Special teams and turnovers played a huge part as Alfred State defeated Hudson Valley CC 30-24 to close out the 2012 season. The win improves the Pioneers to 5-4 and secures the program's eighth .500 or better season during Head Coach Mick Caba's tenure.
The Pioneers got on the board in their first possession when Sammy Diaz (Dansville) capped the eight-play 60-yard drive with an eight-yard run. The PAT attempt failed.
HVCC went three and out in their first possession and then had the snap for their punt attempt sail over the punters head to give the Pioneers great starting field position. One play later, Joey Frendo (Fremont, MI) hit Colton Caldwell (Dublin, OH) on a 30-yard pass play. Keegan Phalen (East Aurora) hit Caldwell for the two-point conversion to make it 14-0.
Neither offense got much going until the Vikings switched quarterbacks and Shawn Bryant hit Rasheem Oberton on a 62-yard pass on his first play under center to get HVCC on the board. Nathaniel Robinson rushed in for the two-point conversion.
Late in the 1st half, Brandt Rice (Ft. Myers, FL) came through with another big special teams play when he blocked a punt that was recovered by Carl Williams (Rochester) for the score. Frendo connected with Caldwell on the two-point conversion to make it 22-8 Alfred at half.
Gordie Pine cut the lead back to one possession with 6:58 remaining when he recovered a Pioneer fumble and returned it 41-yards for a score. The two-point conversion made it 22-16.
After a HVCC fumble, Alfred regained their two possession lead with 14:13 remaining when Frendo hit Caldwell on a 25-yard scoring pass. Danny Napolionello (Valley Stream) recovered the blocked PAT attempt in the end zone to make it 30-16.
With just under six minutes remaining, Alfred had the ball looking to run out the clock for the victory when HVCC forced a fumble on a sack and Gordie Pine picked up the ball and returned it 48-yards for his second score of the game. The two-point conversion by Shawn Bryant made it 30-24.
Alfred was unable to get any offense going and the Vikings had two chances with the ball but could not put the tying points on the board. The game ended with Hudson Valley turning the ball over for the 7th time in the game inside the Pioneers twenty yard line.
Alonzo Joyner (Queens) led the defense with 11 tackles, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Michael Gibson (Capital Heights, MD) had seven tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery while Thomas Daniels (Bronx/ICE) recorded six tackles, three sacks, and recovered a fumble. Shawn Charles (Greece Olympia) picked off a pass.
Frendo was 12 of 27 for 140 yards and two scores, Caldwell caught five passes for 83 yards and two scores, and Dileel Bartley (Rochester/Edison) rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries and caught one pass for 21 yards.
The Pioneers defense was impressive forcing six fumbles and intercepting a pass. They won the turnover battle with a +5. The Pioneers held HVCC to just 164 total yards.