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AU vs. RPI Game Notes
9/12/13

Alfred University Saxons vs. RPI Engineers

Saturday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m.

Merrill Field, Alfred, NY

 

Last meeting: 2012, RPI win, 24-6, at RPI

Last week: AU: Did not play; RPI, Win, 20-7, at Norwich

Saxons Offense: Today is Alfred’s season opener

Saxon Defense: Today is Alfred’s season opener

Engineer Offense: 20.0 points per game

Engineer Defense: 7.0 points per game

 

Players to watch: AU — Dominic Scavo, FR, QB; Tyler DeRosa, SR, TB; Austin Dwyer, SR, TB; Chuck Beckwith, SR, FB; Josh Phillips, SR, WR; Jonathan Ruffin, SR, WR; Maleke Fuentes, SO, WR; Justin Collen, SR, DE; D.J. Welch, SR, LB; Mike Perkins, JR, FS; Calvin Bain, SO, CB; Mike Berardi, SO, SS; Zack Bacon, FR, NG.

RPI — Jesse Maynard, SR, QB; Brendan McGlynn, SR, QB; Joe Hogan, SO, WR; Joe Cozzolino, SR, TE; Ted Abriel, SR, NG; Andrew Gawrys, FR, DE; Colby Tragni, JR,, ILB; Brandon Cook, SO, ILB; Nick Borkowski, JR, SS.

 

Key matchups: RPI run defense against a Saxon offense that boasts three bona fide first-string tailbacks in seniors Tyler DeRosa, Austin Dwyer and Chuck Beckwith. Dwyer has nearly 2,700 rushing yards in his career; DeRosa had 618 as a backup in 2011 and had 199 in 2012 before his 2012 season was ended by injury early in a Week 3 contest at Buff State; and Beckwith earned Empire 8 First Team honors last year despite missing the final three games to injury. RPI’s defense allowed only 118 yards rushing in the win over Norwich, with nose guard tackle Ted Abriel and end Andrew Gawrys combining for 19 tackles and linebackers Brandon Cook and Colby Tragni logging 10 each…AU freshman quarterback Dom Scavo starts against an RPI pass defense that allowed 243 yards through the air against Norwich. Scavo, a two-time all-state QB at Hornell High School who transferred to AU from Ithaca in the spring, will have a veteran corps of receivers that includes senior wideouts Josh Phillips (116 career catches) and Jonathan Ruffin, and freshman wideout Maleke Fuentes (2012 Empire 8 Rookie of the Year)…The AU rush defense against an RPI team that ran for 239 yards against Norwich. The Engineers’ top two runners in that game were backup quarterback Jesse Maynard, who ran for 135 (including a 91-yard TD run) in relief of injured starter Brendan McGlynn (second on the team in rushing vs. Norwich with 64 yards). Senior end Justin Collen, freshman nose guard Zack Bacon and sophomore MLB Corry Wallace will need to lead the way in controlling RPI’s running QBs…Alfred's talented secondary against an RPI passing attack that struggled against Norwich. The Engineers threw for only 92 yards last week. AU’s defensive backfield has one returning starter ­– junior free safety Mike Perkins – but welcomes the addition of sophomore corner Calvin Bain (transfer from Division I FBS St. Francis (PA) University) and the return of senior corner Andre McCloud, a former starter who did not play in 2012. Sophomore Mike Berardi, solid as a nickel defender in 2012, starts at strong safety.

 

Game Notes: Today’s game marks the 19th meeting between AU and RPI, with AU holding a 13-5-0 advantage in the all-time series. RPI won the last time the two teams played (24-6, last year at RPI), while AU won the last time the teams played at Alfred (48-17 in 2011).

 

About the Engineers: RPI is 1-0 after opening its season last Saturday with a 20-7 win over visiting Norwich. The Engineers trailed 7-6 at the half before outscoring the Cadets 14-0 in the second half.

 

RPI won despite being outgained 361 yards to 331, overcoming a 21-10 disadvantage in first downs. The Engineers benefitted from two big scoring plays in the second half: a 61-yard touchdown pass from backup QB Jesse Maynard to wide receiver Pat Hogan and a 91-yard Maynard TD run.

 

RPI got 239 yards rushing: 135 from Maynard, inserted into the game late in the first quarter for starter Brendan McGlynn, who rushed for 64 yards. Maynard completed five of 14 passes for 89 yards and a TD; McGlynn was 1-for-6 for three yards.

   

Hogan led the RPI receivers with two catches for 68 yards and a TD; tight end Joe Cozzolino had a pair of catches for 17 yards.

   

The RPI defense held Norwich to 118 yards on the ground, while giving up 243 through the air.

   

Linebackers Brandon Cook (one tackle for loss) and Colby Tragni and end Andrew Gawrys each had 10 tackles; nose guard Ted Abriel had nine tackles (two for loss); defensive back Phil Lanieri III had eight stops; and cornerback Will Ash had four tackles and an interception.

   

Placekicker/punter Andrew Franks did not attempt a field goal, making good on two of three extra point tries. He averaged 37 yards on seven punts.

   

Logan Gadar averaged 16 yards on two kickoff returns and 6.8 yards on four punts returns

 

About the Saxons: The Saxons are playing their season opener today and will look to start strong in their quest to improve on last year’s 6-4 record. AU has a veteran offense, with eight of 11 starters returning. A host of talented players looks to replace eight departed starts on defense.

   

The offense will be led by a trio of senior tailbacks who have all seen starting time over the last two seasons and who each saw their 2012 seasons ended by injury. Austin Dwyer is a former Empire 8 Rookie of the Year and two-time all-conference back who has over 2,000 yards rushing in his career. Tyler DeRosa, who ran for 618 yards as a junior in 2001 after transferring to AU, suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3 last year. Chuck Beckwith, inserted as a starter in the season’s fourth game in 2012, was named First Team Empire 8 after rushing for 554 yards and 10 TDs, despite missing the season’s final three games to injury.

   

Freshman Dominic Scavo, a former two-time First Team New York State all-star and a one-time NYS Class B Player of the Year at nearby Hornell High School, starts at quarterback. He will have several talented targets to throw to, including senior wideouts Josh Phillips (27 catches, 346 yards, one TD in 2012) and Jonathan Ruffin (11/174/2) and sophomore wide receiver Maleke Fuentes (35/427/2), the 2012 Empire 8 Rookie of the Year.

   

The Saxon’s return four of five starters on the offensive line, including First Team E8 left tackle Ryan DiFlavio.

   

Returning starters on defense will be senior end Justin Collen (24 tackles, seven for loss, 2.5 sacks in 2012), senior outside linebacker D.J. Welch (67 tackles, two fumble recoveries), and junior cornerback Michael Perkins (39 tackles, three interceptions, 10 pass breakups). Sophomore Calvin Bain will start at one corner position after transferring to AU from Division I FBS St. Francis (PA) where he lettered as a freshman in 2011.

   

Fuentes is the top return man from a season ago; he averaged 23.3 yards per kickoff return in 2012. He and Bain will share kick return duties. Ruffin will return punts after averaging 10.6 yards per return in 2012.

   

A pair of freshmen -- Thomas Gioia and Ryan McDonnell -- will handle placekicking and punting duties, respectively.