Dean Pushes Past Pioneers, 28-14

Dean College 28, Alfred State 14
Dean College (3-2, 1-1 ECFC), Alfred State (0-5, 0-2 ECFC)
Pioneer Field, Alfred, N.Y.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
1:00 p.m.

Visiting Dean scored a season-high 28 points and the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to three straight with a workman-like 28-14 win over Alfred State in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) action on Saturday.

Matthew Bethel (Miami, Fla.) threw for two scores for the Bulldogs, who got another outstanding effort from their defense.

Dean got on the board first when after a huge Trent Waters (Knoxville, Tenn.) sack on third down, the Pioneers were forced to punt. That punt was blocked by London Chambers (New Britain, Conn.) and the ball bounced right into his arms of Steven Sapp (Middletown, Del.) who raced 20 yards untouched into the endzone for the Bulldog advantage midway through the first quarter.

After each team had possessions that ended in punts – the last one set Dean up in excellent field position at the Alfred State 30-yard line. The Bulldogs then used nine plays and nearly five minutes off the clock as they marched in for the second touchdown of the game, this one coming courtesy of a 12 yard run up the middle out of the wildcat formation from Noah Taiese (Aiea, Hawai'i).

The score was still 14-0 in favor of the Bulldogs early in the third quarter when Bethel was intercepted deep in his own territory, setting up the Pioneers in the red zone to start their second drive of the second half. Any momentum Alfred State had after the interception, was quickly stripped away when Pedro Felix (Miami, Fla.) was able to intercept a throw into the endzone on the very next play.

Dean immediately took advantage of that Pioneer miscue, embarking on an impressive 11-play, 80-yard drive that featured runs of 20 yards and 15 more from Richard Harris (Uniondale, N.Y.) as well as a key third down conversion on the ground from Davel Carr (Clinton, Md.).

The Bulldogs score came on third down when Bethel connected with Shafi Harris (Newark, N.J.) on a jump ball in the left corner of the endzone in between two defenders, giving the Cardinal and White a commanding 21-0 edge.

Things did get closer with Alfred State marching right down the field and scoring on a 30-yard run by Kiegan Brown late in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth, the Pioneers were on the move again, going 61 yards in 14 plays down to the Bulldog 17-yard line. But once again, the Dean defense stood tall and Mujahid Camel (East Orange, N.J.) stepped in front of an Alfred State wide receiver and intercepted a pass at the two-yard line.

The Pioneers would exact some of their own revenge as Dashown Wilson picked off an underthrown Bethel pass just three plays later and followed a convoy into the endzone, making the score 21-14.

Dean answered back in fine fashion after recovering the ensuing onside kick. They put together a victory-sealing, eight play drive that ate up nearly five minutes of clock time and featured a huge third down and eight conversion on a Bethel to Harris 11-yard gain.

The drive was capped when Bethel tossed an eight-yard strike to David Brown (Cheraw, S.C.), giving the Bulldogs a two score advantage.

Harris continues to run the ball effectively for Dean, finishing with 88 yards on 16 carries, including several runs of ten yards or more.

Bethel, who guided the Bulldogs to two victories in the last two weeks mainly because of his running ability threw the first two touchdown passes of his career.

Dean went a season-best 8-for-15 on third downs in the contest – none bigger than Harris' 11-yard reception on their final drive.

Waters anchored another stellar effort from the Bulldog defense that gave up just seven points and had five sacks on the afternoon. He racked up a game-best 13 tackles (nine solo), two sacks and his league-leading third forced fumble.

Meanwhile, Ricco Aaron (Douglasville, Ga.) followed up incredible game last week, with another strong effort finishing with nine stops, a sack and two tackles for loss.

After two straight road contests, the Bulldogs are at home on Saturday as they continue ECFC play with a visit from Mount Ida. Kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m.

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