LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College football team lost 28-10 to visiting Rochester University on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field in Leicester. The Yellowjackets of Rochester improve to 2-2 on the season while the Hawks of Becker open at 0-5.
Rochester junior running back Emanuel Calmar (Stonington, Conn. / Stonington) was a workhorse, running for 36 carries and 233 yards and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Matt Gallagher (Haymarket, Va. / Battlefield) threw for 231 yards, going 17-of-33 and throwing for two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver David Angie (Webster, N.Y. / Webster Thomas) finished with seven catches for 85 yards and one score while first-year wide receiver Connor Byrne (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield College Preparatory) had five catches for 78 yards. Sophomore defensive end Justin Warner (Fishkill, N.Y. / Beacon) posted ten tackles with 4 ½ of those coming for a loss for the Yellowjacket defense.
Becker junior quarterback Nas Sinkfield-Shelton (New Rochelle, N.Y. / New Rochelle) threw for 220 yards, going 20-of-37 in the air with a touchdown. Sinkfield-Shelton also rushed 20 times for a team-best 90 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Michael Caban (Lawrence, Mass. / Lawrence) had a career day, pulling in eight catches for 111 receiving yards and a score. Freshman running back David Collins (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) ran 18 times for 67 yards.
Sophomore linebacker Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y. / Eastport-South Manor) led the defense with ten tackles and a sack.
On Becker's first drive of the game, Sinkfeld-Shelton faced a third-and-two from the Becker 31. The junior quarterback broke free, scrambling for a 51 yard rush into the Rochester red zone. Three plays later, Sinkfeld-Shelton found Caban on a fade to his left, giving the Hawks their first lead of the season, 7-0.
On the ensuing drive, the Yellowjackets turned to Calmer and an aggressive running attack to go 58 yards in seven plays, concluding with a 25-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Paul Tricarico (Westport, CT / Staples), cutting the Rochester deficit to four at 7-3.
After the Hawks fumbled on the ensuing drive to set up the Yellowjackets on the Becker 19, Rochester appeared poised to take the lead with a first down in the red zone. But Becker junior defensive back Shahiem Wilson (Naples, Fla, / Palmetto Ridge) cut in front of a Gallagher pass at the goal line on third-and-five, and the Hawks took over at their own one.
Following a Becker punt, the visitors took over at the Hawks' 30. Once again, the Becker defense proved up to the challenge, forcing the Yellowjackets to turn the ball over on downs in a drive that brought the first quarter to an end.
The Hawks slowly ground their way down the field on their ensuing drive. Facing a third-and-13 from the Rochester 43, Sinkfeld-Shelton once again turned to Caban, finding the sophomore for a 29-yard reception. The 14-play drive took up 7:02 on the clock, resulting in a 19-yard field goal for senior defensive back/kicker Shane Padeni (Leicester, Mass. / Leicester) as Becker took a 10-3 lead.
On the ensuing Rochester drive, Becker freshman linebacker Jared Zieman (Bethel, Conn. / Bethel) sacked Gallagher for seven yards on first down. The Yellowjackets were unable to overcome the deficit, and were forced to punt.
Sinkfeld-Shelton and the Hawks offense took over at their own 30, and opened with a 32-yard completion to junior tight end Kenneth McMurphy (Gilbert, Ariz. / Perry) on first down. But Becker was unable to capitalize, however, as Rochester junior linebacker Ryan Bell (West Hartford, Conn. / Conard) and sophomore defensive end Devin Woodyard (Rochester, NY / Brighton) combined to sack Sinkfeld-Shelton on third down, and the Hawks punted for just the second time on the day.
On the next drive, the Yellowjackets appeared to be in business when they crossed midfield at the Becker 45 with a first down. But Becker senior linebacker Angel Flores (Azusa, Calif. / Azusa) forced Rochester back with a massive 13-yard sack on Gallagher, and the visitors were again forced to punt with 1:07 left in the half.
With just over a minute to go and 70 yards from the end zone, Sinkfeld-Shelton drove the Hawks to the Rochester 48 with two seconds remaining. The ensuing Hail Mary play was intercepted, and the teams went into halftime with Becker still leading 10-3.
After the Hawks went three-and-out to open the third quarter, the Yellowjackets went 66 yards in 11 plays, tying the game when Calmar punched it in one a one-yard rush on the one on third down. The score was 10-10.
Becker went three-and-out on their next possession, and the punt put Rochester in excellent position at midfield and with momentum.
The Hawks defense appeared to have met the challenge when they sacked Gallagher on third down. The Yellowjackets went for it on fourth down and appeared to have turned it over when the pass hit the ground in the end zone. But a late penalty gave Rochester a first and goal from the Becker seven-yard line.
Going for it on four-and-goal from the one, Gallagher pitched to Calmar on the outside. The Hawks descended on the running back, with Wilson making a game-turning tackle to put the ball back in Becker's hands.
Becker went three-and-out, and Rochester took control on the Becker 23-yard line. Later with the Yellowjackets lining up for a 38-yard field goal, Becker sophomore linebacker Christian Perkins (Melrose, Mass. / Melrose) made an outstanding play when he blocked the attempt, which was scooped up by Flores. The senior appeared to have returned the blocked kick for a touchdown, but it was called back to the Rochester 48 on a penalty.
After a Becker punt gave Rochester the ball on their own eight, Gallagher started hitting his targets, going six-for-seven on the drive and hitting Angie for a nine-yard touchdown completion. Rochester took their first lead of the game, 16-10 after the missed extra-point.
Becker's next possession went three-and-out, and the Yellowjackets took over on their 42. Facing a third and six on the Becker 16-yard line, Gallagher found sophomore wide receiver Tyler Tanen (Morganville, N.J. / Marlboro) despite double-coverage defense as the second-year player made a diving touchdown reception. Rochester went ahead 22-10 after another failed extra-point kick.
With the game on the line with less than four minutes left, Sinkfeld-Shelton was forced to throw up a bomb on third-and-long from his own 23. Rochester sophomore defensive back Austin Carr (Rochester, NY / Brighton) made a game-deciding interception, as the Yellowjackets took over.
They would soon capitalize. Calmar capped off a five-play, 58-yard drive when he scored on a 29-yard run that took the game down to the two-minute warning with the Yellowjackets leading 28-10.
Becker was unable to score before the final whistle.
The game was part of Becker's Homecoming weekend.
After their bye-week next weekend, Becker is back on the field on Saturday, October 14th when they play host to Curry College in a CCC Football contest at 2:00 p.m. Rochester hosts Ithaca College on Saturday, October 7th in a 12:00 p.m. game.
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