Sep 14, 2019

Bruins Come Up Short on Long Road Trip to Alfred

A Winning Tradition

 
  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • One AFCA Division III Coaches' All-American (Nolan Schuler, 2017)
  • One CoSIDA Academic All-American (Caleb Dalzell, 2017)
  • Two CoSIDA Academic All-District (Caleb Dalzell, 2017; Grant Schroeder, 2017)
  • Three D3football.com All-Americans
  • Four D3football.com All-Region Honorees
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes 
  • Five D3Football.com Team of the Week
  • Nine NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • One Cliff Harris Award Finalist (Charles Riga, 2017)
  • Two NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • Two NFL Draft Picks (Bob Hadlock and Randy Casey, 14th and 15th rounds respectively)
 

By: Joshua Nutter

ALFRED, N.Y. --- The George Fox football team set a school record on Saturday, traveling 2,232 miles to New York to face off with the Saxons of Alfred University. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Alfred would come away with a nail-biting 15-14 after a fourth-quarter rally.

After a scoreless first quarter in which neither team could move the ball and both squads punted twice, it became apparent that the Bruins and Saxons were set to be locked into a defensive battle.

Alfred scored first on a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter to put the Saxons up 3-0. However, the Bruins were able to respond quickly in the ensuing drive.

The Blue & Gold moved the ball quickly down the field, covering 70 yards on ten plays in just over four minutes. Halfback Ethan Kassebaum pounded the ball into the end-zone on a one-yard touchdown run and freshman kicker Ethan Hoffman tacked on an extra point to put the Bruins up 7-3.

Alfred immediately responded on the following possession with a 47-second drive that ended in an eight-yard touchdown run by Saxon quarterback Casey Boston. The PAT was blocked by Skylar Rayburn, but Alfred took a 9-7 lead going into the half.

The third quarter remained a tight, defensive-minded game as both teams exchanged a few empty drives before the Saxons' backup quarterback Ben Burk was intercepted by Austin Brockamp at the Alfred 29-yard line. Brockamp returned the interception 17 yards to the AU 12 yard-line to put George Fox in excellent scoring position.

The Bruins capitalized on the first play of this possession with a 12-yard touchdown run by running back Anthony Garcia. Hoffman followed up with the extra point to take a 14-9 lead with five minutes remaining in the third.

The Bruins defense continued to shut down the Saxons until about the ten-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Alfred used an eight-play, five-minute drive to cover 91 yards without a single passing attempt. Saxon halfback Will Coats delivered the final blow with a punishing three-yard run to put the Saxons up 15-14 with ten minutes remaining.

The Bruins were unable to make anything of their next drive and were forced to punt with 4:46 to go in regulation. The defense quickly forced Alfred off the field to put the ball back in quarterback Jaden Sheffey's hands as the clock wound down. Sheffey used his legs to scramble and keep the drive alive on a crucial third down to get into Alfred territory and earn a first down. Sheffey would go on to be sacked three straight times after an incompletion and illegal formation penalty. George fox lost 24 yards in three plays as Alfred was able to ice the game.

Top Performers:

Ethan Kassebaum led the Bruins with 49 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine attempts. Freshman receiver Leon Johnson III pulled down three passes for 26 yards to lead the receiving group while Sheffey was 9-of-16 for 63 yards through the air.

What It Means:

The Bruins fall to 0-2 on the season after dropping the season opener to Redlands 35-19 last week.

What's Next:

George Fox will return to Newberg for its homecoming game when they host the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer, a joint squad between Ponoma College and Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. with homecoming festivities taking place all over the George Fox Campus in the hours before the game.