The Allegheny Gators football team hosted the Wabash Little Giants for a North Coast Athletic Conference game Saturday, Sept. 21. The Gators’ record fell to 0-2 for the season, and 0-1 in conference play following a 48-35 defeat.
The Gators, who have not won a game against Wabash College since 2012, showed improvement over last year’s 54-17 loss at the hands of the Little Giants, but remain in search of their first victory of the season.
First-year head football coach Richard Nagy remains hopeful for the Gators, and said that the team will not focus on wins and losses until the end of the season.
“Like I told the players at the beginning of the season, it doesn’t matter if we go 10-0, 8-2 — whatever it is, until the season’s over, it doesn’t really matter,” Nagy said. “We just have to take each week the way it is, work to get better each week and hopefully we’ll like the results.”
The Gators were able to match the Little Giants score for score in the first half. Quarterback Nazareth Greer, ’21, threw four touchdowns in the first half, including a 77-yard strike to wide receiver Alex Victor, ’20, to take a 28-27 lead heading into the second half.
Greer finished the game with 348 yards passing and five touchdowns, but Allegheny’s offense slowed in the second half as the Little Giants outscored the Gators 21-7. Greer said the Gators would have to increase the offensive pressure moving forward in the difficult NCAC.
“We’re just looking to score as much as we can on offense, so if that means five touchdowns a game passing, whether we get the run game going and get three or four touchdowns down at the goal line, we’re just going to keep pressing to score,” Greer said. “We’re not looking to let off because we know this is a tough conference, so any team can bounce back at any time.”
While the Gators remain winless through their first two games, Greer said the team made improvements from their 52-14 loss in the first week to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and will continue to improve moving forward. This sentiment was echoed by Nagy, who said the team’s goals remain intact despite the two losses.
“(Our goal is) still the same,” Nagy said. “We got a good team, like I said, and we just have to keep working to get better. At the end of the year, we’ll grade where we are. Right now, we’re taking a lot of tests, so to speak. We’ll get that final grade at the end of the year. We have to stay focused on where we are right now.”
Along with the home football game, festivities for the day included Allegheny’s Community Day celebration and the enshrinement of Allegheny’s 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame class. Admission to the game was free for the community, and 2,794 fans attended the game, according to Allegheny football statistics. This nearly doubled last year’s Community Day attendance of 1,540.
Allegheny’s 38th Athletic Hall of Fame class was enshrined, including lacrosse player Emily Deering Crosby, ’06, soccer player Lauren Moser, ’03, and the 1968 football team, according to a May 31 article released by Allegheny College. President Hilary L. Link and Director of Athletics and Recreation Bill Ross joined the class at midfield for the halftime ceremony.
Although the second half did not go as planned for the Gators, they emerged from the locker room and were able to intercept Wabash freshman quarterback Liam Thompson at Allegheny’s 48-yard line. The Gators offense stalled, went three and out and had their punt blocked at midfield.
Wabash drove the ball down the field for a touchdown and used their rushing attack to take a 48-28 lead before Greer and Victor connected for another touchdown with 2:19 minutes left in the game for a final score of 48-35.
Following the game, coach Nagy said the team would regroup, look for areas to improve, and turn their attention to Ohio Wesleyan University for their Sept. 28 game in Delaware, Ohio.
Ohio Wesleyan remains undefeated this season after defeating Oberlin College 55-3 last Saturday. Allegheny will look to hand the Battling Bishops their first loss of the season before returning to Frank B. Fuhrer Field to take on Denison University at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
“We’re going to work on getting this loss out of our system in the next day here,” Nagy said. “We’ll go watch tape as a staff, … then we’ll start watching Ohio Wesleyan, then Monday we’ll get with the players and we’ll all move on and get going.”