American International Football Falls to West Chester in NCAA Championship First Round

American International Football Falls to West Chester in NCAA Championship First Round


November 23, 2013


Courtesy of American International Athletics Communications

WEST CHESTER, Pa. – The American International College football team fell in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament to West Chester on Saturday, 38-7.

With the loss, American Int'l finishes its impressive season at 9-3 overall.

Yellow Jackets junior quarterback and Northeast-10 Most Valuable Player Kevin Arduino (pictured) finished 17-of-28 through the air for 167 yards and no touchdowns. He also ran for 17 yards and a score.

American Int'l won the toss and deferred the opening kickoff. The Rams returned that opening kick 54 yards to the Yellow Jackets' 44 and used just four plays to get on the board 7-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, freshman Evan Graham returned it 68 yards to the Ram 11 yard line where junior Maurice Easterling and Arduino worked the last 11 yards on the ground before Arduino punched it in from inches out.

With junior kicker Jared Hulsey's  extra point the Yellow Jackets had tied it up at 7-7 four minutes into the game.

The two would hold each other the rest of the first. American Int'l won the possession battle 8:44 to 6:16 in that first frame.

From then on, it was all WCU. McCartney completed a 42-yard touchdown to Eddie Elliot to put his team up 14-7 and with 19 seconds left on the clock he made it a two-possession game with a 31-yard pass to Erick Brundidge.

The score gave the Rams clear control and came out in the second with the same power, connecting for two more scores and a field goal.

After American Int'l's opening drive, WCU forced seven punts and two forced over on downs. They also picked off Arduino in the second, stalling Yellow Jackets momentum and seizing control.

The Rams did a good job of keeping the potent AIC rushing attack stalled. Easterling could only manage 36 yards, Arduino just 17.

Junior receiver Stephan Davis caught five passes for 54 yards.

Senior linebacker Joel Bowen led the Yellow Jacket defense with 11 tackles, eight solo, while defensive back Daquan Holmes also tallied 11 tackles.

Junior Jaquawne Simpkins made five tackles and picked off McCartney. Also getting ahold of a Ram pass was senior Shaquille Leggett.

American Int'l ends a terrific season that saw them in the NCAA's for the first time since 2008.