Football ends season with loss

By Colleen Pegher

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Sports Editor

Nov. 22, 2013

 

The football team concluded their season with a 56-0 loss last Saturday against the conference champion Wittenberg Tigers on the road.

The loss marks the Gators tenth of the season, leaving them winless for the season. Despite the Gators’ struggles this season, Head Coach Mark Matlak is looking ahead to the future.

“I think you have to be introspective on what you’re doing so you can solve the problems to move forward,” Matlak said. “You can’t look in the rearview mirror; you have to look in the front windshield. It’s going to take some time and that’ll be a good experience.”

The Tigers led early, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. By the half, Wittenberg led 49-0. After scoring on their first drive of the second half, the Tigers failed to add to their point total. The Gators halted the Tiger offense twice on fourth down. Trevor Colvin, ’14, was responsible for one of the stops, coming up with a sack when the Tigers were on the Gator one-yard line.

The Gator offense struggled, managing only 125 yards of total offense to Wittenberg’s 654. Rookie quarterback Jon Nigro completed 12 of 20 passes for 64 yards on the day. Nick Deichler, ’16, rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries. Andrew Niklaus, ’15, ran the ball five times for a total of 26 yards, and added four grabs on the day.

Despite a difficult season, Niklaus believes the team showed improvement as the season progressed.

“This season has been all about adversity,” said Niklaus. “Throughout the year when things were not going our way, people’s true colors showed. The committed guys, who love the game, stuck it out and continued to get better each week.”

Sumner Beal, ’14, believes that dedication of the coaching staff and underclassmen will lead to future for success.

“I couldn’t have been prouder to have been part of such a hardowrking group of guys who showed up each and everyday even when things were going poorly,” Beal said. “It makes me feel very good about the positive direction that this historical football program is heading. I also can’t say enough about the coaching staff for all the work they put in each and everyday.”

Coach Matlak feels that the season has provided a learning experience.

“There’s two ways to approach [a losing season],” said Matlak. “Sometimes people say that there are not many good experiences in a losing season. Other people will talk about that you do get something out of it. I think you do get something out of it. I think you recognize how much preparation, training, and mental focus it takes to be successful.”

While the Gators look to make positive changes over the offseason, Niklaus acknowledges the difficulties that lie ahead.

“This off season we have a tremendous challenge ahead of us to revive Allegheny’s winning tradition,” said Niklaus. “In order to be successful next season we need a high commitment level and a great work ethic this off season.”

A bright spot for the squad, Brad Burkley, ’14, Ty Pryor, ’14, and Chris Bourne, ’16, earned Honorable Mention All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors for the 2013 season. Burkey, a linebacker, bounced back after an injury early in the season to become a defensive force for the Gators. Pyror started all ten games for the Gators at right guard, and was part of a unit that allowed fewer than three sacks for seven of ten matchups. Bourne’s honors marks the fifth consecutive season that an Allegheny punter has received All-Conference honors.