The Alfred State College football team claimed the Region III Championship for the 1st time in school history with a 26-20 victory over Erie CC in Orchard Park. The Pioneers withstood a late 4th quarter rally by the Kats and finish the 2011 season with a 6-4 record.
JJ Dickey got the Kats on the board on their first drive of the game when he scored from five-yards out to give ECC a 7-0 lead.
Colter Johnson (Warren, PA) capped a six minute drive with a 26-yard field goal to cut it to 7-3 with 4:42 remaining in the 1st. After an Alonzo Joyner (Queens/Information Technology) interception, Greg Hampton (Uniondale) connected with Devin Simmons (Elmira Free) on a five-yard pass play to give the Pioneers the lead for good.
After using all three timeouts to get the ball back before losing the wind in the 1st quarter, Kevin Wilkes (Frederick, MD) dove in from one-yard out with two seconds left in the quarter to make it 17-7.
After a scoreless 2nd quarter, the Pioneers used the wind advantage again in the 3rd quarter. Johnson was able to capitalize by connecting on three field goals (42, 31, and 32) to give ASC a 26-7 lead.
Erie started their comeback early in the 4th quarter when Dickey raced in from 32-yards out. Jullian Salerno made it 26-20 when he scored from 20-yards out with 2:53 remaining.
After having an on-side kick recovery called back due to a penalty, ECC was able to hold the Pioneer offense and get the ball back with just over a minute left for one more opportunity to win the game. After picking up two first downs, the Pioneer defense held and claimed the programs first championship.
Abdel Cuza (Rochester/Greece Olympia) led the defense with 13 tackles. Antonio Williams (New Haven, CT) had nine tackles, Anthony Turner (Syracuse/Corcoran) added eight tackles and two sacks, and Rory Spain (Tullly) finished with eight tackles and a sack. Joyner finished with seven tackles and two interceptions and Rilwan Onabanjo (Staten Island/Curtis) picked off two passes.
Hampton finished 14 for 22 for 160 yards and a score, Simmons had eight catches for 99 yards and a score, and Wilkes had 45 yards and a score on 15 carries. ASC finished the day with 242 yards on the day.
Devin Simmons’ eight catches gave him 49 on the season and 67 in his career to establish new school records. Colter Johnson’s four made field goals also sets a new school mark (the Pioneers had hit two field goals on the season coming into the game).
The Pioneers 6-4 record is the 3rd best in school history and the ninth time the blue & gold finished .500 or above.