Can you name the only Northeastern Football Alliance team to beat the Troy Fighting Irish?
Before Saturday, that was a trick question.
Oneonta High graduate Noble Champen threw four touchdown passes for the Oneonta City Stallions, who secured a 37-34 NFA victory over Troy when Sidney graduate Jimmy Kazalski kicked a 24-yard field goal at Hartwick College’s Wright Stadium with 11 seconds left.
“I told the team that we’re no longer going to be able to sneak up on people,” said Stallions co-owner Tom Terry, whose fifth-year adult football franchise ruined Troy’s 38-game winning streak against NFA opponents. The three-time defending league champions followed three straight undefeated seasons with a 2-0 start to 2013. “We used to be the hunters. Now we’ll be the hunted.”
Although Champen played quarterback for the majority of the game, it was Stallions newcomer Ahmed Hassanien who set the tone with a 60-yard TD pass to Zach Blocker on the first play from scrimmage.
“He just came out this past week for us,” Terry said of Hassanien, a Binghamton High graduate who served St. John Fisher as a back-up quarterback in 2011 and 2012.
Champen soon took over at quarterback and hit Jake Trotter for a 17-yard TD pass in the second quarter for Oneonta City (2-1), which trailed, 20-13, at halftime.
“We said to the guys (at halftime) that we finally have this team in a dogfight and we’ve got them in our pen,” Terry said.
Champen threw TD passes of 15 yards to Trotter and 11 yards to Mike Tandle in the third quarter, but Troy (2-1) also scored 14 points in the period to take a 34-27 lead into the fourth.
Champen struck again in the final period, connecting with Jason Carnell for a 14-yard TD pass that helped tie the score at 34.
That set up Kazalski for the go-ahead field goal, which left Troy with 6 seconds to make a comeback.