Erie Upsets Nassau

The ECC football team opened their 2007 Northeast Conference schedule with a 20-13 win over Nassau Community College in front of 450 at Mitchel Athletic Complex. Nassau was ranked 13th in the latest NJCAA/JC poll. (Photo: Brad Hill-Phillips, Erie CC)

The win gave the Kats their first win over a ranked team since October 2005 when they defeated Hudson Valley 17-7.

Playing in windy conditions, the Lions (2-1, 0-1) won the coin toss and chose to kickoff to the Kats.  ECC took the wind in the second and fourth quarters.

ECC took the lead with 5:02 left in the first quarter when Andre Barbosa (Hyannis, MA/Barnstable) hit Brad Hill (Pittsburgh, PA/North Hills) on a 61-yard scoring pass on third and four.  A John Rachuna (Jamestown, NY/Frewsburg) extra point made the score 7-0.

On the ensuing drive, Nassau drove 36 yards in ten plays and were set up for a 41-yard field attempt when Jeremy Chatmon (S. Euclid, OH/Charles Brush) broke through and blocked James Hind’s kick.  The ball was then picked up and returned by Kenny Holmes (Queens, NY/JFK) to the ECC 41.

Nassau then drove down to the ECC 16-yard line after they recovered a Kats fumble and were facing a fourth and one.  Rudolph Bentley (Brooklyn, NY/Erasmus Hall) stuffed Jermaine Rodriguez and ECC took over on downs.

Following up on the big defensive stop, John Rachuna hit his second field goal of the season from 46 yards to give the Kats a 10-0 lead. The 10 play, 56 yard drive was capped by Rachuna’s career-long kick.
After forcing another Nassau punt, Rachuna connected again, this time from 43 yards to cap 13-play drive to make the score 13-0 at the half.

Ackim Thomas (Miramar, FL/Miramar) was the defensive star of the first half with eight tackles.  Carmon Wolfe (North Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Wheatfield) also had six tackles, two for loss. 
The second half saw the Kats defense come up huge again on the very first Nassau drive when Joe Eaddy (Rochester, NY/Spencerport) stepped in front a screen pass and intercepted it.  The Kats were given a drive start from the Lion’s eight yard line.

On the third play, Barbosa hit Aaron Valentin (Freeport, NY/Freeport) with his fifth touchdown of the year to make the score 20-0.  Valentin was playing in front of many family, friends, and his high school team.

After an ECC fumble was recovered by Nassau, they finally got on the scoreboard when Tyleek Jones hit Howard Davis on a 55-yard scoring pass on the very first play.  The extra point snap was muffed and the score would remain 20-6.

Another one-play drive would breathe new life into Nassau when Jev Livingston intercepted Barbosa’s pass on the next drive and returned it all the way to the ECC four-yard line.  Rahoo Walker ran the ball in to make the score 20-13 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

ECC appeared as if they would give the Lion’s another chance to tie the game when they punted to Nassau on fourth and 11.  On the punt John Rachuna was knocked down and Nassau was assessed a roughing the kicker call, giving the Kats an automatic first down.  ECC took full advantage and ran over three more minutes off the clock, negating the Nassau wind advantage in the third quarter.

The teams would then exchange punts, highlighted by a John Rachuna punt being downed at the one yard-line by Yousif Youboty (Klein, TX/Klein).  Nassau could not muster any offense and were forced to punt once again.

Erie held the ball for the last 3:47 of the game and ran the clock out to give the Kats the victory.

For the second straight week, multiple team records were broken.  Barbosa set the school record for yards passing as he went 17-36 for 229 yards and two touchdowns.  He also set the record for attempts and completions as well.

After not having a player break the 100 yard barrier receiving for in their seven year history, ECC did it for the second straight week as Brad Hill caught four passes for 103 yards.  Valentin, who had 128 yards last week versus Berean, caught a game-high seven passes for 67 yards.  Youboty added four receptions for 56 yards.

The defense was led by Ackim Thomas and Carmon Wolfe with nine tackles.  Cortez Robinson (Maple Heights, OH/Maple Heights) had four tackles, including two sacks.

ECC has a bye next weekend and will take on Hudson Valley on September 29 at Jim Ball Stadium as they look to open 4-0 for the first time since 2005.  Kickoff is scheduled for noon.

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