Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-6, 0-5 Northeast Conference) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (3-4, 2-2 Patriot League)
Game #8- Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 1:00 pm - Fairfield, Conn. - Campus Field (4,000)
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers play host to the Georgetown Hoyas on "Family Weekend". The Pioneers saw their losing streak his six-straight after falling 37-17 at Duquesne last weekend. SHU takes a week off from Northeast Conference play welcoming the Hoyas from the Patriot League to Campus Field. Sacred Heart will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the football program on Saturday and will honor the inaugural 1991 team before kickoff. The Hoyas come in at 3-4 overall having lost their last three games. Georgetown took on fellow Northeast Conference member Wagner two weeks ago and lost in double overtime, 22-16.
The Sacred Heart - Georgetown Series... Today's game is the first meeting between the two schools.
Pioneers vs. the Patriot League... Sacred Heart is 0-3 against teams from the Patriot League. The Pioneers have twice lost to Holy Cross, both on the road, falling 56-21 in the 2005 season opener and 52-21 last season. The Pioneers lost at home to Lafayette, 25-14, in the 2006 season opener at home.
SHU in the NEC... The Pioneers are in their 13th season of play in the Northeast Conference this fall. SHU holds a 37-53 record in NEC competition since joining the league in 1998. The Pioneers won their only league championship during the 2001 campaign, finishing a perfect 8-0. SHU finished second to Robert Morris in 2000, going 7-1 in the league. The Pioneers are coming off a seventh place finish in 2009 with a 2-6 conference mark.
Up Next... SHU will play their final road game of the season next Saturday, October 30th when they travel to Monmouth.
The Head Coaches... Sacred Heart head coach Paul Gorham (New Hampshire '84) is in his seventh season on the Pioneer sideline. Gorham was named the school's seventh head coach in June of 2004 and owns a 26-44 record in his seven year career. Prior to becoming the Pioneer's head coach, Gorham had stops at UMass, Brown, New Haven and his alma mater New Hampshire. Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly (Springfield '82) is in his fifth season on the sidelines and owns an 8-42 career mark. Kelly has had assistant coaching stops at Navy, Marshall, Tulane, Syracuse, Dartmouth, Northeastern, Bowdoin College and Southern Connecticut State University, where he earned a master's degree in physical education.
Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart football team suffered their sixth-straight loss falling at Duquesne 37-17 last Saturday. The Dukes took advantage of a pair of first quarter turnovers on special teams by the Pioneers to build what would prove to be an insurmountable 21-3 early lead. The Pioneers out gained Duquesne offensively but were hurt by three turnovers in the loss. After the Dukes scored on their opening possession, the Pioneers responded with a scoring drive of their own on their first possession of the game, as SHU quarterback Dale Fink engineered a seven play drive to put his team in field goal range. Place kicker Jesper Fredriksson, who missed three field goals a week ago at Bryant, buried a 42-yard attempt with 5:54 left in the first quarter. From there, a pair of turnovers on special teams proved costly for Sacred Heart. Facing a fourth and two on their own 48-yard line, the SHU punter Robert Shepard mishandled the snap and saw his fumble scooped up by defensive lineman Thaimu Bangura and returned 38-yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, running back Marcel Archer took the kick at his own 10-yard line and faking a reverse; he made his way out to the 49-yard line but was stripped of the football. The fumble was recovered by Duquesne and on the next play Sean Patterson dropped back and hit Dave Williams down the middle of the field for six and a 21-3 lead in the span of just 21 seconds. Fink hit on his longest scoring throw of the season to cut the lead to 24-10, hooking up with wide receiver Garry Coles on a 49-yard strike with 7:39 left before half. The Dukes got the final points of the half as Eric Duale buried a 23-yard field goal for a 27-10 lead. Duquesne's Larry McCoy capped an eight-play drive with a seven-yard touchdown run extending the Duke lead to 34-10 with 9:03 left in the third quarter. McCoy finished with 122 yards rushing in the win. The Pioneers finished off their scoring as Archer rumbled his way to a 34-yard touchdown, his team-leading 10th score on the year. Archer finished with a productive afternoon, rushing the ball 14 times for 84 yards while also adding 142 yards on six kickoff returns. Fink threw for 258 yards completing 24-of-42 passes with a touchdown and an interception in the loss. SHU finished with 370 yards of total offense to Duquesne's 353.
Celebrating 20 Years of Pioneer Football... The 2010 season marks the 20th anniversary of football at Sacred Heart University. During today's family Weekend celebration, Sacred Heart will pay special recognition to the inaugural 1991 team that posted an impressive 5-4 record under Head Coach Gary Reho. Returning to Campus Field for Saturday's celebration will be former Pioneers from that 1991 team: Mark Zuccerella, Marc Scacciaferro, Stephen Fordyce, Kevin Carroll, Dave DiVincenzo, William Johnson, Ron Stopkoski, Vernon Cox, James Gibbons, Josh Cole, Tim Aucoin, Tim Galligan, Thomas Sperger, Brian Goodmond, Darren Fleury, Glenn Frazier, John Wells, Marco Soto, Paul Wilson, Gilbert Jennings, David Le Sage, Rodney DuBose, Troy Young, William Girolomoni, Brian Ihlefeld, Tim Ihlefeld, Keith Zingler and Kevin Barrett.
Fink closing in on NEC Mark... R-Senior quarterback Dale Fink is closing in on the Northeast Conference's all-time record for touchdown passes. The senior's 72 scoring strikes rank him second behind former Robert Morris great Tim Levcik's 76 TD tosses. Saint Francis (PA)'s Anthony Doria ranks third with 61. Fink became the fourth passer in league history to eclipse the 7,000 yard mark and heads into Saturday with 7,479 career yards. Fink ranks third on the NEC career passing yards list, 333 yards out of second (Brian Boland, Monmouth - 7,812). Doria owns the record with 8,544 career yards for the Red Flash.
Streak Hits Six-Straight... Since opening the season with a 28-25 win at Marist, the Pioneers have dropped six-straight heading into Saturday's match-up with Georgetown. The current streak ties the longest losing streak for SHU under head coach Paul Gorham. The Pioneers dropped six-straight during the 2006 season (2-9). The longest losing streak since SHU joined the Northeast Conference stands at eight in-a-row back in 1999 when the Pioneers finished 2-9 under then coach Tom Radulski.
Nose for the Endzone... Senior running back Marcel Archer ranks third in the Northeast Conference in scoring on the year. Archer has 10 total touchdowns, seven rushing and three receiving. He rang up a 34-yard score in last week's lost to Duquesne, the longest touchdown run this season by a Pioneer and the longest of his career at SHU.
Coles Settling in at Wide Receiver... Junior Garry Coles made the switch full-time this season and after battling early season injuries, the junior is now healthy and making an impact at his new position. Coles is coming off a season-high four catch, 73 yard performance at Duquesne. Coles caught a 49-yard touchdown from Dale Fink, the longest scoring pass play on the season for the Pioneers. Coles is fourth on the team with 15 catches for 219 yards. His 14.6 yards per catch leads the team.