ORANGE – In his rookie season, Jason Alford played a big part in helping the New York Giants beat the then-undefeated New England Patriots to win Super Bowl 42 in Glendale, Ariz., eight years ago.
As part of its celebration of Super Bowl 50 this year, the National Football League has given a “Golden Football” trophy to Orange High School, Alford’s alma mater, in recognition of his participation in Super Bowl history.
The “Golden Football” has been placed in the OHS trophy showcase.
Alford, a 2002 OHS graduate, sacked quarterback Tom Brady with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl to help ruin the Patriots’ bid at completing an undefeated season, as the Giants won, 17-14. Along with Alford’s sack, the game featured several memorable moments, most notably David Tyree’s amazing ‘helmet catch’ on a drive that led to Plaxico Burress’ game-winning touchdown catch from quarterback Eli Manning, who was named Super Bowl MVP, with 39 seconds left in the game.
After receiving All-State honors at OHS, Alford continued his career at Penn State University in which he was Third Team All-American and All-Big Ten. The defensive tackle, who received his degree in integrative arts, was drafted by the Giants in the third round in 2007.
Alford, also the Giants’ long snapper, saw his role increased in his second year with the Giants, as he played in all 16 games. But as he was getting ready for the 2009 season, Alford suffered a torn MCL during a pre-season game against the Chicago Bears and missed the entire season.
Alford was waived by the Giants in September 2010. He signed with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks before playing with the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL, helping the team to the 2011 UFL Championship victory over the Las Vegas Locos.
According to his Linkedin profile, Alford, 32, is a Content Creator for FanDuel and the owner of Championship Football Training, an organization that develops community enrichment activities, camps, seminars, and trainings geared towards empowering students in grades K-12 through the use of sports.
OHS vice-principal/athletics Mo Abdelaziz praised Alford for his achievements.
“We were just extremely excited to receive the trophy on behalf of Jason Alford, who continues to be a role model in the city of Orange,” said Abdelhaziz. “I truly believe he will continue to do great things. It’s a commemorative moment for the school, because I don’t believe there are many superstars attend their high school and to be honored 10 years later for their performances and what they did…. We are just blessed to have him. He is part of our Hall of Fame at Orange High School, and this is just another award that goes along with all the other accolades that he has had.”
Abdelaziz said Alford occasionally visits OHS and head football coach Randy Daniel. Abdelaziz noted how Daniel groomed Alford “into the man that he is today and who continues to come by and treat coach Daniel as a father. Whatever he can help to assist young athletes like himself, he’s here to do it, at any given time. We’re just blessed to have a young man like that (as) a part of our community.”