ALFRED, NY - The Alfred University football team lost a 24-21 non-conference decision to visiting RPI Saturday afternoon at Merrill Field in the Saxons' 2013 season opener.
AU led 21-18 with just more than five minutes remaining in regulation, but RPI kicker Andrew Franks booted two field goals - his fourth and fifth of the game - to give the visiting Engineers the win. AU had rallied from an 18-7 halftime deficit, with senior tailback Austin Dwyer (Hornell, NY/Hornell) running for two third-quarter touchdowns to give the Saxons a three-point lead.
Alfred held RPI to 76 yards passing, but allowed the Engineers 221 yards rushing. The Saxons ran for 102 yards, most coming in the second half, and threw for 139 more. Dwyer finished with 56 yards on nine carries and had rushing TDs of 32 and six yards. His second scoring run with 3:32 left in the third gave AU a 21-18 lead.
Neither offense did much in the fourth before RPI drove 68 yards in 18 plays, setting up Franks for a 40-yard field goal that tied the game at 21-21. His 37-yard game-winner with 1:04 left came after the Engineers drove 30 yards in nine plays from midfield. Franks also had field goals of 31, 50 and 45 yards.
AU had one last chance to drive for a tying score, but the Saxons were intercepted near midfield with 39 seconds left and RPI ran out the clock.
Sophomore tackle Zach Brinkley (Brockway, PA/Brockway) and sophomore linebacker Corry Wallace (Mastic Beach, NY/Longwood) each had 16 tackles and senior linebacker D.J. Welch (Avon, NY/Avon) had 12 to lead the Saxon defense. Wallace also had an interception and junior linebacker Justin Liberta (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) had three tackles for loss and a sack. Junior free safety Mike Perkins (Rochester, NY/East) had an interception and six tackles.
AU freshman quarterback Dominic Scavo (Hornell, NY/Hornell) completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards and a five-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Josh Phillips (Syracuse, NY/West Genesee). Phillips finished with five catches for 50 yards and sophomore wide receiver Maleke Fuentes (Olean, NY/Olean) had four catches for 47 yards.
Tailback Andrew Amato led RPI with 115 rushing yards on 27 carries. Quarterbacks Jesse Maynard and backup Jeff Avery combined for 76 passing yards, with Avery adding 51 yards on the ground. Cornerback Will Ash had a team-high 10 tackles for RPI, while safeties Nick Borkowski and Phil Lanieri each had interceptions.
Alfred is in action next on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. when the Saxons take on visiting Montclair (NJ) State.