Nine Pioneers Honored by the USCAA
Nine members of the Alfred State football team have been name to the inaugural All-USCAA team. Rasheed Williams (Swedesboro, NJ) and Keegan Phalen (East Aurora) were both 1st team selections while Devin Simmons (Elmira Free), John Garbowski (Mohegan Lake), Rory Spain (Tully), Nick DePofi (Union Endicott), Mike DeGroat (Vestal), Michael Franklin (Forestville), and Kevin Rocque (Silver Creek) were all on the 2nd team.
Williams rushed for 1,017 yards and scored 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. He recorded four 100-yard games and broke a school record with 335 yards in the Pioneers victory vs. Apprentice.
Phalen recorded 84 tackles (46 solo and 5.5 for a loss) for the Pioneer defense from his safety position. He also led the team with four interceptions, 10 pass break-ups, and two blocked kicks. On top of being named 1st team safety, Phalen was named 2nd team punter. He averaged 35.5 yards per punt (62 total punts). He had a long of 65, registered six punts over 50 yards, and spotted six more inside the 20.
Simmons led the Pioneers with 29 catches for 341 yards on the season. He appeared in all ten games and caught five touchdown passes.
Garbowski was credited with 84 tackles on the year (39 solo and 10 for a loss) from his linebacker position. He recorded three sacks, intercepted two passes, and forced four fumbles.
Spain finished with 82 tackles for the blue & gold (36 solo and 7.5 for a loss). He recorded one sack, one interception, and recovered one fumble.
DePofi was a force on the defensive line the 2nd half of the season for the Pioneers. He recorded 70 tackles (33 solo and 8.5 for loss) and a team high five sacks. He picked off one pass and returned it for a score and forced a fumble.
DeGroat saw action in all ten games and finished with 32 tackles from the defensive line. He also recorded two sacks and recovered a fumble.
Franklin and Rocque both were part of the Pioneer offensive line. Franklin started in the first nine games while Rocque played every position on the line including tight end. Rocque finished the year two catches for 44 yards.
The Pioneers finished their first year as a member of NCAA DIII and the USCAA with a 4-6 overall record.
Football is an emerging sport in the USCAA. Currently 11 teams within the USCAA sponsor football teams.