The Alfred State football team put together a second half rally but could not overcome a 21-point deficit in a 28-14 loss to Dean College in the Pioneers first ECFC home game. The Pioneers cut the Bulldogs lead to 21-14 with 5:34 remaining in the game but could not get any closer.
The Bulldogs got on the board first when London Chambers blocked a Pioneers punt and Steven Sapp scooped it up and ran 20-yards for the score. Dean made it 14-0 heading into halftime when Noah Taiese rushed in from 12-yards out with 5:50 left in the 2nd quarter.
After an interception in the end zone, Dean marched 80-yards and scored on a three-yard pass play from Matt Bethlel to Shafi Harris to increase the lead to 21-0 with 5:29 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Pioneers answered back with a nine-play, 72-yard drive to cut into the lead. Kiegan Brown (Cortland) capped the drive with a 30-yard burst to register his first career touchdown. After a defensive stop, the Pioneers put together another long drive that was stopped by a Dean interception but three plays later, Dashown Wilson (Bronx/DeWitt Clinton) got the home fans excited when he intercepted a pass and returned it 20-yards to cut the lead to just seven points, 21-14, with 5:34 remaining.
The Pioneers attempted an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff but after the ball bounced in and out of a few player's hands the Bulldogs recovered. Dean picked up three big first downs and capped the drive with a 8-yard scoring pass play from Bethel to David Brown to seal the victory.
Brown recorded his first 100-yard game of his career finishing with 118 yards on 24 carries. The Pioneers rushing attack finished with 161 yards on 40 carries.
Richard Harris led Dean with 88 yards on 16 carries while Bethel finished 10 for 22 for 88 yards and two scores.
John Lauretti (Seaford) led the Pioneers with 12 tackles while Brandon Davis (Lansing) finished with 10. Carlisle Philip (Brooklyn/Southshore) chipped in seven. Wilson along with Breenlee Gonzalez Delgado (Beacon) intercepted passes.
Trent Waters led Dean with 13 tackles and two sacks while Ricco Aaron recorded nine tackles and a sack. Pedro Felix and Majahid Camel had big interceptions in the red zone to stall Pioneer drives.
Dean held a 275 to 227 advantage in yards. The Pioneers were slowed down by five Bulldog sacks on the day.
The blue & gold return to action on next Saturday when they host Gallaudet for a 1 p.m. game. The contest is the highlight of the 2017 Homecoming weekend.