No. 16 Alfred Tops Saints, 36-12
Sept. 17: The St. Lawrence University football team dropped its final non-conference game of the 2011 season on Saturday, as nationally-ranked #16 Alfred University got a pair of touchdowns from Adam Schutz en route to a 36-12 win over the Saints in Alfred, NY.
St. Lawrence, now 1-2 on the season, was led by senior co-captain Marcus Washington, who went for 114 all-purpose yards and one receiving touchdown. Senior Ramon Mignott led all defensive players with 12 total tackles, but the Saxons piled up six sacks in the game including two from Nick Clark.
Alfred used a tough running game to collect 189 yards on the ground to St. Lawrence's total of 69. The Saints were haunted by three fumbles lost and impressive play by the Saxons in the red zone, as the home team finished 5-for-5 in their chances inside the 20.
"They're a solid football team," said St. Lawrence head coach Mark Raymond. "We felt like we would need to win the turnover battle, and that didn't happen. But I think we can take some positives out of this game heading into conference play next weekend."
Austin Dwyer led Alfred's balanced offense with 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while quarterback Tom Secky was 18-of-33 passing for 175 yards and two scores. Sophomore quarterback Nik Busharis finished 12-of-24 passing for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Alfred took a 7-0 lead on its opening drive of the game, as the Saxons went 59 yards in only four plays. Secky found Andre McCloud for a 21 yard gain on 3rd-and-10, and then Dwyer scored from 38 yards out for a 6-0 lead. Eric Rockwood added the extra point to put the home team ahead by seven only 3:16 into the game.
St. Lawrence would put together a solid drive on its next possession, reaching the Alfred 20-yard line for a red zone possession. However, Busharis fumbled the ball on first down, and Alfred's Chris Steeves came up with the loose ball to end the scoring threat.
With the momentum on its side, Alfred turned the turnover into seven points as Secky led a 17-play, 80 yard scoring drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Schutz. The Saxons delivered several clutch plays on late downs, including a converted 4th-and-1 rush by Clark that went for seven yards to keep the drive alive. Rockwood would add the extra point after Secky's 3-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 cushion.
Back-to-back three-and-outs by St. Lawrence would continue to give Alfred great field position and the Saxons took advantage. They made it 17-0 on a 23-yard field goal by Rockwood with 8:53 left in the second quarter. Then, after St. Lawrence gave the ball up on its own 12-yard line, Secky came through with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Schutz for a 23-0 lead with 5:48 to play in the first half. T.J. Kilcarr's two-point conversion pass failed.
The Saints would remain in the game thanks to a 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive orchestrated by Busharis. The Saints converted two third down conversions on the drive that saw their quarterback go 6-for-9 on the drive. Washington capped the scoring drive with a 13-yard touchdown catch with 1:24 left in the half, cutting the team's deficit to 23-6. The visitors were without place kicker Chris Dris, so they attempted to go for a two point conversion, with the pass falling incomplete.
After a third quarter that saw Alfred pick up the only scoring on a 27-yard field goal by Rockwood to extend the lead to 26-6, the Saxons pulled away in the fourth with back-to-back scoring drives. The home team made it 29-6 on another field goal from Rockwood, this time from 35-yards out. The Saints then fumbled the ensuing kick-off, giving Alfred possession on the visitors' 18 yard line which led to a two-yard touchdown run by Clark. Rockwood's extra point made it 36-6 Alfred with 8:04 remaining.
St. Lawrence would cap the game's scoring on its final drive with a mere 35 seconds left in regulation. First-year student Freddie Washburn and sophomore Alonzo Holcombe ran the ball very effectively on the drive, helping the Saints reach the Alfred 12-yard line. From there, Busharis was able to find sophomore Mike Tateosian for his first career touchdown reception. The point after try failed, bringing the game to its final score of 36-12.The Saints will look to start their Liberty League title defense in style next weekend, as they host the Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday, September 24 in the annual Hoffman Cup game. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00pm at Leckonby Stadium.