BUFFALO, NY - The Avengers continued their dominance against Erie Community College, recording a program high 701 total yards. That was led by quarterback Stone Labanowitz's 495 passing yards, his season high by a substantial margin. Prior to Saturday's matchup, Stone had exceeded 300 yards only once. Labanowitz has also passed for multiple touchdowns in every game this season.
Jakai Gill the sophomore receiver from Hartford, CT, was the leading receiver in Saturday's matchup. Gill registered 10 receptions for 222 yards and a touchdown.
Jihad Bryant led the defense with 9 solo tackles, 11 total tackles, a forced fumble and one tackle-for-loss. Najee Stevens-McKenzie also recorded six solo tackles, two of which were sacks for 21-yards.
The Avengers defense made a statement early, forcing Erie to go three-and-out in their first drive. The Avengers would drive 90 yards down the field on 13 plays, which ended in a touchdown through the air from as Labanowitz connected with tight end Omar Grant.
After going three-and-out on their first two drives, Erie answered with a 40-yard touchdown, missing the extra-point with 3:33 left in the first quarter. That would be Erie's only score of the game.
ASA drove down the field for an early second quarter rushing touchdown by Donte Thomas-Williams to cap off an eight play 70-yard drive. The Avengers defense kept Erie's top ranked offense off the field with multiple short drives. ASA would score with 7:56 remaining in the second half on a three-yard touchdown pass.
At halftime ASA led Erie CC 20-6.
The Avengers came out of the half strong, scoring a touchdown on their first drive, with Thomas-Williams catching a 25 yard touchdown, his second score of the game.
Erie's offensive struggles continued as they went three-and-out for the fourth time of the game. Labanowitz took advantage of the field position, starting on the opponents 46 yard line, passing for a touchdown in five plays and 1:46 of elapsed game time.
Omar Truitt, the sophomore from Washington, DC, recorded the only interception of the game deep in the Avengers territory. The bad field position was no issue for the Avengers, with help from Labanowitz and Jakai Gill, who connected on an 81 yard pass. ASA would be held short however, as Erie's defense forced the Avengers to settle for a field goal.
Entering the fourth quarter ASA held a comfortable lead 36-6. Labanowitz would leave the game after one drive, to give reps to second-string quarterback Alphonso Howard. Howard saw more success on the ground than through the air, rushing for 58 yards on the drive, including a 20 yard touchdown run.
The Avengers would score one final time with 6:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Howard connected with receiver Andre Ridley for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Avengers defense saw a lot of success against the rush, holding Erie to negative net rushing yards on 26 attempts. The defense would also sack the quarterback seven times for a total of 58 yards.
- The Avengers are currenlty ranked third in the nation in points-per-game.
- Last year the Avengers never exceeded 500 total yards, they've done it three times this season.
- Donte Thomas-Williams has had multiple touchdowns in the past two games.
- ASA scored 43 unanswered points, after finishing the first quarter up only one point.
- Second-string quarterback Alphonso Howard led the Avengers in rush yards, with seven rushes for 85 yards, 58 of them coming on one drive.
UP NEXT: The ASA Avengers have a bye week this upcoming week. The Avengers will continue their conference play at Monroe College, who are currently ranked 15th in the nation. The game will take place on Saturday, October 28th at 3:30 PM.