It took a little bit of time for the ASA Avengers to get head coach Joe Osovet his first home win as the new head coach, but once they got rolling, they cruised to an easy 37-11 win over Hudson Valley Community College in the Avengers' home opener, Saturday.
Thanks in part to an aggressive aerial attack and an opportunistic defense, ASA (2-2) got back to the .500 mark and are now in preparation of earning its first winning streak of the season.
Led by the stealth passing of quarterback Ryan Barabe (27-of-43, 376 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception) and defensive exploits that accounted for two interceptions and three blocked kicks, ASA was able to gain control midway through the third quarter and pull away in the latter stages.
The visiting Vikings (1-2) initially hung tough, as the only scoring in the first half was a short Will Solomon field goal for ASA. And the scoring was at a minimal through the third quarter, as well, as the Avengers held a slight 17-9 lead.
It wasn't until the final stanza when ASA pulled away for good. Barabe connected with wideout Mike Quinn twice in the quarter, a 10 yarder and 34 yarder, respectively, before Hudson Valley was able to retaliate with a two-point safety late in the game. Ke'Von Hall put icing on the cake for the Avengers when he raced to an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Barabe was the main story, however, as he connected with eight different targets and had a career day for the Avengers. His two favorite targets were Hall (seven catches for 96 yards) and Quinn (seven receptions for 86 yards and the two scores).
The trio's output was more than enough offense for an ASA defense that's beginning to find its form. Defensive backs Daejuan Funderburk and Joe Johnson each recorded an interception -- with the former returning his 30 yards, and the latter being one of two players with a blocked kick. Defensive back Jeremy Webb was the other, as he blocked two kicks on the afternoon. Sophomore linebacker Donovan Jackson led the team with eight tackles, including six solo. Fellow sophomore linebacker Mike McGinnis was second on the team in solo take downs with five. McGinnis, an Allentown, New Jersey native, finished with six total tackles, including a sack.
The Avengers racked up eight sacks in total, led by two from freshman defensive lineman Anthony Long. The former star at Pennsylvania's Bishop McDevitt High School registered three solo tackles.
Up next for the surging Avengers is a rivalry game against Monroe College, noon, at famed Lincoln High School in Brooklyn.