Erie CC Kats Rally Upends Pioneers

The ECC football team returned from a two-week layoff and looked very rusty in the first quarter of their Northeast Conference tilt at Alfred State as they defeated the Pioneers 24-21.

The surprise October snowstorm that blanketed the Buffalo area caused the postponement of the Dean game on October 14.

After shaking off a first quarter that saw the Pioneers out gain the Kats 97-20 and gain six first downs to the Kats zero, ECC awoke in the second quarter.

One play into the second quarter, the Pioneers took a 14-0 lead when Jamie Luckett scored on a five yard run. Both of Alfred State's scores came after ECC turned the ball over on fumbles.

The Kats got on the board when Zach Kedron (Buffalo, NY/ St.Francis) caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Brown to make the score 14-7. The Kats obtained the ball on the Alfred State 19-yard line when they tackled the punter for a 15-yard loss when he was unable to get off the kick due to the Kats punt rush. The Kat's blocked one punt and forced a-1 yard punt on another attempt.

The Kats forced a three-and-out on the next Alfred State possession and drove 39 yards as the half ended. John Rachuna (Frewsburg, NY/Frewsburg) hit his second field goal of the season from 30 yards to make the halftime score 14-10.

The Pioneers opened the second half by driving 60 yards in five plays, capped by a 14-yard Nabil Ra'Qib El Amin pass from Jamie Corbitt. 

On the next Kats possession, they responded with a 77-yard scoring drive that saw Brown throw his second touchdown pass of the game, a 61-yard pass to Aaron Valentin.  The drive was aided by a key roughing the passer penalty when Erie had failed on fourth down.

The teams then failed to score on their next seven possessions combined.

Trailing 21-17, Brian Burrell made the play of the season thus far as he stripped the Alfred State running back and the Kats recovered with 4:04 remaining in the game.  Three plays later, Anthony Brown hit a wide open Jeremy Burr (South Wales, NY/Iroquois) from 28 yards out to give ECC their first lead of the game at 24-21.

Alfred had any hopes of a comeback thwarted when Maurice Calhoun made his second interception of the game with 1:50 remaining.

The Kats out gained Alfred State 372-239 even though Alfred State owned the time of possession 35-25 minutes.

There was numerous individual game records set or tied in the game as Anthony Brown played one of the top games at quarterback in the history of the program. He finished game 10-18 for 215 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He tied school records for passing yards in a game and touchdown passes and set the school record with 21.5 yards per completion.

Other top offensive performances came from Zach Kedron who caught four passes for 97 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 26 yards. He narrowly missed being the first Kat in school history with 100 yards receiving. Jeremy Burr caught two passes for 35 yards and rushed for 53 yards on a reverse.  Aaron Valentin caught two passes for 67 yards and his team-leading fourth touchdown.

Defensively, Corey Komertz led the Kats with a team season-high 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.  Cortez Robinson had nine tackles with two sacks. Maurice Calhoun had four tackles to go along with two interceptions. 

The Kats defense limited the Pioneers to 142 yards after the first quarter.  They held the conference's leading rusher, Nabil Ra'Qib El Amin, to 40 yards on 14 attempts. He had been averaging 116 yards per game.

The team is next in action when they travel to Utica, NY to face Milford Academy.  Milford (7-1) lost their first game of the season to Army Prep 24-12 on Saturday.  Kickoff is scheduled for 3pm.


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