CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University football team looks to get back on the winning track when it heads to Leicester, Mass., to face the Becker College Hawks in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) contest Saturday, Nov. 5, starting at 2 p.m. at Alumni Field.
Castleton, 3-5 overall, is currently in fourth place in the ECFC with a 3-2 league mark after a 21-17 loss at Gallaudet last Saturday. Mitchell Caron went 27-for-40 for 273 yards and two touchdowns, with 13 of those passes caught by Soren Pelz-Walsh for 121 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Jakob Trautwein collected a career-high 18 tackles, including 16 solo tackles, while Darren Callan became Castleton's all-time tackles leader with 14 tackles against the Bison.
The Spartans are averaging 23.8 points per game in conference play, collecting 315.2 yards per ECFC contest (94.2 rushing yards and 221.0 passing yards). Caron has now played enough games to qualify for the conference statistical standings, leading the league with 234.2 passing yards per game, plus he is tied for second with nine passing touchdowns. Pelz-Walsh continues to lead the ECFC in receiving yards per game (72.0) and he is tied for the conference lead with seven receiving touchdowns.
Defensively, Callan and Trautwein have been the top two players in the conference in tackles for several weeks. Callan is second in the country with 14.6 tackles per game, and Trautwein sits in fourth place among Division III players with 14.0 tackles per game. In the defensive backfield, Joe DeAlesandro leads the team and the conference with 10 pass breakups, and Bubba Collins has been a force up front for the Spartans with nine tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Becker College is 2-6 overall, including a 1-4 record within the league, with a 17-10 non-conference victory at MIT on Sept. 10 and a 42-18 conference win at Gallaudet on Oct. 1. The Hawks have lost four straight games, most recently a 45-14 loss to conference leader Husson last Saturday.
In all games, Becker is averaging 18.9 points per game on 252.4 yards of total offense per contest, including 92.6 rushing yards and 159.8 passing yards per game. Mitchell Driscoll has been the Hawks' starting quarterback over the past three games, averaging 166.3 passing yards per game in those three starts. Dejahn Dawkins is the team's leading receiver, catching 22 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns.
LaDarrius Carter leads the Becker defense with 72 total tackles, with Alexander Stewart earning 13.5 tackles for a loss, including five sacks, among his 51 total tackles. Davin Collins paces the Hawk defensive backfield with six pass breakups, two interceptions, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. As a team, Becker has allowed 25.1 points and 323.1 total yards per game, giving up 126.0 rushing yards and 197.1 passing yards per contest.
Castleton holds a 5-2 series advantage over Becker, but the Hawks have won two of the last three meetings over the Spartans. Castleton posted a shutout in its last trip to Becker, 24-0, on Oct. 4, 2014, led by Corey Brimmer with 20 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown. Last season at Spartan Stadium, the Hawks ran out to a 35-7 lead before the Spartans scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to close the final deficit to 35-21. Dawkins caught six passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while Moe Harris led Castleton with 27 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown.