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Robert Morris punter named NEC special teams player of the week

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Senior Nick Schirtzinger honored for role in upset victory over Liberty

Senior punter Nick Schirtzinger (Hurricane, W.Va. / Hurricane) of the Robert Morris University football team was one of two Colonials to take home a weekly honor from the Northeast Conference Monday, as he was tabbed the NEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

In a 30-23 upset victory over No. 14/15 Liberty (9/18) at Joe Walton Stadium, Schirtzinger was key in helping Robert Morris win the field position battle, averaging 44.3 yards on six punts, including a pair that he pinned inside the five-yard line of the Flames.

In the third quarter against the Flames, the 5'8", 250-pound Schirtzinger booted a 51-yard punt that was downed at the two-yard line of Liberty by sophomore Eric Lowry (Johnstown, Pa. / Bishop McCort).

Three plays later SirChauncey Holloway of the Flames was penalized for holding with Liberty quarterback Mike Brown in the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 16-13 lead for Robert Morris. 

Schirtzinger also pinned one of his six punts at the four-yard line of the Flames, and his long on the afternoon of 52 yards came in the first half. 

In the fourth quarter, Schirtzinger also came up with a key tackle on special teams. B.J. Hayes returned a punt 42 yards to midfield before being pushed out of bounds by Schirtzinger, helping save a potential touchdown return. The Flames would have to settle for a field goal on the ensuing drive and a tie game, 23-23, with just 1:19 to play.

On the 2010 campaign Schirtzinger ranks second in the NEC in punting with an average of 44.0 yards per punt. The active leader in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in career punting yards (7,689), which is an RMU career school record, Schirtzinger also owns school records at Robert Morris for career punts (190) and average yards per punt (40.5).

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