by Malik Vincent
For New Pittsburgh Courier

Western Pennsylvania high school grads have helped the Robert Morris University football program to a tremendous 7-1 record so far this season. They just knocked off their in-city and in-conference rival, Duquesne in a convincing manner, 34-11, on Saturday at Joe Walton stadium.

The two teams are a part of the Northeast Conference of the NCAA Division I-AA category.

The Colonials feature a dozen African-American players that come from area high schools including Central Catholic, Steel Valley, McKeesport, Gateway, East Allegheny, Clairton, and Baldwin.

LEAPING CATCH—Duquesne’s Dave Williams (Gateway High) makes a catch in the end zone but is pushed out of bounds by Rolf Bathold of Robert Morris. Williams had five catches for the Dukes, but it was not enough as they fell to the Colonials 34-11. (Photo by William McBride)

Robert Morris has three players that came from the City League. Freshman Donte Jeter was the starting quarterback at Oliver last year, who ended up as the league’s runner-up last season. He is a defensive back for RMU this season. Caron Howard, a lineman, starred for Perry. Finally, Jamar Cromwell is a senior running back from Schenley.

In the game, former McKeesport star and junior tight end Shadre King made it 21-3 with a 32-yard touchdown reception in the second half for the Colonials.

Sam Dorsett is in his fourth season as the running backs coach at RMU. Before the game against the Dukes, his 3,847 rushing yards was a school record. Current tailback Myles Russ eclipsed that record on Saturday with his 154 yards on 30 carries.

“Myles has been a joy to coach,” Dorsett said. “We are most always on the same page. Early on, he didn’t know anything. He’s obviously grown so much since that point and has really blossomed into one of the finest backs in the country.”

Dorsett has been instrumental in Russ’ development. He recruited him and has overseen his progress from that point.

Over the past offseason, Dorsett had the opportunity to attend the NCAA coaches academy that was designed for minority coaches that have four to eight years of experience.

“That was a tremendous opportunity for me,” Dorsett added. “So many great one has come from there. I’m glad to be a coach, first of all, and I’m also glad to be able to participate in things like that.”

He received both his undergraduate and his Masters degrees from the University.

“I’ve been so blessed to have had the chance to be under the leadership of (Robert Morris head football) Coach Walton,” Dorsett said. “I started off as a graduate assistant and have seen this program make major progressions. It is so exciting to be a part of those efforts”

Robert Morris will finish their season against Central Connecticut State who hopes to spoil the Colonials’ hopes for the NEC championship, next Saturday, at Walton Stadium.

(Malik Vincent can be reached at

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