Saxons use long fourth-quarter drive to pull away from Morrisville, 34-19

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ALFRED, NY ‑‑ The Alfred University football team defeated visiting Morrisville State, 34-19, Saturday afternoon at Yunevich Stadium. Leading by just eight-point late in the third quarter, the Saxons drove 93 yards in 17 plays over nearly 11 minutes to put the game away.


On the decisive drive, Alfred took possession with 33 seconds left in the third, leading 27-19, and ran 17 plays – all runs – before junior tailback Casey Bright plowed in for the touchdown from nine yards out to close out the game's scoring.


Alfred (4-1, 2-1 Empire 8) ran for 291 yards against a Morrisville team that came in allowing just 94 yards rushing per contest. Bright ran for 104 yards and a score on 21 carries and junior quarterback Tyler Johnson rushed for 126 yards and a TD on 19 carries. Junior wide receiver Maleke Fuentes added 40 yards and a touchdown on five carries.


Alfred led 10-0 after one period, as sophomore kicker Trevor Monk booted a 30-yard field goal on the Saxons' opening drive and Johnson hit junior wideout Brendan Buisch with a 15-yard TD pass with two seconds left in the opening frame. The 39-yard scoring drive came after the Saxons took possession in Morrisville territory following a short punt.


Morrisville (2-2, 1-2 Empire 8) took a 13-10 lead with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. The first came with just under 11 minutes left in the half and the second came with just over four minutes remaining. Monk's 37-yard field goal with 1:06 left in the quarter capped an 11-play 44-yard drive and sent the teams into halftime tied 13-13.


Alfred took the lead after intermission, taking the second-half kickoff and driving 53 yards in nine plays, with Johnson's four-yard run giving the Saxons a 20-13 advantage. Morrisville answered on its ensuing possession, driving 67 yards in 13 plays. The extra point was blocked and the Mustangs trailed 20-19.


AU answered back, with Fuentes scoring on a 16-yard run with 1:47 left in the third to end a five-play, 70-yard drive. Morrisville punted on its ensuing drive, pinning Alfred inside its own 10-yard line and setting the Saxons up for their epic game-sealing drive.


The teams combined for 823 yards of offense and 48 first downs. Alfred racked up 463 yards with 28 first downs as Johnson threw for 172 yards and a touchdown. Buisch finished with five catches for 67 yards and Fuentes had three for 34 yards.


Morrisville tailback Christian Pena ran for a game-high 162 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Quarterback Cory Benedetto had 41 yards rushing on 10 carries and threw for 138 yards and a score.


Senior linebacker Corry Wallace  had a game-high 11 tackles (1½ for loss) and a forced fumble to lead the AU defense. Senior free safety Michael Berardi (kick block) and sophomore linebacker A.J. Licata (1½  tackles for loss, fumble recovery) each made seven tackles. Junior end Charles Branwell had five tackles and a sack and junior cornerback Shyheim Wingate had five tackles and three pass breakups.


Caleb Wright had 10 tackles for Morrisville, while Delroy Young (tackle for loss) and Marvin Burgess each had nine.


Alfred is idle next weekend and returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. at Cortland State.

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