The Alfred State football team put together a 4th quarter comeback that fell just short as the University of Rochester defeated the Pioneers 20-14 on a sun drenched Saturday afternoon.
The Yellowjackets controlled most of the play in the first three quarters. They took a 3-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the 1st quarter when Dawson Klinger hit a 33-yard field goal. They put together a drive late in the 2nd quarter capped by a 6-yard pass from Matt Gallagher to Daniel Diloreto with just 35 seconds left.
Rochester added to their lead with 1:16 left in the 3rd quarter when Klinger connected on another field goal, this time from 24-yards out to make it 13-0.
Alfred State put together their best drive of the game. On a 4th and goal, Dashown Wilson (Bronx/DeWitt Clinton) connected with Jalen Long (Rochester/Bishop Kearney) on a four-yard scoring play. Ryan Shipherd's (Randolph) extra point made it 13-7.
Rochester made it a two-possession game on their next drive when they put together an eight play drive that was capped off by a 31-yard pass from Gallagher to Connor Byrne.
Ronnie Clark (Philadelphia/Indian River) made it 20-13 when he scored on a three-yard rush with 5:12 remaining in the game.
The Pioneer defense would force Rochester to punt twice in the final 5:12 of the game but the Yellowjacket defense came up with two interceptions in the final two minutes of the game to seal the victory.
Clark led the Pioneers with 82 yards and a score on 15 carries. Kiegan Brown (Cortland) had 57 yards on seven rushes and caught one pass for 44 yards.
Gallagher finished 22 for 38 for 238 yards passing. He connected with Connor Byrne six times for 82 yards, Noah Shinaman four times for 68 yards, and Dan Diaz eight times for 61 yards. Damon Yargeau rushed for 86 yards on 23 carries while Sean Mannion had 78 yards on 17 carries.
Michael Zimmerman (Canandaigua) had 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and a interception (ten of his tackles came in the 1st half). Brandon Davis (Lansing) had nine tackles, Owen Davis (Lansing) had eight, and Austin Parker (Port Byron) had seven. Steve Edwards (Rochester/East) and John Lauretti (Seaford) both recorded sacks.
Robert Grant had a monster game for the Yellowjackets defense that intercepted six passes. He led the way with a school record four interceptions. Christian Marini led Rochester with six tackles (five solo).
Rochester outgained Alfred State 383 to 235 and had the ball 35:57 of the game.
The Pioneers head to Nichols next weekend for a Noon kickoff with the Bison. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.