Hudson Valley to Host No. 12 Nassau on Saturday

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, October 22, 2004

With the loss of 19 starters from the 2003 Hudson Valley Community College football team that went 8-2 and played in The Graphic Edge Bowl, the Vikings could have been excused if they were unable to repeat that performance in 2004.

Instead of making excuses, Hudson Valley has given itself a chance to compete for its third Northeast Football Conference championship in the last four years with only two conference games remaining on the schedule.

"We knew we were young and we knew we had to get better each week to have a chance this year," said head coach Bob Jojo, who, if Hudson Valley wins on Saturday, will have more coaching victories than any other football coach in the college's history. "With the exception of a step back at Morrisville, we have been getting better each week."

Hudson Valley (4-3/3-2 NFC) will host Nassau Community College (6-1/4-1 NFC), which is ranked 12th in the latest NJCAA poll, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, in a game that could determine who represents the East Division in the Northeast Football Conference championship game on Saturday, November 13.

If Nassau wins Saturday's game, the Lions will win the East Division and will clinch a spot in the championship game. If Hudson Valley wins, the Vikings will tie Nassau for the top spot, with both teams still having a conference game remaining against Dean College.

Nassau kicked a field goal as time expired to defeat Hudson Valley, 24-21, on September 25 in Garden City. The Vikings rallied from a 21-7 fourth quarter deficit to tie the game before the game-winning field goal sent Hudson Valley home with the loss.

Hudson Valley is 3-0 at home this season, which includes a 17-6 win over then eighth-ranked Erie Community College in its last home outing on October 2. The Vikings are outscoring their opponents, 115-36, in the second half this year.

Hudson Valley's offensive line paved the way for 248 rushing yards in last Saturday's 29-14 win over Alfred State College. Freshman running back Dane Samuels (Clarkstown/Clarkstown High School) rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and has rushed for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games.

Nassau has shut out its last two opponents. The Lions defeated Dean College, 27-0, on October 9, and beat perennial junior college power Georgia Military College, 23-0, last Saturday.