Football: After tight win, Tribe takes on no. 4

__College hosts CAA power UMass Saturday in homecoming contest__

p. Don’t look now, but the Tribe may be thinking playoffs. Following a hard-fought victory over the University of Maine last Saturday, the College’s record sits above .500 (4-3) after seven games for the first time since 2005. If the Tribe wins its final four games, the team will advance to the postseason, a feat deemed extremely unlikely at the season’s outset.

p. The Tribe finds itself in the playoff hunt thanks to the team’s 21-20 victory over Maine on the road last weekend. The College used a combination of veteran experience and youthful fervor to come from behind and hold on for the win.

p. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Cameron Dohse hauled in seven passes, two for touchdowns, and accumulated 123 receiving yards in a career day that netted him CAA Rookie of the Week honors. Dohse bested his career mark of 117 yards, which was set against Villanova University the week before.

p. “[Cameron’s] just doing what he is supposed to be doing, and by doing it on a consistent basis, that’s where the big plays are coming and occurring,” Head Coach Jimmye Laycock said. “He is a very solid receiver for us right now.”

p. Fifth-year senior running back Tony Viola proved vital to the Tribe’s victory as well, rushing the ball nine times in the fourth quarter for 36 yards and totaling 44 yards on the ground for the day. Viola’s fourth-quarter scampers included a three-yard touchdown that proved to be the game-winner and a three-yard gain on third and short that sealed the Tribe’s victory.

p. The College’s defense also played well as the unit successfully rebounded from a disappointing outing against Villanova. Late in the fourth quarter, Maine blocked a Tribe punt, setting up field position at the College’s 24-yard line. But the defense, anchored by a 10-tackle performance from junior linebacker Josh Rutter, shut down the Maine offense, forcing a field goal to keep the Tribe in the lead.

p. “We were in a tough situation at the end, our defense had to go in and they held them to a field goal, and then after that our offense took it … and never gave it back,” Laycock said. “You’ve got to do those things to win on the road and we did them, so we are very happy with that.”

p. With a bye-week behind them, the College now sets their sights on fourth-ranked University of Massachusetts. Massachusetts heads to Williamsburg sporting a 6-1 record and is undefeated in CAA play.

p. “Whether you are coming off a bye week or a loss or whatever, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a very good team that we’re facing,” Laycock said. “We had a lot of trouble with them last year. They are playing very well, and they’re very physical, very talented, and well coached.”

p. The matchup against Massachusetts is just the tip of the iceberg, as the Tribe closes out the remainder of their season against four teams ranked in the top 25. The tough schedule is to be expected from the conference, which has grown accustomed to placing teams in the top 25 year in and year out.

p. “It’s a very strong league from top to bottom,” Laycock said. “A lot of teams compete for the championship. We are facing good teams every week and we’re going to be facing a great team this week with [Massachusetts].”

p. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Zable Stadium.


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