Blue & Gold Weekend

Gators to face off against Hiram for upcoming Homecoming game

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Allegheny College will host its annual Blue & Gold Weekend from Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 3, which will feature a Gator football game against Hiram College at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at Frank B. Fuhrer Field. The Gators enter the game with a 1-6 record on the season, while Hiram is still searching for its first victory at 0-7.

While the team’s 1-6 record in 2019 has fallen short of last season’s 6-4 mark, players like quarterback Nazareth Greer, ’21, Alex Victor, ’20, and Kyle McGee, ’20, remain hopeful for the season.

Head Coach Richard Nagy said before the season that although his expectation was to win every game he coached, the team would be content with its season regardless of the record if they showed effort and determination in every game. Despite the team’s struggles, the players seem to have adopted this philosophy as well.

“Our plan is to go 1-0 every week,” Victor said. “(We’re) taking it one week at a time, a win this week would be good, and (we plan to) finish out strong so that we can at least give the underclassmen something to look forward to and to uphold.”

The Gators dropped their last game against DePauw University 6-8 on Saturday, Oct. 26 in Greencastle, Indiana. The Gators surrendered eight points through a touchdown and a safety in the second quarter, and although running back Tonye Hamilton, ’20, was able to rush for a 2-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter, the Gators failed to convert their two-point conversion and were held off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

Allegheny kicker Nick Leinenweber, ’22, missed field goals of 44 and 41 yards on the day. The Gators committed seven penalties that totalled 70 yards, including an illegal block-in-the-back penalty that erased a touchdown.

Hiram remains winless on the season, and the Gators will look to rebound this week against the struggling Terriers squad. While confident that the team can emerge victorious, players understand that they have to execute their assignments and that no opponent can be taken lightly.

“It all comes down to preparing for the game,” McGee said. “Just because they’re 0-7 doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy win. We have to go out there and prepare the best that we can and play the best that we can. Because it’s Homecoming, we’ll have the adrenaline on our side and a lot of people in the stands, so it’ll be a good game.”

Victor said the team’s game plan has been sound throughout the season and that players need to take it upon themselves to execute what they have practiced.

“Our coaches do a good job with the game plan for each week,” Victor said. “We just didn’t execute as well as we should have. If we execute our game plan, usually it tends to work, so I feel like that will be the key to success this week.”

While fans of Gator football have not been treated to as many wins this season, Victor has continued to produce as a receiver in his senior season. He needs five receptions over the last three games to break his career high 57 receptions from 2018, and although his yards receiving per game has dropped from 102 in 2018 to 72 this season, he remains the top target for the Gator offense, according to Greer.

“He alone will draw two or three guys on him every play, so he’s drawn a lot of attention from the defense, which helps open up a lot of the other guys,” Greer said. “Just having him on the team completely changes the offense.”

Victor was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section in 2018 following a six catch, 199-yard performance in which he broke Allegheny’s all-time mark for yards receiving, according to the Meadville Tribune. Victor has big plans for his last Homecoming game on Saturday.

“First and foremost, as long as we win, it will be (a good game),” Victor said. “Magic number three is my favorite number, so maybe three touchdowns and over 100 yards (receiving).”

The game will be preceded by a TailGator Luncheon at the Robertson Athletic Complex. The luncheon is free to all alumni, family and friends, and students will be charged one Brooks Dining Hall swipe to attend, according to the Blue & Gold Weekend itinerary.

It all comes down to preparing for the game. Just because (Hiram is) 0-7 doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy win. … Because it’s Homecoming, we’ll have the adrenaline on our side and a lot of people in the stands, so it’ll be a good game.”

— Kyle McGee, Class of 2020

As the team approaches the end of the season, and the class of 2020 enters the twilight of their collegiate football careers, the significance of the final three games is not lost on the senior class.

Victor and McGee will play in their last Homecoming football game during the Blue & Gold Weekend, and both seniors are hopeful that the team can win its remaining three games. McGee said that the seniors will bring extra intensity and energy to their last football games together.

“We have a big senior class, so for these last three games, expect us to play as hard as we can because it’s the last three games we have,” McGee said. “Some of us have been playing all of our lives, so these last three games really mean a lot to us.”

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