NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- In a battle of two lock-down defenses, the Monroe College football team dropped a 10-7 decision to ASA College in Saturday's Northeast Football Conference matchup at Joseph F. Fosina Field. The Mustangs drop to 7-2 on the season, while ASA improves to 6-1 and earns the 2017 Northeast Football Conference Championship.
ASA opened the game with the ball, and managed to take the ball all the way down to Monroe's 11-yard line. On second-and-two, Levi Shockley blocked a pass at the line, and it deflected right into the arms of Jordan Valerius-Twyman for the interception, giving the ball to the Mustangs for the first time.
Two plays into Monroe's first drive, Sean Kelly was picked off by ASA's Malachi Timberlake, giving the Avengers great field position on the Monroe 24-yard line. After moving the ball down to the one-yard line, the Mustang defense held strong on three straight plays, forcing the Avengers to settle for a 21-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Both defenses locked down for most of the half, as neither team was able to score until the final drive of the second quarter. The Mustangs took over with 2:24 left in the half on their own 37-yard line. On second down, Kelly saw a huge hole and took off to his left, galloping down the Mustang sideline for a 41-yard gain to put Monroe in the red zone. On third-and-four, Kelly once again took off toward a hole on the right side, and dove into the end zone for a 10-yard score, putting the Mustangs ahead, 7-3, with just 17 seconds left until halftime.
The Mustangs could not get anything going on the opening drive of the second half, forcing them to punt it away. A penalty after the punt put the Avengers on Monroe's 28-yard line to start the drive. Four plays later, Stone Labanowitz hit Edward Morgan, who broke a couple tackles and trotted into the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point put the Avengers ahead, 10-7. Tough defense on both sides made this the last score of the game, giving the Avengers a 10-7 win.
Clayton Glasco had a big day on defense, leading the Mustangs with 12 tackles, picking up an interception, and deflecting a pass that led to another interception. Levi Shockley made 10 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage. Dominique Rogers made nine stops and also broke up a pass. Valerius-Twyman had the other Monroe interception and made two tackles.
The Mustangs now get a week off before hosting Erie Community College on Saturday, Nov. 11 in the regular-season finale at Fosina Field. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.