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Saxons fall to Rochester, 24-14
10/30/10

ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University football team lost to visiting Rochester, 24-14, Saturday afternoon at Merrill Field.

The Saxons were held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season, turned the ball over three times and their potent offense was held in check most of the game. With the loss — Alfred’s first in the last 12 meetings with Rochester — 20th-ranked AU falls to 6-2 on the season, while Rochester improves 2-5.

After a scoreless first quarter, Rochester took a 10-0 halftime lead. Zach White-Stellato booted a 42-yard field goal 52 seconds into the second following an AU fumble at its own 25. On Rochester’s next possession, the Yellowjackets marched 71 yards in nine plays, with Adam Brinkman catching a 21-yard TD pass from Braezen Subick with 8:56 left in the half.

Alfred scored on the opening possession of the second half, with freshman tailback Austin Dwyer (Hornell, NY/Hornell) scampering in from 13 yards to cap an eight-play, 76-yard drive with 11:23 left in the third. Dwyer, the Empire 8 leader in rushing (106 yards per game) was held to 44 yards on 12 carries.

Rochester boosted its lead back to 10 points, 17-7, when R.J. Napodano scored on a two-yard run with 5:05 left in the third. The Saxons pulled to within three points, at 17-14, when junior linebacker Nick Clark (Canisteo, NY/Canisteo-Greenwood) scored on a 1-yard run with 4:26 left in the fourth. A personal foul on Alfred after the touchdown forced the Saxons to kick off from their own 15, and Rochester’s Willie Roberson returned the kick 74 yards for a touchdown to close out the scoring.

Two AU drives in the closing minutes ended with interceptions in Rochester territory. For the game, 249 yards of offense, but turned the ball over only once. AU had 324 yards, most coming in the second half, but had three miscues.

AU junior quarterback Tom Secky (Bemus Point, NY/Maple Grove) completed 25 of 53 passes for 272 yards. Dwyer had 10 catches for 94 yards and senior wideout Ryan Thon (Victor, NY/Victor) caught eight for 83 yards.

Subick was 13-for-20 for 120 yards and a TD. Tailback Chris Lebano ran for 63 yards and Napodano carried the ball 12 times for 54 yards. Yellowjacket tight end Thomas Norman caught five passes for 53 yards.

Clark had a game-high 14 tackles and sophomore tackle Mike Raplee (Dundee, NY/Dundee) had 13, including a sack, to pace the AU defense. Sophomore strong safety Reggie Pressley (Rochester, NY/Gates-Chili) had 11 tackles and junior tackle Torrance Jones Rochester, NY/Marshall) and senior linebacker Chad Pieri (LeRoy, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) each had six. Junior cornerback Roland O’Brien (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) had an interception, his fifth in the last five games.

Tony Ortega had eight tackles and fumble recovery for Rochester. Kobie Hamm (interception) and Andrew Kryszak each had seven stops and Nick Sorosky had an interception.

Alfred is in action next on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. at home against Ithaca. With a win in that game, AU would clinch a share of the Empire 8 title and would earn the conference’s bid to the NCAA championship tournament.