Vikings Set For First Home Game
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, September 6, 2001
Hudson Valley's Football Team Will Play
SUNY Canton At La Salle Institute On Sunday
Hudson Valley Community College's football
team will play its first home game of the 2001 campaign at 1 p.m. on Sunday,
September 8. Due to construction of a minor-league baseball stadium at
Hudson Valley, the Vikings will host Northeast Football Conference rival
SUNY Canton at La Salle Institute.
Last year, Hudson Valley traveled to SUNY Canton
in the fifth week of the season. The Northstars committed five turnovers
while Hudson Valley committed none, and the Vikings exploded for six touchdowns
in the first half en route to a 45-14 romp. Justin Kastner (Hudson High)
connected on eight of 11 pass attempts and threw for four touchdowns, including
three to Derrick Dyer (John Marshall High). Kastner, who tied Hudson
Valley's record for touchdown passes in a game, threw for 184 yards and
Dyer racked up 147 receiving yards.
Hudson Valley won five of its final six games
in 2000, finishing the season with a 6-3 record and winning the NJCAA Region
III title. SUNY Canton posted a 5-4 record.
On offense this year, the Vikings are led by
a group of returnees: Kastner, who had a 137.0 passer rating last year;
Dyer, who stands 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash; and Shawn
Miller (Troy High), a preseason First Team All-American wide receiver
who holds Hudson Valley's record for receptions in a game (11). Defensively,
second-year inside linebacker Gary Smith (Concord High, DE) is expected
to lead the way. Smith, who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 218 pounds, had
57 tackles and two sacks last year. Other defensive returnees include defensive
end La'Ronn Paulk (Corcoran High, NJ), who had a team-high 6.5 sacks
in 2000, and outside linebacker Casey Bardin (Corinth High), who
contributed 24 tackles and one sack last year.
Hudson Valley and SUNY Canton have played each
other every year since 1996, with Hudson Valley owning a 3-2 edge in the
series. The Vikings have won the last two meetings.
Tom Mickle takes over for Lou Saban as SUNY
Canton's head coach this season. The Northstars, who are 1-0 this year
– they defeated Alfred State, 39-6, last weekend – expect defense to be
a strength this season. They return seven key defensive players, including
linebackers Aldo Bonnachi (43 tackles in 2000) and Tyrone Kinsey (60 tackles
last season). Offensively, second-year tailback Curtis Hathcock tallied
129 yards on 22 carries against Alfred State last weekend. Freshman Charles
Mitchum completed nine of 29 pass attempts for 179 yards. He also ran for
Hudson Valley traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania
last weekend to play Lackawanna College, but the game was suspended when
a pair of stadium lights blew out at halftime. NFC officials will determine
whether the game will be continued or replayed. Both teams are 0-0.
Hudson Valley's football program was established
in 1969. At the time, Hudson Valley was one of only two junior colleges
in New York to field a varsity football team. Since then, nearly 300 Hudson
Valley football players have earned scholarships to four-year schools and
15 have gone on to play professionally. The Vikings competed in the Coca
Cola Bowl in Iowa in 1980. In 1996, Hudson Valley posted an 8-0 record,
part of a dominant stretch that included 15 straight victories.