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Football Drops Season Opener to Nassau, 41-26

Football (Final)
HVCC 26, Nassau 41
9.1.18

CONTACT: Adam Sopris, a.sopris@hvcc.edu, 518-629-7898 or 518-416-2137
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, September 1, 2018

Hudson Valley Community College football (0-1) opened up the 2018 season with a 41-26 loss to Nassau (2-0) on Saturday, September 1 in Troy, N.Y. 

It was a tale of two halves for the Vikings football program this afternoon as they outscored Nassau 20-7 in the second half. Nassau put up 28 points in the second quarter and took a 34-6 lead over the Vikings at the break. 

Hudson Valley didn't waste any time with the first possession of the game. Freshman quarterback Nik Rango (East Fishkill/Trinity Pawling) ended a 3-play, 76-yard drive in 1:17 when he connected on a pass to sophomore John Daly (Sparkill/Tappen Zee) for the 72-yard touchdown, giving the Vikings the 6-0 lead. 

Nassau responded following a Vikings fumble late in the first quarter. The Lions' Jeremiah Nelson punched in a six-yard touchdown run, tying the game at 6-6 after the first quarter. 

Nassau's Rashad Tucker and Nelson combined to score three touchdowns in the second quarter and expanded the Lions lead over Hudson Valley 34-6. 

The Vikings recovered in the second half and put together several scoring drives, including the final 13 points of the game. Rango added two more passing touchdowns in the second half. He commanded the Vikings offense as the group put together three scoring drives with at least nine offense plays or more. Rango found Daly again for an eight-yard touchdown pass with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, cutting the Lions lead to 34-13. 

Rango had a tremendous collegiate debut in the opening game for the Vikings. He completed 27-of-36 passes for 347 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The last Vikings quarterback to throw over 200-yards with three touchdown passes was Rafael Hidalgo in 2014. 

The Vikings scored twice in the fourth quarter with Rango hitting Camron Abalos (Poughkeepsie/Spackenkill) for the 15-yard score with 3:31 remaining. Abalos finished the day with eight catches for 82-yards to go with his touchdown reception. Later, Halijah McLean (Fairmont, N.C./Fairmont) ended a 9-play, 60-yard drive with a two-yard run through the gut of the Lions defense, bringing the Vikings within two scores, 41-26. 

Daly finished the game with career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns in a game. Daly compiled 212 yards on 13 receptions and added two touchdowns this afternoon against Nassau. Daly now has 20 catches for 302 yards and three touchdowns in two career games against the Lions.

The defense collected two sacks for a loss of 12 yards and Javon Taylor (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) led the Vikings defense with six tackles. Devonte Malone (Brooklyn/Canarsie) added 1.5 of the team's 2.0 sacks in the day. 

Hudson Valley returns to action next Saturday, September 8 when they travel to Buffalo to play Erie at 1 p.m.