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Pioneers Fall in Tight Contest

Harman taking a snap

The Alfred State football team pushed the ball all the way down to the Gallaudet 31 in the closing seconds but could not score as they lost a tight 13-9 contest in the nation's capital. 

Neither team could capitalize on field goal attempts in the 1st quarter but Alfred State got on the board in the first minute of the 2nd when Ryan Shipherd (Randolph) connected on a 30-yard field goal. The Bison took their first lead of the game with 3:15 left in the half when RJ Randle capped a nine-play drive with a two-yard run to make it 6-3 Gallaudet (The PAT was blocked by Austin Parker (Port Byron). 

The blue & gold answered right back with a drive of their own in the closing moments of the half. Carter Harman (Liberty) connected with Darrius Nichols (Brooklyn/South Shore) on a seven yard touchdown pass. The touchdown was the first in the collegiate career for both Harman and Nichols. The PAT failed and the Pioneers took a 9-6 lead into halftime.

Both teams struggled to score points in the 2nd half. The lone points came with 3:13 remaining in the 3rd quarter when Damonte Bray rushed in from 14-yards out to cap a 75-yard drive for the Bison.

After Gallaudet took the lead the Pioneers were unsuccessful to regain the lead in their next four possessions. As the clock ticked under two minutes, Robert Augustin (Brooklyn/Midwood) ripped the ball out of the Bison running backs hands to give the blue & gold one more chance with 1:29 left. The Pioneers collected a pair of 1st downs and had the ball on the Gallaudet 31 with just over 30 seconds left but the Bison defended four straight passing attempts to seal the victory.

Harman passed for 161 yards in his first collegiate start. Jalen Long (Rochester/Bishop Kearney) caught three passes for 79 yards and Nichols had three catches for 54 yards. Ronnie Clark (Philadelphia/Indian River) rushed for 52 yards on the day.

Randle led the Bison with 123 yards rushing on 26 carries while Bray had 52 yards rushing on eight carries and two catches for 28 yards. The combination of Lance Wood and Logan Taylor finished 6 for 9 for 91 yards.

Michael Zimmerman (Canandaigua) continued his solid junior campaign with a game high 14 tackles (nine solo). Brockton Weist (Harpursville) had nine tackles and Adam Bellaus (Cheektowaga) had eight tackles and a pair of sacks.

Mauricio Orozco and Louie Akuffo both finished with seven tackles to lead the Bison.

Gallaudet (3-3, 3-1 ECFC) gained 302 yards while Alfred State had 240 yards. 

The Pioneers return home next Saturday for their final home game of the season vs. Anna Maria. Opening kickoff with the AMCATS is at 1 p.m.

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