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Coach Ford gets 200th Win


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Staten Island, N.Y. – Senior tailback Gary Jones rushed for 211 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in leading Albany to a 28-7 Northeast Conference victory over Wagner on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Wagner College Stadium.

Albany’s Bob Ford became the fourth active NCAA Division I-AA coach to record his 200th win with the victory. The Great Danes, who improved to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the NEC, moved into a tie for first place in the conference standings with Monmouth. The Hawks lost for the first time this season, a 14-10 decision against Central Connecticut State.

"This is special for all of us," said Jones about Ford’s milestone victory. "Everyone will remember this win because it goes down in history and he started the program. The look on his face at the end of the game was meaningful for the whole team."

The Great Danes, who have won five of their last six games, shook off a fumble and two punts on their opening three possessions. Jones then took a last-second option pitch from quarterback Anthony Sciarra and raced 41 yards for a touchdown with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.

Wagner (4-5, NEC 1-4) tied the contest in the second period. Following a Sciarra fumble, the Seahawks marched 70 yards in seven plays to the end zone. Junior quarterback David Bateman, who completed 23 of 43 passes for 193 yards, hit freshman Chris Turner on a 15-yard fade pattern for a touchdown with 9:34 remaining.

The Great Danes came back with scores on their next two offensive series. Sciarra, who connected on 7-of-15 through the air, fired a 60-yard pass to Jason Miller on a post pattern to set up the go-ahead touchdown. Jones powered his way through the middle on an 8-yard TD with 8:47 left.

Albany went ahead 21-7 six minutes later on an eight-play, 82-yard sequence. Jones, who became the first Great Dane to rush for 200 or more yards in back-to-back games, sprinted 28-yards up the right sideline to paydirt.

The Great Danes, who broke the NECs’ single-game rushing record for the third time this season with 468 on the ground, put the game away In the third stanza. Sciarra, who directed a 75-yard march, ran two consecutive option plays to the Wagner 7. Jones then rumbled around the left end into the end zone for a 21-point lead with 1:47 left in the period.

Meanwhile, Albany’s defense dominated second-half action by holding the Seahawks to 101 of their 275 total yards. The Great Danes, who can clinch a share of the NEC championship against Robert Morris next Saturday, came up with a season-high five sacks and limited the home team to 82 net rushing yards overall.

"It’s kind of hard to summarize a career," said Ford, who has a 200-140-1 record in his 35th season at the collegiate level. "We’ve had great kids and great coaches. I’ve been fortunate that people have been patient over the years."

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