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As The Spiders Look For Their Fourth Straight Win, Dressler Prepares For His Final Collegiate Football Game

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This past Saturday, the Richmond Spiders football team picked up their third straight win after a 51-27 victory over the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens.

Prior to the game however, the team was preparing for their home finale as well as senior night, as CHS alum, Tyler Dressler was stepping onto Robins Stadium for his last collegiate home game.

“I was pretty upset about it. When we walked out for senior day, Coach Huesman was standing right there and he gave me a hug and just told me how much he appreciated everything I had done for the University of Richmond and this football team. It was pretty emotional right there, but kickoff wasn’t far away, so you get locked in pretty quick after. Since we won, there wasn’t a lot of tears shed or anything like that, it makes everything a lot easier”, said Dressler on stepping onto Robins Stadium prior to his final collegiate home game.

The 24 point win for the Spiders over the Fightin’ Blue Hens, pushed the Spiders team record to an even .500 at 5-5. The three game winning streak is the longest this season for the Spiders and comes off of the teams three game losing streak.

“I think the biggest part (to the teams success) is getting some people healthy, getting some of our assets back. Joe Mancuso coming back, he started so comfortable again and I think that is a big part. And another part is the defense is just showing up to work consistently day to day. Keeping our preparations the same and everything we do during the week, it really shows on Saturday and we’re pretty satisfied with it”, said Dressler on the teams recent success with their current three game winning streak.

The 51 points scored by the Spiders on Saturday against the Fightin’ Blue Hens, was the most the football program has scored in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game since 2015.

Dressler added on the teams success recently, “They were (coaches) really happy with the performance. Especially against Delaware, that has pretty much developed into a rivalry, especially since Richmond’s former head coach Danny Rocco is Delaware’s coach. They were satisfied with the win, but just like every other week, we go into the next week now and we’re preparing for the travel and putting that game behind us and moving on.”

The Spiders defense played tough against the rushing attack once again as the team held the Fightin’ Blue Hens to only manage to rush for 40 yards in the loss. The defense from the Spiders held the offense to 1.4 yards per carry. It was the eighth straight game that the defense held their opponent to under 110 rushing yards.

As the defense did its job slowing down the run game, the defense also forced three turnovers. For the second straight game the defense had a defensive touchdown. Kobie Turner brought the ball to the end zone on a fumble that occurred when Philip O’Conner sacked the Fightin’ Blue Hens quarterback with such force it knocked the ball loose.

“We knew they would try to establish the run, especially early on. All week, that was one of our goals was to stop the run and we kind of limited their offense because their running back (Dejoun Lee) was the former offensive CAA player of the year. So we knew we were going to have our hands full and I’m just really proud of how the defense performed on Saturday”, said Dressler on the defenses performance in the win over the Fightin’ Blue Hens.

One other turnover the Spiders defense forced, came from Dressler, who for the second week in a row had an interception (INT). Dressler, nearly had back to back games of reaching the end zone with a pick six, but he was tripped up at the Fightin’ Blue Hens eight yard line after returning the INT 28 yards. It was Dressler’s third INT of the season.

“I was just happy to come up with it (the interception). Just like last week, it happened so fast. It’s pretty much all reaction and there’s not a lot of thought process going into it”, said Dressler on recording interceptions in back to back games.

As the team as a whole has been rolling on all cylinders during their three game winning streak, the locker room was fired up after their victory over the Fightin’ Blue Hens on Saturday.

“I think we really are (rolling on all cylinders) and I think that’s the culture we have to, especially with the celebration we had in the locker room. This is the team we should of had throughout the whole year. It’s really one of them what-ifs situations. I’m not one of those guys to talk about what-ifs, but if we wouldn’t of had that losing streak, what if we had everyone healthy, what if we were firing on all cylinders throughout the year, it could of been a different story and I think we really could of made a deep playoff run. But that’s pretty much out of our hands, that’s just how fate works sometimes. We have one game left, we’re going to go out there to try and fire on all cylinders one more time and enjoy my last game playing for the University of Richmond”, said Dressler on the excitement in the locker room following the teams win.

With the game out of reach for the Fightin’ Blue Hens, the clock began ticking down to the final seconds of not only the teams final home game of the season, but also Dressler’s and the other seniors last collegiate home game at Robins Stadium.

“If we would of lost, it probably would of been a whole lot more difficult. But when you win, it cures a lot of problems”, said Dressler on if he had any emotions as his final seconds of playing on Robins Stadium was winding down.

This Saturday will not only be the season finale, but it will also be the seniors last collegiate game.

“Just want to finish this (season) thing out the right way. We’ve worked extremely hard, not just this year, but throughout my whole career. It’s pretty disappointing not making the playoffs, but just finishing the right way and enjoying practice. A lot of people dread practice. We kind of have this mentality now that its not we have to practice, its we get to practice. We enjoy being around each other, we enjoy competing because in a few years, you can’t play football forever, you’re going to look back and you’re really going to miss those moments, you’re going to miss the locker room, you’re going to miss just being out there with your team. There’s really nothing like it. I’m just going to soak everything in while I can and enjoy it”, said Dressler on his thoughts heading into his final football game as a Richmond Spider.

In 2018, Dressler made his first start for the Spiders, and it came against the same team he ends his collegiate career playing against.

“In terms of starting there and then finishing up at William & Mary, it couldn’t be anymore poetic. I think the biggest thing is to try and establish my legacy and finish it off on a good note”, said Dressler on his last start coming against the team he made his first collegiate start against.

There’s a rich history behind the rivalry of Spiders and William & Mary as it is known as the “Oldest Rivalry in the South”, also known as The Capital Cup. The series between the two schools is tied at 63-63-5.

“What a better way to go out then edging them out 64-63 and having bragging rights for the rest of my days”, said Dressler on the rivalry.

Dressler’s Spiders are 3-1 versus William & Mary since joining the program in 2017.

William & Mary has a chance at making the playoffs still, but Dressler is hoping to end those hopes for them, “In my mindset, they have high hopes, but there would be nothing better than to ruin their hopes at the playoffs and to not just win, but have a dominant performance.”

The game is this Saturday at William & Mary and starts at 3:30 p.m.

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