ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University football team used a 24-point second quarter to break open a close game en route to a 33-10 defeat of visiting Montclair State Saturday afternoon at Yunevich Stadium.
The Saxons (1-1) led 6-3 going into the second quarter and then 13-3 after an 18-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Austin Dwyer (Hornell, NY/Hornell) with 7:24 left in the half. Montclair seemed ready to seize the momentum when, on the first play of its ensuing drive, quarterback Ryan Davies hooked up with wideout Aaron Williams on an 80-yard TD pass, drawing the Red Hawks to within three points, at 13-10.
But that would be all the points Montclair would score, as Alfred used defense and a timely special teams play to score the next 17 points of the quarter – 14 coming in a 12-second span – to go up 30-10 heading into halftime.
On Alfred's possession after Montclair's touchdown, the Saxons faced a fourth-and-six at the Montclair 49-yard line. AU lined up to punt, but Dwyer took the snap and rambled six yards for the first down to extend the drive. Eight plays later, AU freshman quarterback Dominic Scavo hit senior wideout Josh Phillips on an eight-yard scoring pass on first-and-goal, putting the Saxons up 20-10 with 1:04 left in the third. On the first play of Montclair's next possession, AU freshman nose guard Zack Bacon deflected a Davies pass at the line, caught it for the interception, and rumbled 38 yards for the touchdown, putting AU up 27-10 with 52 seconds left in the frame.
On the second play of Montclair's next drive, AU sophomore middle linebacker Corry Wallace picked off a pass near midfield and returned it to the Montclair 49. Six plays later, freshman kicker Thomas Gioia hit a 41-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half to put AU up 30-10.
Gioia would add a 21 yard fourth-quarter field goal to close out the scoring.
A week after being held to 102 yards rushing and 241 yards of total offense in a 24-21 season-opening loss to visiting RPI, the Saxons' ground game came to life. AU ran for 190 yards and produced 329 yards of offense. Dwyer ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and senior tailback Tyler DeRosa added 74 on 16 carries.
Scavo completed 13 of 25 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown as the Saxons finished the game with no turnovers. Phillips had four catches for 42 yards and DeRosa (38 yards receiving) and sophomore wide receiver Maleke Fuentes (30 yards) each caught two balls.
The Saxon defense held Montclair to 32 yards rushing and 250 yards of total offense (a mere 56 in the second half). Alfred dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 39:10 to 20:50 for the Red Hawks. The Saxons held a 21-9 advantage in first downs and forced Montclair into two turnovers.
Wallace had seven tackles (one for loss) to go with his interception and senior end Justin Collen had two sacks and a pass breakup to lead the Saxon defense. Sophomore cornerback Calvin Bain and junior linebacker Matt Jacobs each had four tackles and a pass breakup. Bain added a 40-yard kickoff return that led to Alfred's third TD of the game.
Davies completed seven of 17 passes for 174 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for Montclair. Wide receiver Malcolm Robinson had five catches for 75 yards and Williams finished with two for 90 and a TD. Alfred held Montclair's leading rusher, tailback A.J. Scoppa, to 34 yards rushing on 13 carries. Linebacker Marc Aspinwall led the Montclair defense with 14 tackles (2.5 for loss). Linebacker Adnan Sakiri had 12 and free safety Matt Mancino added 10.
Alfred is in action next on Saturday, Sept. 28, when the Saxons play a 6 p.m. game at SUNY Brockport.