October 23, 2010

Sacred Heart Snaps Skid with 33-20 Win Over Georgetown Hoyas

Post Game Report - Head Coach Paul Gorham, QB Dale Fink & LB Mike Zambarano

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 23, 2010) – Quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns and place kicker Jesper Fredriksson (Gothenberg, Sweden) tied a school record with four field goals as the Sacred Heart Pioneers ended a six-game losing streak with a 33-20 win over Georgetown on Saturday at Campus Field.  With SHU up 23-13 late in the third quarter, the Pioneer special teams came up with a big play as freshman Chris Nahat (Odessa, FL) blocked a Matt MacZura punt, scooped it up and returned it himself for the game-changing touchdown en route to the win.

Sacred Heart's (2-6 ) Fink completed 22 of 39 passes connecting with junior wide receiver Garry Coles (Southington, CT) on a pair of scores.  Fink moves closer to becoming the Northeast Conference's all-time leader in touchdown passes with 72 for his career.  He is now two away from tying record holder Tim Levcik from Robert Morris.  Coles and senior Mark Uyeno (Setauket, NY) led all Pioneer receivers with five catches each. 

Fredriksson finished the day four-of-five on field goal attempts in the win, hitting from 39, 35, 23 and 27 yards to tie the SHU record for a game.  Fredriksson now shares the mark with former Pioneers Greg Tonzola, who hit four against Siena on Oct. 25, 2003, and Tim Redican who twice accomplished the feat, against Assumption on September 2, 2000 and Robert Morris on October 5, 2002.

The Pioneer defense forced three turnovers as SHU was forced to dig out of an early 10-0 hole on Saturday.  Sacred Heart went three and out on their first two possessions as the Hoya offense took full advantage.  Brett Weiss put Georgetown up 3-0 on their opening drive with a 27-yard field goal and quarterback Scott Darby made it 10-0 with 5:34 left in the first scoring from a yard out on keeper.

Fink and the offense got rolling on their third drive, using an 11-play drive to lead to Fredriksson's first field goal of the afternoon from 39-yards out.  Georgetown turned the ball over on their next two drives as linebacker Chris Mandas (Mission Viejo, CA) forced a Phillip Oladeji fumble and freshman Alex Aitkens (Wood Ridge, NJ) picked off his first pass of the season on the next drive setting SHU up on the Hoya 32-yard line.

The Pioneers needed just one play to capitalize as Fink threw a strike over the middle to Coles who broke a pair of tackles on his way to the end zone, tying the game 10-10.  A three and out gave the Pioneers the ball back right at midfield as Fink used completions of 22 yards to Rich Rossi (Moosic, PA) and 23 yards to Nahat to put his team in first and goal position.  On just the fourth play of the drive Fink drilled another pass to Coles for six and a 17-10 lead with 8:55 left before the half.

Georgetown (3-5) would tack on another Weiss field goal, this time from 32 yards to head to the locker room down 17-13 at the break.  The second half was all Sacred Heart as the Pioneers outscored the Hoyas 16-7 and defensively held the Georgetown offense to five first downs, just six yards rushing and 116 yards of total offense.  SHU running back Marcel Archer (Miami, FL) had just four yards rushing in the first half but ran the ball 15 times for 50 yards in the third and fourth quarters.

The Hoyas went three and out on their first two drives in the third quarter, lost a fumble on a kick-off return and had a punt blocked.  Fredriksson hit from 35 yards for a 20-13 lead with 7:34 on the clock and from 23 yards to push the lead to ten points, 23-13, with 3:21 left.  On Georgetown's third drive, SHU special teams came up with the game swinging play.

Setting up to punt on his own 33 yard line, MacZura had no chance as Nahat burst in untouched, blocked the punt clean, scooped it up at the three yard line and coasted in for six and a 30-23 lead with 25 seconds to go in the quarter.  Fredriksson buried his fourth field goal with 8:38 left in the fourth quarter, this time from 27 yards out for a commanding 33-13 lead as the Pioneers would coast home to their second victory of the season.

Freshman running back Gregory Ibe (Queens, NY) ran for a team-high 68 yards on 11 carries, a 6.2 per carry average.  Defensively, junior linebacker Michael Zambarano (Natick, MA) posted nine tackles while senior Bill O'Brien (Lafayette, NY) notched a pair of sacks.

Saturday also marked the 20th anniversary celebration of the Sacred Heart football program.  Prior to kick-off the inaugural 1991 team was honored.  The 1991 team posted a 5-4 record under then head coach Gary Reho, winning five-straight games with a team compromised of nearly all freshmen.

The Pioneers will play their final road game of 2010 next Saturday as the travel to Monmouth for a Northeast Conference battle.  Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

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