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ASA meets Lackawanna to open conference play

Oct. 3, 2018 - The Northeast Football Conference season opens its 22nd conference season Saturday with No. 6 Lackawanna (5-0) playing ASA (3-1). Monroe is at the Valley Forge Military Academy.

Rankings: Following Tuesday's rankings, a NEFC team has been ranked in the last 195 NJCAA polls. The streak dates to Oct. 21, 2003. A NEFC team has been ranked 376 times since the 2002 season started.

Monroe, which has appeared in 14 NJCAA polls since the start of the 2016 season, has been ranked as high as No. 14, ties its previous high as the Mustangs were No. 14 in the Oct. 10, 2016, poll.

Other rankings: Lackawanna climbed two spots to No. 11 in JCgridiron.com's Dirty 30 rankings.

Last week: Quarterback Shane McLaughlin threw for two touchdowns while Ja'yir Brown intercepted three passes to lift No. 6 Lackawanna to a 29-10 win over Erie at West Herr Stadium. Brown returned one of the interceptions 80 yards for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 23-10 lead at halftime. McLaughlin also had his two scoring passes in that quarter. Norval Black caught three passes for 102 yards. The Falcons held Erie to 41 yards in total offense.

Quarterback Khalid Morris threw two touchdown passes and ran for another to lead ASA to a 55-20 win over the New Jersey Warriors. Alex Brink ran for 109 yards and a score while Sam Bryant added 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

NJCAA stats: Monroe (7.3 ppg) and Lackawanna (9.8 ppg) are ranked 1-2 in defensive points per game allowed. The Falcons lead the nation in 11.4 rushing yards allowed, 84.4 passing yards allowed and 95.8 yards allowed. ASA is fourth in yards allowed, 220.5. Lackawanna is third with 26 quarterback sacks, fifth in offensive touchdown passes and seventh in total offense at 452.8 yards per game. ASA is ninth in total offense at 440.8. Monroe is third (286.3) and ASA is seventh (233.0) in rushing yards per game. Lackawanna is also 10th in passing yards offense, 240.6.

Players of the Week:Lackawanna's Shane McLaughlin and Ja'yir Brown are the Northeast Football Conference's players of the week.

Top players: The Northeast Football Conference had four individuals listed in 247sports.com's Oct. 2 report of the nation's top 50 junior college recruits.

They are:

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.

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 171 wins. He leads the active NJCAA coaches in wins.

Next week: In a battle of ranked teams, Monroe is at Lackawanna Oct. 13. ASA is off.