Hudson Valley Football to Host Eighth-Ranked Erie on Saturday

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Hudson Valley Community College (2-2/1-1 NFC) football team will host Northeast Football Conference rival Erie Community College at noon on Saturday, October 2 on Veterans Memorial Field. Erie (4-0/3-0 NFC) enters the game ranked eighth in the latest NJCAA poll.

Hudson Valley and Erie have split their last two meetings. The Vikings handed Erie its first home loss in school history last year when Hudson Valley won, 26-23, at Jim Ball Stadium. Erie won, 21-13, in 2002.

After having three punts blocked in its opening game loss to Navy Prep, Hudson Valley's special teams have been much more productive the last three weeks. The Vikings have returned three punts for touchdowns, including freshman Rashad Howard's (Newport News, VA/Heritage High School) school-record 85-yard punt return for a touchdown last week against Nassau Community College.

Erie has made a living off its special teams play. The Katz have blocked two extra points and one field goal in each of its last two games – a 13-12 win over Nassau on September 18, and a 13-12 win at Morrisville State College last Saturday. Additionally, Erie's All-American kicker Jason Fralicker (North Tonawanda) has made five of his nine field goal attempts, including a 52-yard field goal last week.

Hudson Valley has had an efficient passing game this year. Sophomore quarterback Jonah Chappell (Brownfield, ME/Fryeburg Academy) has completed 39 of 80 passes for 447 yards and six touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Ricky Johnson (Newport News, VA/Heritage High School) is second in the conference with 15 receptions. He also has four touchdown receptions.

Erie is averaging 198 yards per game on the ground. Running back Charles Bigham (Rochester) is second in the conference with 85 rushing yards per game.