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Lackawanna meets Monroe

Oct. 11, 2018 - The 2018 Northeast Football Conference title could be won Saturday with No. 6 Lackawanna (6-0) playing No. 12 Monroe (4-0) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. A Lackawanna win would give the Falcons their third NEFC title in four years. A Monroe win would mean its game Oct. 27 against ASA would have title implications.

Lackawanna-Monroe series notes: Lackawanna has won three-straight games in the series. The 2017 matchup had both teams ranked as then-No. 19 Lackawanna defeated then-No. 15 Monroe 19-0 Oct. 14. In 2016, the Falcons defeated Monroe, 42-33, after winning 50-0 in 2015. Monroe's last win in the series came when the Mustangs recorded a 14-13 win Oct. 18, 2014, in Scranton. The Mustangs blocked a late field-goal attempt to preserve the victory.

This Week: ASA (3-2) added a game against Capp Prep. That game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.

Rankings: Following Tuesday's rankings, a NEFC team has been ranked in the last 196 NJCAA polls. The streak dates to Oct. 21, 2003. A NEFC team has been ranked 378 times since the 2002 season started.

The No. 12 ranking for Monroe is a new high for the program, which has appeared in 15 NJCAA polls since the start of the 2016 season. Monroe's previous best was No. 14 in the Oct. 10, 2016, poll and last week's poll.

Other rankings: Lackawanna remained No. 11 in JCgridiron.com's Dirty 30 rankings.

Last week: No. 6 Lackawanna scored 20 fourth-quarter points and needed a last-second goal-line stand to down ASA 30-26 in the Northeast Football Conference opener for both teams. Dillon Harris returned an interception 37 yards to give the Falcons the 30-26 lead after they trailed 23-10 at half. ASA quarterback Khalid Morris threw two touchdown passes and Javeon Ensley had a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the Avengers a 23-10 lead. Lackawanna's Ryan Schumacher hit Jael Negron with a 26-yard scoring strike to make it 23-17 but ASA kicked a field goal for a 26-17 lead. The Falcons answered when Schumacher scored to make it 26-24 to set up Harris' return and goal-line stand.

No. 14 Monroe 28, Valley Forge Military College 7 The No. 14-ranked Monroe College Mustangs improved to 4-0 with a 28-7 road win over Valley Forge Military College. Zaire Jones ran for two touchdowns, one from 90 yards out and then a 40-yarder on fourth down in the third quarter. Jones finished with 184 rushing yards on 15 carries.s.

NJCAA stats: Individually, Monroe running back Zaire Jones is fifth with 141.7 rushing yards per game and sixth in all-purpose yards, 150.0. ASA defensive backs Javeon Ensley and DaMarrio Jackson-Smith are tied for fifth nationally with four interceptions.

As a team, Lackawanna ranks first in yards allowed per game, 154.2 while ASA is fourth (201.2). The Falcons have recorded 31 quarterback sacks to rank second. In rushing yards allowed per game, Lackawanna is third (46.0), Monroe fourth (60.0) and ASA 10th (79.4). The Falcons are second in passing yards allowed per game (108.2) and ASA is sixth (121.8).

On the offensive side, Monroe is fourth with 272.8 rushing yards per game while ASA is ninth, 230.2. Lackawanna is sixth in scoring, 40.5 points per game, and ASA is ninth in yards per game, 441.8.

Players of the Week:ASA's Alex Brink and Lackawanna's Dillon Harris are the Northeast Football Conference's players of the week.

Top players: The Northeast Football Conference had four individuals listed in 247sports.com's Oct. 8 report of the nation's top 50 junior college recruits.

They are:

NFL Draft recap: Ian Thomas (Nassau) and Kyzir White (Lackawanna) were both selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

The selections of Thomas and White means that the NEFC has had two players selected in the fourth round in the past two NFL Drafts. Rasul Douglas, the 2014 NEFC Defensive Player of the Year, and Joe Williams were drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, respectively. A former NEFC player has been drafted in the fourth round four times in the last five years. Lackawanna has five players drafted during that time.

Misc.: A NEFC member has appeared in 20 bowl games since 1997, including three teams in 2012.

Lackawanna head coach Mark Duda was one of three individuals in the 2018 class of the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame. Duda, a four-time Northeast Football Conference Coach of the Year, has amassed 172 wins. He leads the active NJCAA coaches in wins.

Next week: ASA will play the Delaware Gamecocks at 1 p.m. Oct. 20 while Monroe takes on Kirkland Academy at 7 p.m. Lackawanna plays Hocking Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.

The Avengers close the 2018 NEFC season against Monroe at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. That game can be viewed online.