HANOVER, NH (October 13, 2012) - Sacred Heart sophomore Keshaudas Spence (Dorchester, MA) churned out a career-high 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns while the Pioneer defense pitched a second half shut-out on the way to a 27-10 win over Dartmouth College Saturday afternoon on Memorial Field. The Pioneers improved to 2-4 overall and 3-1 all-time against the Ivy League with the win.
Spence rumbled his way to touchdown runs of 10, 14 and 11 yards to post 21-unanswered points as the Pioneers nab their first road win since a 34-25 win at Columbia last October. Defensively, SHU pressured Dartmouth quarterbacks Alex Park and Dalyn Williams all day, registering four sacks while also coming up four turnovers.
SHU (2-4) quarterback Tim Little (Egg Harbor Twp., NJ) finished just nineof-21 for 71 yards but did connect with sophomore tight end Tim Goodwin (Ventor, NJ) on a two-yard score for SHU's first points of the day.
The Big Green took the opening kick-off and put together a 14-play, 52 yard drive that results in a 44-yard field goal by Riley Lyons. From there, the Pioneer defense was stout and held Dartmouth off the scoreboard and to just 181 yards of offense the rest of the afternoon. The only other Big Green points came on a 79-yard kick-off return by Kirby Schoenthaler in the second quarter.
The Pioneers benefited all afternoon from superb field position with an average starting spot of their 46 yard line. After the Dartmouth score, the Pioneers were able to flip the field and on their second drive, starting on the Big Green 43 yard line, they needed just three plays to find pay dirt.
Spence set up the Little to Goodwin touchdown with a 38-yard rumble up the left sidelines, his long run of the day. On the ensuing kick-off, Schoenthaler bolted up the sidelines for 79-yards and made it 10-6 Dartmouth, their final lead of the day.
SHU took the lead on the legs of Spence midway through the second quarter but not before an athletic interception by senior Niko Sierra (Longmeadow, MA). On second and eight, Sierra made a leaping grab of a Park pass at the line of scrimmage and looked headed for six before pulling up and being tackled at the Dartmouth 21 yard line. Just three plays later, Spence busted in from 10 yards out for a 13-10 lead the Pioneers would carry into the break.
The Pioneers took the opening kick-off in the second half and again were able to flip the field position to their advantage. A six-play drive didn't produce an points but SHU punter Robert Shepherd (Groton, CT) pinned Dartmouth on their own seven-yard line. A sack on second down by SHU's Troy Moore (Worcester, MA) and Kellen Sperduto (Oldwick, NJ) forced Dartmouth into a punting situation.
R-Freshman Tyler Dube (Southington, CT) ripped off a 29-yard return and gave the Pioneers the ball on the 22-yard line going in. It took only two plays for Spence to find the endzone, diving for the left pylon with 8:18 left in the third for a 20-10 lead.
The play of the game came early in the fourth quarter as Dartmouth was in the midst of an 11-play drive that looked headed for points. On a second and three on the SHU 15-yard line, Williams found Charlie Storie who looked head to the left corner for a possible score. SHU's Dennis Regan (Philadelphia, PA) coverged on the play and jarred the ball out. The fumble went into the endzone and out of bounds, resulting in a touchback, giving the Pioneers the football back with 14:22 on the clock.
The Pioneers put the game away when they took the ball with 8:57 on the clock and pieced together a nine-play drive that covered 59 yards and took 5:04 off the clock. SHU picked up three first downs on the drive including a 29-yard Spence run that put the ball on the Dartmouth 21-yard line. Facing a third and goal on the 11-yard line, SHU went to Spence and the sophomore delivered, busting through tackles on his way to a third touchdown and a 27-10 lead.
SHU's Regan left no doubt on the ensuing drive picking off Park at midfield to end any threat of a comeback.
Offensively, SHU finished with 231 yards of offenset, 160 coming on the ground. The Pioneers were just three of 12 on third down but held Dartmouth to just five of 16. SHU did not turn the ball over in the win.
Junior linebacker Justin Sexton (Murrieta, CA) posted double digit tackles for the third-straight game, recording 13 total tackles with eight solo stops. Freshman Kellen Sperduto (Oldwick, NJ) turned in a season-high eight tackles, had a pair for losses including a half sack in the win.
SHU will return to Northeast Conference action next week with a trip out to Pittsburgh, PA to take on the Duquesne Dukes. Kick-off is slated for 12 noon.