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Darius Burse (above) takes the pass 58 yards for a touchdown
Football-CH - Sat, Aug. 26, 2017

The 13th ranked Robert Morris Illinois Football team opened the 2017 season with a 22-7 victory over Bacone College (Okla.), on Saturday, August 26th at Morris Field.  From start to finish RMU played with high energy and dominated in all facets of the game. 

The RMU offense didn't take long to show their big play ability. On the second play of the game quarterback Kenyatte Allen (SR/Lithonia, Ga.) unloaded a perfect deep pass to Tristen Jeffries (SR/Sandusky, Ohio), hitting him in stride for a 49-yard touchdown pass. After a successful extra point, RMU took a 7-0 lead with 13:55 left in the first quarter. 

The defense got their first stop of the season and forced Bacone to punt, which was followed by a three and out for the RMU offense. Punter Ben Gutke (FR/Anitoch, Ill.) flipped the field with a beautiful punt that was downed on the one yard line by Dallis Flowers (JR/Oak Park, Ill.).  On the first play of the drive, Ian Riggs (SR/Rockford, Ill.) forced Johnny Thomas to fumble the ball on the goal line, but it was quickly recovered by Bacone.  Bacone's drive lasted 11 plays for 39 yards until the defense forced a punt. 

On the third drive of the game, RMU marched down the field with an 8 play, 56-yard drive stalling out at the Bacone 4 yard line.  RMU settled for a 22-yard field goal from Donnie Young (SO/Algonquin, Ill.) to extend the lead to 10-0 with 13:19 left in the second quarter.

The second quarter saw four punts before RMU took over with 56 seconds left at their own 21 yard line.  Kenyatte Allen led the hurry up offense down to the Bacone 16 yard line to set up a 33-yard field goal attempt which drifted just right of the upright.  Sending the teams into halftime with RMU up 10-0.

To the start the third quarter, Bacone was forced into a three and out led by a Will Nicholson (SR/Corona, Calif.) sack on 3rd and 10.  The RMU offense did not cool down after the first half, as they took the ball 47 yards in 5 plays for a touchdown.  Kenyatte Allen connected with Tristen Jeffries for the second time on the afternoon to bring the score to 16-0 after a failed PAT. 

On the ensuing possession, Montreal Blade (FR/Homewood, Ill.) forced a fumble by Samuel Sewards. The ball took a lucky bounce and was recovered by Bacone. However, six plays later Ian Riggs forced a strip sack on second and goal, which was recovered by RMU's Scott Kresal (SR/Mokena, Ill.) to preserve the shut out. 

To start the fourth quarter, RMU forced a punt followed by a beautiful screen pass from Kenyatte Allen to Darius Burse (JR/Chicago, Ill.) on 3rd and 21, which extended the lead to 22-0 with 11:35 to go in the fourth quarter. 

The RMU defense wasn't able to keep Bacone off the board as they scored on a long 13 play, 79-yard drive spanning 7:27, leaving only 4:08 left on the clock.  After a failed onside attempt, RMU was forced to punt back to Bacone with 2:19 left.  Montreal Blade was able to force a Bacone fumble scooped up by Philip Hassell (SR/Champaign, Ill.) to ice the victory. 

Keyon Lansdown (JR/Chicago, Ill.) led the defense with a game-high 11 tackles, Ian Riggs with two sacks and two forced fumbles, Montreal Blade also forced two fumbles on the afternoon. Offensively Kenyatte Allen finished the day 12-20 for 243 yards and 3 TD's while rushing for 19 yards.  Darius Burse rushed for 47 yards and had one catch for a 58-yard touchdown.  Tristen Jeffries led the receivers with 6 catches for 132 yards and 2 TD's.

The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday September 2nd at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. Kickoff is set for 7pm and fans can listen to the game live on the Eagles Sports Network.