ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Five members of the 2011 Erie Community College football team have announced their intentions to continue their education and playing careers.
They are: Brian Abel, East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Pierre Blake, Elizabeth City (Md.) State; Jonathan Connors, Central Connecticut State; Matt Knotts, Indiana University (Pa.); and Vince Tobia, Edinboro, Pa.
Here is a brief recap of their ECC careers:
Brian Abel –Linebacker: Appeared in nine games for the 2011 Kats, recording 24 total tackles (11 solo/13 assists). He made two tackles for loss (10 yards). Abel recovered a fumble against Hudson Valley CC (10/1). He assisted on a sack against nationally ranked Dean College (10/15) and made five tackles against both ASA (10/22) and Milford Academy (10/29).
Pierre Blake - Defensive Back: Finished third on the 2011 team with 46 total tackles (30 solo/16 assists). He intercepted two passes and broke up four others. First interception came against Alfred State (9/17) to seal the win. Blake also had an interception and had a 41-yard return vs. ASA (10/22) to go with a team-high nine tackles against the Avengers. In 2010, Blake, recorded six solo tackles in eight games as a key special team performer. He recorded a fumble against Alfred State (9/18) and made a season-high three tackles against Louisburg (9/4).
Jonathan Connors - Defensive Line: A captain for the 2011 Kats, he appeared in all 10 games and ranked ninth with 28 tackles (15 solo/13 assists). Connors made five tackles for loss of 32 yards. He had a sack against Louisburg College (9/3) for loss of 19 and recorded a season-high seven tackles against Dean College (10/15). In 2010, he appeared in six games and recorded nine tackles (six solo/three assists). Connors made three tackles for loss of 16 yards and was in on 1.5 quarterback sacks. In college debut, he recovered a fumble vs. Louisburg (9/2) and had four tackles against Hurricanes.
Matt Knotts - Defensive Line: Knotts spent time on both the offensive and defensive lines with the Kats. In 2011, he sitched to defensive line and started all 10 games on his way to being named an All-Northeast Football Conference third-team selection. Knotts recorded 24 total tackles (8 solo/16 assists) and made five tackles for loss of 23 yards. He sacked two quarterbacks. Knotts made a season-high seven stops against nationally ranked Dean College (10/15). His sacks came against the conference champion Bulldogs and in the Region III Championship game (11/12). In 2010, Knotts started seven games on offensive line.
Vince Tobia - Offensive Line: Started all 10 games and helped pave way for two All-NEFC and All-Region III running backs. The ECC run game posted four 100-yard efforts and two other individual performances of 90-plus yards. He was honored for academic and athletic accomplishments as a 2011 Football Scholar-Athlete by the Western New York Amateur Football Alliance. In 2010, he appeared in four games, making three solo tackles.
Other ECC student-athletes will be announced at a later date.