Gator football looks to find success in homecoming game

The Gator football team fell to Kenyon College on Saturday, Sept. 24 with a final score of 31-7.

Head Coach B.J. Hammer said the team has a lot of room for improvement based on their recent game day play.  He said their main focus is execution of plays and improving team strength in the weightroom.

Marcus Davenport, ’19, team captain and defensive end and tackle, said the team was not coming together to work toward one common goal.

“Our defense gave up too many big plays and our offense wasn’t clicking,” Davenport said.

Kenyon started off strong with a touchdown in the first quarter that was answered with a touchdown from the Gators shortly after. However, defensive lineman Matt Ledesma, ’20, said the rest of the game proved to be a challenge. He said the team needs to pull it together on both sides of the ball and try to be more consistent.

“We need to improve as a team on the field … to be successful,” Ledesma said.  “The team can do something special if we all do our jobs.”

Ledesma completed his first two quarterback tackles of his career in the game, leading the team in tackles that helped to slow Keyon’s momentum.

Davenport said the lack of communication and cohesion is due to the majority of the team being made up of first-year students.

“Our team is very young, so we can always improve on all aspects of our game,” Davenport said.

Coach Hammer agreed, and said a majority of the starters for the team are new and fresh talent.

“We are starting 16 freshmen and sophomores out of 22 starters, so we are looking for improvement in all phases every week,” Hammer said.

Ledesma said the past four games have been a wake-up call for the team as a whole.  He said they have not been playing to their full potential and the team is beginning to learn what it takes to secure a win.

“Nothing in football is ever going to be handed to you,” Ledesma said.  “You have to take it, and win every play on the field.”

This coming weekend the homecoming game against Oberlin College will be a test of the team’s improvement since last week.

“I’m looking forward to coming home after three weeks on the road and showing our followers what we can do even though we haven’t won any games,” Davenport said.  “We have been steadily improving, but everything is a process.”

Hammer said the team is excited to be playing at home this weekend and thinks it will change the team’s morale and strengthen their focus.

Davenport said the goal of the team is to walk off the field with a win.  Ledesma agreed, and said the team wants to bring home Allegheny’s first win in two years, especially during homecoming weekend.

“This weekend, I think we will execute and shock a lot of people with what is going to happen,” Ledesma said.  “Our expectations are high this week and everyone is accountable.  We need to win this week going into a bye week.”

The Homecoming game will take place at Robertson Field on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m.