Afternoon Assessment – Reviewing the State of NEC Football Following Week 11

What to Take Away from the Weekend
It all comes down to this.

Albany took care of business during its trip to the Steel City, staving off Duquesne, 38-31, while Wagner enjoyed a feel-good come-from-behind home win over Patriot League member Holy Cross.

The results mean both teams will be riding high into a decisive Week 12 of NEC football.

The conference crown and accompanying NCAA FCS playoff bid are both at stake with Wagner facing the shorter path to both. 

The Seahawks can clinch both with a win over Duquesne OR an Albany loss to Central Connecticut.  In order for Albany to claim sole possession of the title and the auto playoff berth, it must defeat Central Connecticut and hope Duquesne can score a road win over Wagner.

With postseason fate and title aspirations on the line, Week 12 is of the “can’t miss” variety. Luckily, the Wagner-Duquesne game will be streamed live (FREE OF CHARGE) on NECFrontRow.com. beginning at 12:00 pm on Saturday.

Who Gets Game Balls?
Dominique Williams
He was his team’s leading rusher AND receiver as the Seahawks came back to post a victory over Patriot League foe Holy Cross.  Racking up 224 yards from scrimmage, Williams allowed Wagner to win its seventh in a row.  His 177 rush yards were the third most by an individual in a NEC game this season.

Jon Morgan
This Albany linebacker continued to do in Week 11 what he has done all season long – make plays.  His punt block allowed Albany to score a late first-half touchdown. Earlier in the game, he intercepted a pass as the Danes held Duquesne scoreless for the first 18:43.

Anthony Abeid
With Saint Francis looking for its first win ever at Monmouth’s Kessler Field and starting running back Keion Wade unavailable, Abeid provided the spark the Red Flash needed.  He ripped off two long runs in the first half, one going for a touchdown and the other setting the Flash up at the Monmouth 1.

 

Pigskin Tweets of the Week

Fb_12_week_11_benzing_cc

Benzing certainly “walked the walk” and did his part in Central Connecticut’s Senior Day contest against Bryant. The sophomore receiver made his first ever touchdown catch, a 31-yard play that gave Central a 17-7 lead early on in the second quarter.

 

Fb_12_week_11_aj

After spending the first two years of his collegiate career at Florida State where he saw game action at both cornerback and receiver, Alexander transferred back to his native Keystone State to compete for Saint Francis.  The senior receiver has made a number of electrifying plays, including a 16-yard TD reception this past Saturday at Monmouth, since returning to the Altoona area.

 

Fb_12_week_11abeid

Those who watched the NEC-TV Featured Game of the Week between Saint Francis and Monmouth can relate to what this Flash fan is tweeting. Rookie Anthony Abeid provided a spark off the bench, rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown. He won the Ruby Tuesday Player of the Game honor and the NEC Rookie of the Week award for his efforts.

 

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Yes, the NEC-TV Featured Game of the Week can be seen across the national via Fox College Sports, and across the globe via ESPN3.

 

Fb_12_week_11_layton

This 2011 all-NEC punter knows exactly what has to happen for his Great Danes to guarantee themselves a second consecutive trip to the NCAA FCS playoffs.

 

Three Points of Prep for Week 12
Where Will They Wind Up?:  Two of the greatest running backs in the 18-year history of NEC football will play their final games on Saturday, November 17.  Duquesne’s Larry McCoy and Bryant’s Jordan Brown will each graduate as one of the top-six rushers in conference annals.  McCoy (4,474) currently sits second on the league’s all-time rushing chart behind former Monmouth star Dave Sinisi (5,049), and he will probably wind up staying there unless he can muster up one final 600-yard performance on Saturday.  Meanwhile, Brown (4,207) sits sixth overall and can move into the Top 5, at the expense of current Rmu running backs coach Myles Russ (4,271), by gaining 65 yards this weekend.

A Special Silver Anniversary?: It has been 25 years since Wagner won the 1987 NCAA Division III National Championship, and on Saturday, the Seahawks will have a chance to clinch the program’s first-ever Northeast Conference crown.  A win over Duquesne will do the trick, most certainly sending Staten Island into a frenzy.

A Fourth for the Flash?:  Saint Francis (PA) has enjoyed a watershed season under third-year head coach Chris Villarrial.  The Flash have won four games, the most since the program moved up to the FCS ranks.  They could set a program record for NEC victories by picking up a fourth when Sacred Heart comes to town for the 2012 finale.

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