Pioneers Ready to Accomplish Goal
Every year the Alfred State football coaching staff preaches to its players the importance of setting goals. Heading into the 2011 season, head coach Mick Caba knew this could be the year his team accomplished one of the program's goals of winning the Region III Championship.
The Pioneers will have a chance to accomplish that goal for the first time on Saturday at Noon when they battle rival Erie CC in the Region III Championship game at Jim Ball Stadium (right across the street from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park). ASC has been the Region III runner-up four times including the past two seasons.
The Region III Championship Game is new for 2011 and allows the top teams to determine a champion on the field. Erie CC was 2-0 in Region III play defeating ASC 23-21 and Hudson Valley CC 27-20 while ASC is 1-1 falling to Erie and defeating HVCC 48-26 last weekend.
Erie holds a decisive 12-2 lead in the series history between the two schools but the last four meetings have been decided by six points or less. This is the fourth time that ASC and ECC will meet for a second time in the same season. In two of the three previous second match-ups the Pioneers have been victorious.
The Alfred State offense is led by the receiving duo of Devin Simmons (Elmira Free) and Tavon Moore (Syracuse/Bishop Grimes). Simmons has 41 catches for 644 yards and nine touchdowns while Moore has 24 catches for 444 yards and four scores. Greg Hampton (Uniondale) has started every game at quarterback and has passed for 1,522 yards and 18 scores. He is coming off a 299 yard passing day vs. HVCC where he connected on five scoring passes.
The offense is averaging 349.6 yards per game (170.3 on the ground and 179.2 in the air).
Anthony Turner (Syracuse/Corcoran) leads the defense with 54 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks. Rory Spain (Tully) has 48 tackles, David Howell (Rochester/Greece Athena) has 44 tackles and four sacks, and Alonzo Joyner (Queens/Information Technology) has 43 tackles and three picks.
The defense has allowed 277.2 yards per game (113.8 rushing and 163.4 in the air).
ECC is averaging 232.7 yards of offense per game and giving up 381.2. Deonta Wilson lead the team with 452 yards rushing and six scores, Joe Daddario has passed for 585 yards and four scores, and Zak Echols has 15 catches for 216 yards. Defensively, Brian Doyle leads all defensive players with 67 tackles, 25 more than any other player on the team.
The Pioneers are not only looking to win the Region III title but they are looking to reach the six win plateau for just the fourth time.
Tickets for the contest are $5 at the door. The game will also be webcast at: http://www.ecc.edu/athletics/sports/football/streaming.aspx