ALFRED, N.Y. – Junior running back Moe Harris capped a record-setting season, scoring three touchdowns, while Mitchell Caron threw two touchdown passes to lead Castleton University to a 49-21 victory over Alfred State College Saturday afternoon in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) contest at Pioneer Stadium.
Harris carried the ball 32 times for 147 yards and the three touchdowns, finishing the season with 1,180 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns, both Castleton single season records. In addition, he tied Tyler Carpenter for most career rushing yards with 2,781 yards, and Harris has one more year of eligibility.
Caron completed 9-of-15 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Jakob Trautwein led the Spartans with 10 tackles, finishing the season with 113 tackles, fifth-most in a season for Castleton. He became the third Spartan to pass the 300-tackle mark in a career, ending his time at Castleton with 307 career tackles.
The first quarter got off to a slow start offensively, as the two teams first exchanged punts, and then intercepted each other. Alfred State muffed a Castleton punt, which was recovered by Dylan Allhusen at the Pioneer 47-yard line, and the Spartans took advantage with a five-play drive, capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Harris.
Alfred State (1-9, 1-6 ECFC) answered right back, as Kiegan Brown took the ball 55 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive to tie the game at 7-7. On Castleton's next drive, Caron found Harris on a swing pass for a 28-yard gain, and then Harris took three plays to gain the final 11 yards of the drive, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run.
After an Alfred State three-and-out, Castleton extended its lead to 21-7 when Caron connected with Adnane Adossama on a 59-yard touchdown pass. The Pioneers closed to within seven on their next drive, taking seven plays to go 58 yards, capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Evingham to Jalen Long.
In the second half, Castleton once again extended its lead, first on a 30-yard interception return by Trautwein midway through the third quarter. After a 27-yard punt return by Nick Reca brought the ball deep into Pioneer territory, Caron found Jermaine Coggins for a 26-yard touchdown strike to give the Spartans a 35-14 advantage.
On the Pioneers' next possession, Chris Rice sacked Evingham at the Alfred State nine-yard line and forced him to fumble the ball, which traveled into the end zone before Wyatt Prue pounced on it for Castleton's second defensive touchdown of the game.
Evingham scored the Pioneers' third touchdown of the game late in the third quarter, but Castleton took almost eight minutes off the clock on its next drive, culminating with a seven-yard touchdown run by Harris midway through the fourth quarter.
As a team, Castleton accumulated 335 yards of total offense while holding Alfred State to 169 yards of total offense.
Castleton finishes the 2017 season with a 6-4 overall record, its third winning season over the past four years. Also for the third time in four seasons, the Spartans posted a 5-2 league mark, ending up in third place in the ECFC regular season standings.