Alvernia Falls to Misericordia, 35-15 – Alvernia University Athletics
Dallas, Pa. (Sept. 23, 2023) – Alvernia University (0-4) put up a strong second half, but it was not enough as Misericordia University (1-3) defeated Alvernia 35-15 on a rainy Saturday afternoon in MAC football action at Misericordia.
Alvernia won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. Duke Garrison returned the opening kickoff for the Golden Wolves to its own 31 yard line, but a penalty on Alvernia brought the return back to the Alvernia 11. Alvernia started the game from there, but the opening play of the game was intercepted by Misericordia on a pass attempt from Colin Payne to Dachan Thompson. Misericordia scored two plays later to take the early 7-0 lead.
Alvernia struggled to get anything going on its next drive, and Misericordia took over on the Alvernia 45 yard line. The Cougars worked their way down the field and scored on a nine yard touchdown pass to take a 13-0 lead following a missed PAT by Misericordia.
The Cougars then converted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but Alvernia was able to force a turnover on downs to stop the early Misericordia momentum.
Alvernia was able to get the ball moving on a short field on its next possession, but the drive stalled out on the Misericordia 24 yard line. Alvernia’s Joe Fragale came in to attempt a 41 yard field goal and he drove it through the uprights to set the new record for Alvernia for longest made field goal. He surpassed the record of a 39 yard made field goal by Brett Conrad on October 22, 2022 at Lycoming.
As the game moved into the second quarter, the Cougars and Golden Wolves traded possessions until Misericordia’s Lamontae Wilson recorded his second interception of the game and returned it for a touchdown for Misericordia. A successful two-point conversion gave the Cougars a 21-3 lead with 3:24 to play in the first half.
Alvernia’s ensuing drive stalled on the Misericordia 44 yard line, but the Golden Wolves got it right back on a Jakeem Jackson interception on the Misericordia 35 yard line. But, the opportunity was lost for Alvernia as the Golden Wolves fumbled the ball away on its very first play of the next drive.
Both teams traded quick possessions as the half came to a close and Misericordia took a 21-8 lead into the break.
The Cougars kept their foot on the gas coming out of the break and scored a 3-yard rushing touchdown on their opening drive to take a 28-3 lead with 12 minutes to play in the third quarter. But, those would be the only points scored in the third quarter as Alvernia trailed by 25 going into the final 15 minutes.
The Cougars opened the fourth quarter with a seven yard rushing touchdown by quarterback TJ Lattimore to extend its lead to 35-3.
Alvernia got to work on its next drive from its own 35 yard line. Ozmere Jones started the drive off with an 11 yard rush, and Payne found Thomspson for a 12 yard gain to move the ball up to the Misericordia 42 yard line. A 15 yard pass interference call on the Cougars moved the ball another 15 yards upfield, and Alvernia entered the red zone on a nine yard completion to Zach Ayers. Alvernia then moved inside the 10 yard line on a 14 yard completion to Thompson. Alvernia’s drive then came to a halt after a 13 yard sack of Payne, but Alvernia got a fresh set of downs on a roughing the passer penalty against Misericordia. Alvernia then found the end zone as Payne connected with Joseph Perkins for a 10 yard completion for Alvernia’s first touchdown of the day. Alvernia’s PAT was blocked as Misercordia’s lead was cut to 35-9 with 10 minutes to play.
Alvernia then kept the momentum rolling on Misericordia’s next drive as Lattimore fumbled the ball as the rain started to fall heavier and Pasquale Savarese was there to recover the fumble and set Alvernia up on the Misericordia 12 yard line.
Alvernia made quick work of the short field as Jones rushed for a one yard touchdown to make it a 35-15 game following a failed two-point conversion for Alvernia.
The Golden Wolves then successfully recovered an onside kick as McCabe Piavis was able to pounce on the ball, but Alvernia’s momentum ended there as Misericordia’s Lamontae Wilson came down with his third interception of the afternoon in the end zone with 6:29 to play.
Alvernia stopped the Cougars one more time, but its offense could not get anymore going as Misericordia came away with the 35-15 win.
Payne was 18-for-37 on the afternoon for 180 yards. Thompson finished with 57 yards on four receptions, including an outstanding one-handed 26 yard reception in the first quarter that set up the Fragale field goal. Savarese led Alvernia’s defense with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Piavis had nine tackles and Carr finished with eight.
Alvernia has a bye week next weekend before returning to action on October 7th as the Golden Wolves host Delaware Valley University, the defending MAC Champions.