The Alfred State football team scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter as they rallied to defeat SUNY Maritime 21-17 in their season finale.
Neither team could much going offensively in the 1st half. The lone points came on the Privateers opening drive when Joseph Gagliardi connected on a 27-yard field goal. Maritime stopped two Pioneer drives with interceptions while Alfred State's Jeremiah Nixon (Staten Island/Curtis) forced a Privateer fumble on the one-yard line that Rylie Van Fleet (Maine Endwell) recovered for a touchback.
The Pioneers got on the board and took their first lead of the game on their first possession of the 2nd half. Dashown Wilson (Bronx/DeWitt Clinton) connected with Andrew Thomas (Bronx/Erasmus Hall) on a 73-yard scoring play just 2:29 into the half.
Maritime answered right back three minutes later with a 54-yard pass play from Jack Lynn to Andrew Geni to make it 10-7. They added to their lead on the first play of the 4th quarter when Hezekiah Williamson dove in from two-yards out.
After forcing a punt on the Privateers next possession, Van Fleet fielded the kick and returned it 75-yards for a score with 10:39 remaining to cut the lead back to one possession.
Alfred State was driving with under five minutes remaining but a potential game-winning drive was stopped when Maritime intercepted a pass with 4:01 left. The Pioneer defense would step up and gave the blue & gold one more chace. Two plays after the interception, Jamel Guzman (Bronx/Herbert Lehman) ripped the ball out of the Maritime running back arms and Nixon was able to recover to set Alfred State up with the ball on the Maritime 41 with 3:13 remaining.
Wilson had a big 3rd down run and then found Shy'rel Broadwater (Cicero North Syracuse) on a 19-yard pass to set the Pioneers up with 1st and goal. Jake Palmer (Albany/Voorheesville) powered the 1st down rush down to the one yard line and then was able to dive in from one yard out one play later to give the Pioneers the 21-17 lead with 1:20 remaining.
Maritime picked up one 1st down in their final possession but the Pioneer defense didn't allow another first down to seal the victory.
Wilson finished 10 for 22 for 195 yards and a score to go along with 88 yards rushing on 21 carries. Thomas recorded his first 100-yard game of his career finishing with six catches for 101 yards. Broadwater had three catches for 90.
Lynn was 14 for 34 for 243 yards and a score while Williamson finished with 137 yards and a score on 20 carries for Maritime (4-5, 3-2 ECFC).
Michael Zimmerman (Canandaigua) led the defense with 11 tackles. He also helped convert a big 4th down with a 22-run on a fake punt. Van Fleet and Nixon each had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
Frank Vano led the Privateers with eight tackles, a sack, and an interception. Jabari Corsfield and Justin Snuffer each had seven tackles and an interception in the game.
Prior to the game, Alfred State honored 12 student-athletes Wilson, Bladimir Vargas, Kahmani McLeod, Jean-Claude Previlon, Zimmerman, Guzman, Paul DellaRose, Bryce Chapman, Devon Clark, Zac Clendenin, Sam Van Valkenburg, and Justin Chalas who were playing their final games wearing the blue & gold.
The Pioneers finish the season with a 4-6 overall record and a 2-3 mark in ECFC play. The four victories were the most in a season since 2013.