Niko Sierra (Longmeadow, MA) led the Pioneer defense in a second half shutout of defending NEC Champion Robert Morris en route to being selected the Northeast Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week. The 6-foot-3 outside linebacker logged six tackles, 1.0 sack, two interceptions and one pass break-up, leading a unit that held the Colonials to 239 yards of total offense throughout the game.
Sierra produced the first big play for Sacred Heart midway through the first quarter. He picked off a pass that was intended for All-American tight end Shadrae King with RMU holding a 7-0 lead and facing a 3rd-and-6 from its own 15-yard, putting the Pioneers in position for their first score of the game. Sierra also single-handedly shot down any hope of a Robert Morris fourth-quarter comeback. With RMU looking to make up a 24-13 deficit and nearing midfield early on in the final period, the third-year Pioneer sacked Jeff Sinclair on a 3rd-and-5 play. Sierra's second interception of the game ended a Colonials' scoring threat on a 3rd-and-Goal play from Sacred Heart's 9-yard line.
Sierra and the Pioneers look for back-to-back road victories next weekend as they travel to Staten Island, NY to take on the Wagner Seahawks.