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Nassau Knocks Off Erie for NFC Title*

The ECC football team ended its 2005 season on a losing note in the Northeast Conference Championship game 42-31 to Nassau Community College. The game, played in Uniondale, N.Y., was an offensive contest that featured multiple ECC records being broken.

Nassau opened the scoring at the 8:46 mark of the first quarter when Joseph Williams scored on the ground from 24 yards out. The ensuing PAT made the score 7-0. ECC struck back when Neil Hallimen threw his first of three touchdown passes, this one to Damar Dowell from 47 yards. Nassau then scored again when Williams scored his second of three touchdowns, this time from two yards to make the score 14-7.

After the ensuing ECC drive stalled on the Nassau 10-yard line, Adam Hahn nailed a 27-yard field goal. The ensuing kickoff was returned to the Nassau 42-yard line by Bill Shannon. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Dominic Tassone faked a reverse and hit David Newsome with a 58-yard scoring pass.

Hallimen struck again just 1:09 later when he hit Jeremy Burr with a 36-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-17 to end the half. In the first half, the Kats outgained Nassau 249 yards to 148. They also had 12 first downs to the Lionsí 6.

ECC came out on the second half and forced the Lions to punt on their first possession. On the second play from scrimmage after the punt, the Kats turned the ball over when Zach Kedron fumbled and Nassau recovered in on the Kats 18-yard line. Three plays later, Williams scored his third touchdown to give Nassau a 28-17 lead.

On the next series, Hallimen completed a long pass to Dowell who was headed into the end zone when he fumbled at the 15-yard line. The ball was picked up and returned to the 50-yard line. The Kats defense held and forced a punt which was downed on the 15-yard line. A mishandled snap gave Nassau the ball on the 9-yard line. One play later, Shannon scored from nine yards out.

Now trailing 35-17, Lowell Robinson took the kickoff and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown. It was his fourth touchdown of the season; the first three came on interception returns. Nassau got back those points when Tassone snuck in from the one-yard line to make the score 42-24.

Entering the final quarter the Kats were unable to do much until the last three minutes when they drove 56 yards and scored on a 13-yard pass from Hallimen to Burr. The Kats tried an unsuccessful onside kick which ended with a melee at the 40-yard line. For safety reasons, the game was called with 33 seconds remaining.

For the game, the Kats outgained Nassau 377-296 and gained 18 first downs to Nassauís 11. On the individual side, Dowell caught three passes for a school-record 100 yards. He became the first 100-yard receiver in ECC history. Hallimen also set a school record with 215 yards on 13 of 33 passes. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions. Burr caught five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Kedron had his second-straight solid game as he totaled 100 yards, 84 rushing and 16 receiving.

On the defensive side, Keith Oquendo totaled a team season-high 13 tackles, 10 solo and had a sack. ECC finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, its first losing season in history.

*-Appeared on