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Albany N.Y. 21, Cent. Connecticut St. 16

September 8, 1996

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Joe Savino threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the school’s all-time passing leader, as Albany upended Division I-AA Central Connecticut State 21-16 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

Albany trailed 7-0 in the second quarter, when Savino hit Dan Gmelin on an inside screen pass. The junior split end rambled 35 yards for the touchdown.

The Great Danes took a 14-7 lead on their next possession when Savino, who completed eight of 17 passes, engineered a 10-play scoring march. Mike Browne capped off the drive on a 4-yard touchdown run.

CCSU scored again in the third quarter. Brian Stackpole kept the 13-play drive alive when he ran for a first down out of a punt formation. Stan House later scored from one yard out, but the Blue Devils mishandled the snap on the extra point and trailed 14-13.

Albany, which had last won its season opener nine years ago, scored on its next series. Savino threw to Gmelin to complete a 73-yard touchdown play.

Jim O’Connell added a 26-yard field goal for CCSU late in the third quarter, and neither team scored in the final quarter.

CCSU quarterback John O’Reilly completed 16 of 41 passes for 193 yards, but was picked off twice by Albany free safety Ted Bearor.

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