NORTHEAST FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
Sept. 14, 2018 - The Northeast Football Conference has seen several changes to its scheduled games this weekend.
Lackawanna is still scheduled to play at Delaware Valley JV Sunday. However, Monroe's game at former NEFC member Louisburg College and ASA's game at Georgia Military College have been postponed due to Hurricane Florence.
Rankings: All three NEFC teams found themselves in Tuesday’s NJCAA poll. Lackawanna climbed five spots to No. 11 while Monroe moved from receiving votes to No. 19. ASA received votes.
A NEFC team has been ranked in the last 192 NJCAA polls. The streak dates to Oct. 21, 2003. A NEFC team has been ranked 370 times since the start of the 2002 season.
Other rankings: Lackawanna was ranked No. 18 in this week's JCgridiron.com’s Dirty 30 preseason rankings.
Last week: Monroe rallied to defeat Nassau 17-14 and Lackawanna used 35 first-half points to top Wagner College JV, 48-6.
After Monroe’s Jalen Brown tied the game with a 61-yard touchdown run, the Mustangs forced Nassau to punt. When Monroe’s drive stalled, Diogo Alves Dos Santos Pereira made a 42-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead. The Mustangs' Jahvaron Burks intercepted a Nassau pass to stop one drive but Monroe was forced to punt with 1:07 remaining. Nassau had a chance to score but Qudair Sims knocked down a pass to end the game. Zaire Jones rushed 23 times for 102 yards. Grant Melton and Rashon McNeil made 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
No. 16 Lackawanna scored four times in the air—Shane McLaughlin threw two touchdowns in the first half while Ryan Schumacher threw two scoring passes in the second half. The Falcons got rushing touchdowns from Rashard Jackson, Reggie Jean-Charles and Calvin Bell.
Players of the Week: The Northeast Football Conference selected Monroe’s Jalen Brown, Niadre Zouzoua and Diogo Alves as the conference’s players of the week.
Offensive: Brown, a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore quarterback from Bridgeport, Connecticut, receives the NEFC Offensive Player of the Week Award for the second-straight week. He ran for 89 yards and threw for 91 yards in the Mustangs’ 17-14 win over Nassau. Brown ran 61 yards for the tying touchdown and then led Monroe to the go-ahead field goal.
Defensive: Zouzoua, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore defensive lineman, recorded four tackles, including two quarterback sacks in Monroe’s win. He also caused a fumble to go with 2.5 tackles for loss.
Special Teams: Alves, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound freshman kicker/punter, made the game-winning 42-yard field goal against Nassau. He also made both extra-point attempts and had a 60-yard punt. He finished the game averaging 63.5 yards per kickoff with two touchbacks and 44.17 yards per punt on six punt.
Top players: The Northeast Football Conference had four individuals listed in 247sports.com’s Sept. 11 report of the nation’s top 50 junior college recruits.
NFL Draft recap: Ian Thomas (Nassau) and Kyzir White (Lackawanna) were both selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
The selections of Thomas and White means that the NEFC has had two players selected in the fourth round in the past two NFL Drafts. Rasul Douglas, the 2014 NEFC Defensive Player of the Year, and Joe Williams were drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, respectively. A former NEFC player has been drafted in the fourth round four times in the last five years. Lackawanna has five players drafted during that time.
Team notes: Monroe led the nation in both rushing defense and total defense in 2017. The Mustangs are the third NEFC team to lead the nation in rushing defense since 2012. Lackawanna led that category in 2016 while ASA was the leader in 2012.
Misc.: A NEFC member has appeared in 20 bowl games since 1997, including three teams in 2012.
Lackawanna head coach Mark Duda was one of three individuals in the 2018 class of the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame. Duda, a four-time Northeast Football Conference Coach of the Year, has amassed 166 wins and a career winning percentage of 68.0 percent. He leads the active NJCAA coaches in wins.
Next week: Sept. 22 has ASA hosting Hocking while Lackawanna is at Nassau. Monroe plays at Wagner College JV Sept. 23.