CANTON, NY -- The Alfred University football team bounced back from last weekend's season-opening loss at RPI by pounding host St. Lawrence, 28-7, Saturday afternoon.
In the second of three road games to open their 2012 season, the Saxons flexed their defensive muscle, forcing four St. Lawrence turnovers and holding the Saints to 220 yards, including a mere 72 on the ground. The Saxons, who produced 323 yards of offense for the game, including 203 on the ground, led 21-0 at the half and were never threatened as they stretched their winning streak against the Saints to 19 games.
After each team punted on its first two possessions, Alfred (1-1) got on the board with 50 seconds left in the opening quarter. Junior tailback Austin Dwyer scored on a three-yard run to cap an 11-play, 76-yard drive that spanned five minutes.
Dwyer scored his second TD of the game with 9:35 left in the second quarter, as the Saxons drove 68 yards in nine plays over 4:35, and Alfred led 14-0. The Saxons scored with 1:26 left in the half on a three-yard run by junior fullback Chuck Beckwith to go up by 21 points. The key play in the nine-play 69-yard drive was Dwyer's 58-yard run on third-and-two.
St. Lawrence (0-3) scored with just under nine minutes left in the third on a four-yard TD pass from Zane Fish to Zach Gnieser to make it 21-7. Each team turned the ball over twice on its ensuing two possessions, but it was Alfred that cashed in. Following Fish's second interception in as many possessions – the first by AU sophomore cornerback Michael Perkins; the second by senior strong safety Reggie Pressley (Rochester, NY/Gates-Chili) -- AU junior quarterback Zach Sopak hit Beckwith with a 28-yard touchdown pass with 2:17 left in the third to close out the game's scoring.
Dwyer finished with 113 yards rushing on 16 carries with two touchdowns. Senior tailback Tyler DeRosa had 47 yards on 12 carries. Sopak was 11-for-24 for 120 yards, a TD and two interceptions. Freshman wide receiver Maleke Fuentes had a pair of catches for 24 yards for the Saxons.
Fish was 17-of 31 for 140 yards and four interceptions. Wideout Mike Tateosian had seven receptions for 40 yards and tailback C.J. Stewart ran for 40 yards on 10 carries.
Senior nose guard Mike Raplee led the AU defense with 10 tackles, including four for loss and a sack. Perkins had four tackles and a pair of interceptions and senior end Chris Steeves had four tackles (one for loss, one sack) to go with an interception. Pressley had six tackles to go with his interception and senior linebacker Brendan McGinnis had eight tackles.
Joe Napolitano had 11 tackles and an interception to lead the St. Lawrence defense.
Alfred plays next on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 12:30 p.m. at Buffalo State, in the Saxons' Empire 8 Conference opener. Buff State is new to the Empire 8 this season. Following a bye week, Alfred will play its home opener on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. against Empire 8 rival Ithaca, on Homecoming.