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NEFC Title to be Determined Saturday
 November 8, 2012

Nov. 7, 2012 - The 2012 Northeast Football Conference title will come down to Saturday’s clash between No. 3 Nassau and No. 5 ASA. The contest is slated for noon Saturday at Old Boys High Field in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The league has two nonconference contests this week. Lackawanna meets Georgia Military at North Carolina State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. Hudson Valley meets former league member Alfred State in a NJCAA?Region III?contest.

Who Could Be Champ?: It’s winner-take-all in the Nassau/ASA?contest.

Numbers to Watch: ASA?leads the NEFC?in scoring offense (52.6 points per game), scoring defense (6.0 ppg), total offense (455.4 yards per game), passing efficiency (186.9 rating), total defense (89.1 ypg), rushing defense (16.8 ypg), defensive passing efficiency (57.5 rating), and pass defense (72.4 ypg).

Nassau leads the way in rushing offense (284.8). The Lions also lead the league with 19 interceptions, returning four of those for touchdowns.

The numbers within the numbers could be that Nassau averages the most first downs in the NEFC?while ASA’s defense has allowed the fewest. The Lions also lead the league in third-down conversions while ASA?has allowed the fewest. Also, ASA?leads the league in red zone offense, scoring 35 times in 40 opportunities while Nassau has allowed opponents to score only 50 percent (10 of 20) of the time in the red zone.

Individually, ASA and Nassau have the top four runners in the conference in ASA’s Hosey Williams (1) and James Kenner (4) and Nassau’s Louis Johnson (2)?and Travis Lock (3). Daniel Pietrangelo, the Avengers’ quarterback, has thrown for a league-best 16 touchdowns and owns a 186.1 passing efficiency rating. If the game comes down to special teams, Nassau’s Marc Mauro is the NEFC’s top punt returner while ASA?punter/placekicker Cherchen Aloema has scored 67 points and has the lone punting average of 40-or-more yards.

Champions: If Nassau wins the title, it will be the Lions third overall and second in the past three seasons. If ASA?wins, the league title will be the first in the Avengers’ brief history.

Dean College has won four of the past five league championships.

Top Ranking:?Following a review of the NJCAA?polls, Nassau’s current ranking at third is the highest by a NEFC?school. The Lions were fourth in the final poll of the 2010 season and were fourth in the Oct. 11, 2005, edition.

NJCAA Stats:?The NEFC?has several individuals ranked among the nation’s statistical leaders. In rushing yards per game, ASA’s Hosey Williams is fifth with 124.1 yards per game and Nassau’s Louis Johnson is ninth at 104.8. Nassau’s Travis Lock and Williams are tied for seventh with 12 rushing touchdowns. In receiving yards per game, Louisburg’s Demarques Martin is 10th at 87.7. Lackwanna’s DeChavon Hayes is fifth in kickoff returns, averaging 32.4 yards per return and he is one of five players in the nation to have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Dean’s Rodney Whitehead leads the nation with a 22.8 yard average in punt returns and he is one of three players to have returned two punts for scores. ASA’s Tevin Grant (15.0) is sixth and Lackawanna’s Michael McGrue is 10th (14.1) in punt return average.

In the team categories, the league has three teams in the top six in rushing offense. Nassau is first at 284.8 yards rushing per game while Lackawanna is second (279.6) and ASA?fifth (268.5). In scoring, ASA?is second (56.7 points per game) and the Avengers are 10th in total offense, 455.4 yards per game.

On the defensive side, ASA?is first in total defense, allowing 89.1 yards per game. Lackawanna is second, allowing 192.5. The Avengers also lead the nation is rushing yards allowed, 16.8 per game. Lackawanna is sixth at 73.1. ASA is second in scoring defense, allowing 6.0 points per game. Nassau is fourth (10.6) and Lackawanna is eighth (12.5). In passing defense, ASA?is second (72.4). Nassau is seventh with 19 interceptions.

Last Week: Dean’s Rodney Whitehead caught a 77-yard touchdown pass as quarterback Malik Bush threw for three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 24-11 win over Lackawanna. The Bulldogs scored 18 points in the second quarter to take the lead and sew up third place in the league standings.

Hudson Valley scored touchdowns via the air, the ground, and on a punt return in the Vikings’ 20-0 win over Hartwick J.V. Sharmart Banks opened the scoring with a 55-yard punt return in the first quarter. Jalen Holmes and Josh Gross connected on a 49-yard pass for the Vikings’ second touchdown while Nathan Robinson broke free on a 58-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

NJCAA?National Players of the Week: After Louisburg defensive back Jeffery Richardson was named the NJCAA?Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 26, the NEFC?has had four players honored. ASA?wide receiver Ouslet Volcey was chosen Oct. 12 while Nassau defensive back Marc Mauro was picked Sept. 26 and Erie defensive back Dorian Polk was the Sept. 19 selection.

More Rankings: ASA?rose to ninth in the rankings by JCGridiron.com while Nassau is now 11th. Dean is listed among “others on the bubble.” The poll includes the NJCAA and California programs.

Bowl is the Goal: The Carrier Dome Bowl, sponsored by the NEFC, takes place Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The game features the NEFC champion against an opponent to be named later.

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