After three back-to-back historical seasons, St. Lawrence Football finally claims the Liberty League Championship! With an estimated 1,000 fans watching at Leckenby Stadium here in Canton, New York, SLU Football held a 21-14 victory over Merchant Marine (USMMA) at the end of their annual Hoffman
Cup game. This makes it the third straight year the trophy is awarded to the St. Lawrence Football team at the end of the game, and the Saints have earned themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
The St. Lawrence University Football team is in the NCAA Tournament for the second time since 2010, and for the second time, the first round opponent for the Saints will be Mount Union with a noon game Saturday,
November 21st in Alliance, Ohio. In 2010, the Saints (8-2) lost a 49-0 game in Ohio, but that does not phase this determined team.
In an interview after the game, senior running back Maurice Irby IV stated, “I’m honestly so proud of my team and the coaches. We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are. When I first came to St. Lawrence, the coaches said that we were here to make history, and history has been made. You can’t erase what’s been written in stone, and the 2015 St. Lawrence football team came with the chisel and hammer. As for Mount Union, I hear all the big talk. Don’t believe the hype. St. Lawrence has never backed down from a challenge. At the end of the day it’s you against us, and we’re in it to win. We aren’t content with Liberty League title, the hunger doesn’t end. They will get our best game.
Quarterback Mike Lefflbine led the team to victory after last week’s mishap by the refs. Lefflbine finishes the regular season with multiple records set for the University. He has set the career records for attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns.
Despite an uncharacteristic first half in this last game consisting of two interceptions, Lefflbine has proved to be a smart and capable quarterback for Saints Football. He has not been alone in this journey, having receivers on the other end that have been consistent every game. Some key offensive players of the season are junior tight end Mitch Gallagher (49 receptions for 499 yards and seven TDs), sophomore wide receiver Vincenzo Ferraro (45 receptions for 585 yards and five TDs), and secret weapon senior defensive back/wide receiver Leondre Simmon (21 catches
and seven TDs). In the run game, senior running backs Maurice Irby and Jake Gnieser have a combined 158 carries totaling at 761 yards and four TDs.
Defensively, the continues to play at a high level in this league. Sophomore linebacker Skyler Williamson finished the season with a solid 93 tackles. He also set a career- high for himself of 18 stops just in this last game against Merchant Marine. Junior defensive lineman Chyron Wallaceendstheregularseason with 66 tackles, 22 for loss, and 11 1⁄2 sacks. His tackles for loss and sack totals are said to be among the nation’s best in each category. In the backfield, junior safety James Grisham, freshman defensive back Israel Squire, and senior Leondre Simon have been effective players, holding a combined for 15 interceptions and 17 pass breakups.
Overall, Saints Football has played phenomenal football this season. They have proven to be a group that competes selflessly in order to achieve greater goals. They will be competing in their first game of the playoffs this weekend against Mount Union, and we wish them the best of luck!