Club Football defeats Robert Morris to become conference champions

The club football team advances to the next round of the playoffs with big plays in the freezing weather after defeating the Robert Morris University (RMU) Eagles 39-13. After taking down the Eagles, Oakland was named the 2018 Great Lakes Conference champion.

Despite the 26-point win, Head Coach Rick Fracassa wasn’t excited about the play on the field.

“We didn’t do that well, could have done a lot better,” Fracassa said. “We’re going to have to get better and if we’re going to play bad, it was a good game to play bad.”

The first kickoff of the game was a sneaky onside attempt by the Eagles that failed and gave the Golden Grizzlies fantastic field position to start the game. Oakland grabbed a couple of big chunks on run plays into the red zone on the back of Chris Ross Jr. They turned it over on downs with a big drop of a touchdown pass on third and goal. Luckily for Oakland, the Eagles fumbled on the second play of their offensive possession. This lead to a series of plays and touchdown pass in the back left of the end zone for the Golden Grizzlies on a long fourth down and 11.

That turnover was really the theme of the game for both teams. No one could hold on to the ball in the cold and the wind also contributed to a ton of dropped balls.

“The wind was a big factor today,” Fracassa said. “It threw the ball all over place, we had a lot of dropped passes and missed passes. We’ve got to connect next week if we want advance past the next round.”

With four minutes left in the first quarter, the Golden Grizzlies muffed a punt, giving the Eagles great field position, but they fumbled once again on their first play after gaining back possession. After that, Oakland threw an interception but it didn’t lead to a RMU touchdown. The quarter ended with the Golden Grizzlies up 7-0.

During the halftime intermission, most of the crowd made their way to their cars to warm up. The crowd was a factor, showing up and almost completely filling bleachers. Although there isn’t that much seating, they still managed to bring the noise with blow horns and shakers.

The second half was completely dominated by the Golden Grizzlies. The Eagles didn’t score a touchdown while Oakland added two more touchdowns through the air. The official nail in the coffin was with seven minutes left in the game, as they intercepted RMU for the last time of the game.

Oakland plays Sacred Heart this week, to gain a spot in the National Championship game against the winner of Apprentice vs. Middle Georgia State.

“We got one heck of a team to play next week that won it all last year,” Fracassa said about the match-up with Sacred Heart. “They beat us last season and we need to find out how to beat them this year.”