Photo by Autumn Walter | The Rams were big winners this past weekend against Brown University, bringing home the Governors Cup.
This past Saturday, the University of Rhode Island football team proved themselves as the best in the Ocean state, beating Brown University 48-0 in the 103rd Governors Cup.
“The cup brings you more motivation, more drive to do your job just as coach said,” said redshirt senior wide receiver Marven Beauvais.
Starting quarterback JaJuan Lawson was ruled out for the game due to injury, and for Head Coach Jim Fleming, it was an easy decision to turn to redshirt sophomore Vito Priore to take the ball under center. “He battled his tail off to earn the second team spot so there wasn’t any kind of conversation of who was gonna start the game in the absence of JaJuan.” This was Priore’s first career start as a college quarterback.
Priore got his first touchdown of the day at the beginning of the second quarter, finding Aaron Parker for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The score, along with a 40-yard field goal from kicker C.J. Carrick in the first quarter put Rhody up by 10.
The Rhode Island defense then forced Brown to a three and out and got the ball back on their own 37-yard line. It took only two plays to find the end zone after Priore found Isaiah Coulter for a 25-yard touchdown, making the score 17-0.
The third touchdown drive came late in the second quarter. Brown missed a 48-yard field goal that went wide to the left, allowing the Rams offense to get the ball back with 1:56 left in the half. On the fourth play of the drive, Priore found Beauvais on the right sideline and as he put a devastating spin move on his defender, Beauvais strolled into the end zone. The late score made it 27-0 in favor of the Rams heading into halftime.
Rhody continued their domination on both sides of the ball in the third quarter. A three-yard rushing touchdown by Ahmere Dorsey increased the lead to 31 points, while an interception by defensive back Rashod Dickerson put URI on the Brown 34 yard line.
The ensuing drive ended in a familiar result. Parker caught his fifth touchdown of the season on a ten-yard score that made the game 41-0. For Parker, it was his 15th touchdown of his career, tying him for fifth on the career touchdown receiving list at URI.
A passing touchdown from Tyler Harris to senior Khayri Denny in the fourth quarter capped off the largest Governor’s Cup victory for the Rams since 1998. The significance of the game was not lost on the players, with native Rhode Islander Andre Bibeault saying “It’s definitely big and I wanted to prepare harder than ever this week.”
Priore finished 19-25 for 310 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start in a performance that caught praise from Coach Fleming after the game. “I don’t know how he comes in as cool as he does. I would have come in making diamonds, but he came in and balled out and it was very impressive to watch.”
The Rams are now No. 16 in the FCS STATS top 25 pool. They will play at home this weekend in a showdown vs No. 21 ranked University Maine. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Meade Stadium.