By John Stoutenburg ’95
This year’s Alumni game was composed of 5 halves that played out over 100 minutes under sunny Binghamton skies. The Devils owned the lead for nearly 80 minutes and dominated the Alumni squad in most phases of the game for much of the day. The Alumni squad, with a seemingly endless supply of players and fresh legs, was able to wear down the beleaguered Devils in the 4th and 5th halves to seal the victory. They took their first lead of the game at the 90 minute mark and kept it until the final whistle.
The first half was tightly contested and well played. The squads vied for ball control and field position for 10 minutes before the Devils drew first blood. Outgoing President Matt Montalvo broke free near the Devils sideline and scampered the final 15 meters unscathed before touching down for the first points of the day. The conversion was missed. Devils 5 Alumni 0. The Alumni squad answered back 5 minutes later with a strong run by lock Greg Aguele as he joined in on a wing overload and powered into the try zone. Conversion missed; leaving the score tied at 5.
The second and thirds halves were dominated by the Devils. Flyhalf Spencer Mendelson scored the next try to bring the tally to 10-5. Spencer’s play was exceptional on both sides of the ball and he would go on to be named the Devil’s MVP of the game. At the 35 minute mark, Nick Palazzolo broke free in back line play and raced the final 20 meters untouched to bring the Devils up 15-5. 2 minutes later the Alumni answered back as Cody Morton touched down
followed by a successful conversion. Devils 15 Alumni 12. The final points of the second half came from Devils team leader, hard hitting senior Evan Haber. The try was converted Devils 22 Alumni 12.
The Devils opened up a huge lead in the 3rd half by scoring 4 unanswered tries as their backs repeatedly broke long runs through a porous Alumni wing. Mark Arditio scored the first unanswered Devil try. Devil Chris “War Turtle” Mallison then scored back to back tries. With failed conversions, the Devils led 37 – 12. An ill fated pop kick from the Alumni wing toward the Devil backs led to a possession exchange and ultimately James McKenna broke free for the next Devil try. Devils 42 Alumni 12. The final score of the 3rd quarter came to the Alumni squad. With the Devils on their heals as they retreated off a penalty, Pat Forde advanced the ball into the Devils, a ruck ensued and the scantily clad Eric Pulieo emerged with the ball, carrying it in for a try. Failed conversion. Devils 42 Alumni 17.
In the fourth half, the Alumni backs returned to dominance when they scored 3 consecutive tries and 19 points leaving the score at 42-36. Noah Reichman, Cody Morton, and TC Sciortino each scored one try. Two of the 3 tries were successfully converted. Devils 42, Alumni 36.
The 5th half began with a Devil score as Spencer dished to Shag (?) [sorry, I didn’t get the name on this one]. Failed conversion. D 47 A 36. Pulieo would answer back for the Alumni with his second try of the day. Failed conversion D 47 A 41. From within the Devil half of the field, Devil back Ryan Garrigan broke free and beat scrumhalf Joe Kusnick in a footrace to the try zone for the Devils final points of the game. D 52 – A 41. Seasoned Alumni forward Dr. Albert Rizzo found his way into the end zone next for the Alumni squad. Failed conversion 52-46. Coming off of series of strong forward play, “Buffalo Bill” Heatherington carried the ball out of a maul, touching down for a try. With a successful conversion by Brian Pinto, the Alumni team took the lead 53-52. Pinto would be named the Alumni MVP of the match. With his boot he converted a number of the Alumni tries and was instrumental in the Alumni wing’s successful ball movement in the 4th and 5th halves. The final points of the game came when Alumni big man, lock Eric Lewis-Clark punched the ball in for a try.
Final score: Alumni 58 Devils 52.
Congratulations to all the graduating seniors. We hope to see you all back next year and look forward to playing with you as alumni. Good luck to next years Devil squad. Thanks to all the Devils and alumni (there are many) who put in time and effort to make this weekend a success once again.