up 28 first-half points en route to a 31-28 Lafayette setback on Saturday night at Joe Walton Stadium. Lafayette erased a 21-point halftime deficit and tied the game in the fourth quarter before Robert Morris booted home a game-winning field goal with 19 seconds left.

Individually, Mark Ross, had a career day with 13 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The Aliquippa, Pa. native, who was playing in front of a host of hometown fans, tied the Lafayette single-game record for catches, previously held by Mark Layton against Penn in 2010.

Lafayette was forced to play from behind the entire game. The Leopards and Colonials exchanged interceptions in the opening minutes, but it was Lafayette's second turnover that proved costly.

Operating from deep inside Lafayette territory, Shoop connected with Ross who appeared to juggle the ball for an incompletion. The contested play was ruled a catch and a fumble and recovered by RMU's Mike Neilson for a touchdown.

Robert Morris led 14-0 after a 26-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Sinclair to Duane Mitchell in the corner of the endzone. The Leopards sliced the Robert Morris lead in half with a 25-yard touchdown run by Ross Scheuerman. It was the first rushing touchdown of his career for Scheuerman who finished the night with 12 carries for 75 yards.

Robert Morris answered quickly, travelling 72 yards on 10 plays over 4:47 before Sinclair's three-yard pass to Paul Evans made it 21-7. Robert Morris took advantage of Shoop's second interception of the night. Sinclair advanced the lead to 28-7 with an eight-yard run around left end with 7:12 left in the half, a score that held through intermission.

The Leopards received the ball to start the second half and promptly marched it 80 yards on 10 plays. A 30-yard pass from Shoop to Ross extended the drive. The 12-yard strike between the tandem cut the deficit to 28-14 with 9:16 left in the third quarter.

The Leopards kept inching closer to Robert Morris, which was playing the second home night game in school history. Lafayette scored on the opening play of the fourth quarter, a two-yard touchdown pass from Shoop to Ross with 14:55 left in the game. The drive covered 73 yards on 14 plays and took up 6:49 on the clock. Ryan Gralish's PAT was true and the Colonials' lead was seven.

The Leopards' defense built on the momentum, forcing a Robert Morris punt. Lafayette took over at its own 26-yard line with 12:25 left in the game. Shoop, Scheuerman and Ross embarked on a nine-play 74-yard drive that tied the game. The big strike was a 25-yard connection to Ross. On 2nd-and-goal at the 10, Shoop drilled a pass to Rodney Gould to knot the game at 28-28. Shoop finished the day 25-of-38 for 268 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The teams traded punts on the next two possessions and Robert Morris got the ball back with 2:23 left in the game. At the RMU 22-yrd line, Sinclair (15-of-28 for 201, 2 TD and 1 INT) heaved a pass to Donte Jeter for a 43-yard pickup, putting the Colonials in field-goal range. The RMU offense picked up six more yards before Greg Langer hitting the game-winning 33-yard field goal.

Defensively, five players (Kyni Scott, Kasheem Hill, Mike Boles, Shane Black and Jared Roberts) had seven tackles for the Leopards. Colton Kirkpatrick had an interception in the first half after getting the start at WILL linebacker. Marcelis Branch had 14 tackles with an interception to lead Robert Morris.

Lafayette returns home to host Princeton on Oct. 6 on RCN Community Night at Fisher Stadium. Kick-off is slated for 6 p.m.