AU vs. Montclair Game Notes
Alfred University Saxons vs. Montclair (NJ) State
Saturday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.
Merrill Field, Alfred, NY
Last meeting: 1981, Montclair win, 13-12, NCAA Div. III First Round, at Alfred
Last week: AU: Loss, 24-21, vs. RPI; Monclair, Win, 17-16, vs. Salve Regina
Saxons Offense: 21.0 points per game
Saxon Defense: 24.0 points per game
Red Hawk Offense: 15.5 points per game
Red Hawk Defense: 15.5 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; Maleke Fuentes, SO, WR; Justin Collen, SR, DE; D.J. Welch, SR, OLB; Mike Perkins, JR, FS; Calvin Bain, SO, CB; Zach Brinkley, SO, DT; Corry Wallace, SO, MLB.
Montclair — A.J. Scoppa, SR, TB; Ryan Davies, SO, QB; Aaron Williams, SO, WR; Dan Avento, SR, OLB; Adnan Sakiri, SR, OLB, Matt Mancino, SR, FS, Joe Falato, FR, DE; Anthony Mannato, SO, SS.
Key matchups: An AU offense that struggled last week vs. RPI against a Montclair defense that has allowed only 266 yards per game and been equally effective against the pass (142 yards) and run (124) while forcing six turnovers (five interceptions) in two games. Alfred tallied 241 yards against RPI (139 passing 102 rushing) and turned the ball over twice, both times on interceptions. Alfred’s trio of talented senior tailbacks – Austin Dwyer, Chuck Beckwith and Tyler DeRosa – will need to improve on last weekend’s performance, when they were held to a combined 80 yards on 20 carries. Key to that effort will be the Saxons ability to neutralize Montclair defensive standouts: linebackers Dan Avento and Adnan Sakiri, linemen Joe Falato and Matt Trivigno, and strong safety Anthony Mannato…AU freshman quarterback Dom Scavo vs. an opportune Montclair defense that has picked off five passes in two games (three by free safety Matt Mancino). The Saxons will need effective play by its passing attack to help the running game achieve success. In his first collegiate game last weekend, Scavo completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards and a pair of interceptions….Alfred defense against a Montclair offense that has struggled each of its first two games. The Red Hawks have split a pair of one-point games and were fortunate to walk away from last weekend’s game against Salve Regina with a win. The Red Hawk offense produced a mere 111 yards (71 rushing, 41 passing) and did not score (Montclair’s 17 points came on special teams: a punt return for a TD, a blocked punt recovered in the endzone for another, and a field goal). Montclair also benefited by intercepting four passes, two by free safety Matt Mancino. Alfred will need to tighten up a run defense that allowed 224 yards to RPI, and continue to get solid play from a pass defense that allowed RPI only 76 yards through the air while picking off two passes. Sophomore tackle Zach Brinkley, sophomore middle linebacker Corry Wallace and senior outside linebacker D.J. Welch each had double digits in tackles last weekend and will need to be equally productive against Montclair. So, too, will be a Saxon defensive backfield led by junior free safety Mike Perkins (six tackles, interception vs. RPI) that helped hold RPI to 76 yards through the air…AU punt coverage team vs. Montclair team that has averaged 21 yards on punt returns.
Game Notes: Today’s game marks the second meeting all-time between the Alfred University and Montclair State. In their only previous meeting, in the first round of the NCAA Division III championship tournament in 1981, the visiting Red Hawks scored a 13-12 victory over the Saxons at Merrill Field.
About the Red Hawks: Montclair is 1-1 after last weekend’s 17-16 win over visiting Salve Regina, a victory that was ensured after the Red Hawks denied Salve Regina’s bid for a potentially game-winning two-point conversion with two seconds left in regulation. It was the second straight one-point game for Montclair, which lost 15-14 decision at Lebanon Valley in the Red Hawks’ Sept. 7 season opener.
Montclair defeated Salve Regina despite being outgained 255 yards to 111 (71 yards rushing; 40 passing). The Red Hawks intercepted four passes and benefited from a pair of big special teams plays: a blocked punt recovered in the endzone for a TD and a 68-yard punt return for another score.
On the season, Montclair is averaging 187 yards of offense (94 passing; 93 rushing). Senior running back A.J. Scoppa has run for 141 yards and a TD and junior running back Tariq Turner has 70 yards rushing. Sophomore QB Ryan Davies has completed 25 of 45 passes for 188 yards, a TD and an interception. His main targets have been sophomore wide receiver Aaron Williams (12 catches for 88 yards) and freshman wideout Malcolm Robinson (5/52).
The Red Hawk defense allows 266.5 yards per game (142.5 passing; 124 rushing). Senior linebacker Dan Avento has a team-leading 18 tackles (two for loss, one sack). Junior linebacker Adnan Sakiri has 15 stops (one for loss and a sack); and senior defensive back Matt Mancino has 11 tackles and three interceptions (two against Salve Regina).
Junior William Merz averages 29.3 yards on punt returns and 18.5 yards on kick returns. Mike Borrelli averages 33.5 yards punting; and John Schubert has made one of two field goal tries and all four PATs.
About the Saxons: Alfred is coming off a season-opening 24-21 loss at home against RPI in which the Saxons allowed a pair of late field goals in falling to the Engineers.
AU had 241 yards offense in the game (102 rushing; 139 passing). Freshman quarterback Dominic Scavo completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Senior wide receiver Josh Phillips had five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown and sophomore wideout Maleke Fuentes caught four passes for 47 yards. Senior wideout Jonathan Ruffin caught two passes for 44 yards.
The Saxon rushing attack was held in check, as senior tailback Austin Dwyer, running mostly out of the wildcat formation, led the team with 56 yards on nine attempts. He had two rushing TDs in the third quarter, the second giving AU a 21-18 lead with 3:32 left in the frame.
The Saxon defense allowed 300 yards of offense to RPI, with most of that (224 yards) coming on the ground. AU allowed a mere 76 yards passing, and intercepted two RPI passes, one INT led to Dwyer’s second TD.
Sophomore middle linebacker Corry Wallace led the Saxon defense with 16 tackles and an interception. Sophomore tackle Zach Brinkley also had 16 tackles and senior outside linebacker D.J. Welch had 12. Junior outside linebacker Justin Liberta had six tackles, including three for loss and a sack; and junior free safety Mike Perkins had six tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
Sophomore cornerback Calvin Bain averaged 23.8 yards on four kickoff returns (long of 31 yards) and Ruffin returned his lone punt three yards. Freshman Ryan McDonnell averaged 34 yards on six punts, with a long kick of 59 yards. Freshman placekicker Thomas Gioia made one of two PATs and did not attempt a field goal.
AU Press Releases