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Pioneers Fall in OT Thriller
Mike Lawandus connected on a 41-yard field goal in the first overtime as Erie CC defeated Alfred State 20-17 in a wild Homecoming contest. The win improves the Kats to 1-2 (1-0 NFC) while the Pioneers fall to 2-1 (0-1 NFC).
The Pioneers sent the game into overtime with a dramatic last minute drive. Cody Scepaniak (Vestal) drove a pile of tacklers into the end zone to close the Erie lead to 17-15 with 21.9 seconds remaining. He tied the game on the ensuing two point conversion by once again driving the pile into the end zone.
Erie won the toss and choose to play defense. They stopped the Pioneer overtime possession when Malik Thompson recovered a fumble on the 13.
Erie gained just one yard on their three plays in OT before Lawandus connected on the 41-yard field goal to send the Kat players into a frenzy of celebration.
Lawandus got the scoring started in the 1st when he connected on a 20-yard field goal capping a 13-play opening drive for the Kats.
Masanari Yamamoto (Tokyo, Japan) tied it up with 9:42 remaining in the 1st half when he kicked his first career field goal from 28-yards out.
Ben Pickard sent the Kats into halftime with the lead when he caught a 46-yard pass from Taylor Henry. The drive was fueled by a fake punt that kept the drive alive.
Caleb Meroski (Lake George) cut the lead to 10-9 with 9:19 remaining when he stormed 38-yards for his first career touchdown. The PAT attempt was missed wide left.
Henry connected with Taylor Miller on a 25-yard scoring strike with 12:45 remaining after a Pioneer botched punt to give Erie a 17-9 lead.
Meroski finished with 75 yards on 11 carries while Scepaniak had 52 yards on 19 carries. Scepaniak finished 10 for 24 for 133 yards passing with Corey McWilliams (Erie, PA/Fort Leboeuf) and Josh Griffin (Englewood, NJ) each catching three passes (Williams – 47 yards & Griffin -28 yards). ASC’s offense finished with 245 yards but was slowed by three turnovers.
Henry finished 21 for 31 for 218 yards and two scored while Zedric Joseph rushed 13 times for 41 yards. Pinkard led the receiving core with eight catches for 118 yards. ECC finished with 282 total yards (40 rushing and 242 passing).
Sir Aaron Taylor (West Chester/Lincoln Hall) led ASC with 11 tackles while Randall Wilkie (Buffalo/East) and Damion King (Detroit, MI/Madison Heights) each had eight. Wilkie added a sack while King recovered a fumble.
Tyler Lopes led the Kats with eight tackles (six for a loss) and four sacks. Destry Berry finished with seven tackles while Moses Smith picked off a pass.
The Pioneers have nine days until the take the field on Monday, Sept. 27th at Buffalo State. Kickoff with the JV Bengals is at 4 p.m.