Pioneers Set for Home Opener Saturday Against Lincoln

Pioneers Set for Home Opener Saturday Against Lincoln

LINCOLN (1-0, 0-0) AT SACRED HEART (2-0, 0-0)

Game Notes

GAME 03* Fairfield, CT* 6 PM* CAMPUS FIELD*

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Setting the Scene...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers make their debut on Campus Field for their 2013 home opener Saturday night playing host to the Lincoln University Lions.  The Pioneers are 2-0 to start their season thanks to a pair of road wins at Marist, 37-21, and at Lafayette, 26-24.  SHU notched the program's second win over a Patriot League opponent last weekend on a 42-yard field goal as time expired by rookie kicker Alec Finney.  The Lincoln Lions come to Campus Field fresh off a 33-28 win at Cheyney in their opener.
Series Notes...  This will be the first-ever meeting between Sacred Heart and Lincoln.
- The Pioneers will host Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association members in back-to-back weeks taking on Lincoln Saturday night and Chowan next week.
Last Time Out...  Last week at Lafayette, freshman punter/kicker Alec Finney nailed his first career field goal as time expired from 42 yards away to give SHU a 26-24 win over the Lafayette Leopards in Easton, Pa. R-Freshman RJ Noel led the Pioneers on the game-winning drive from their own 21 with just 2:02 left on the game clock.  Noel threw for 152 yards and a touchdown, while adding another 121 yards and a score on the ground.  Junior running back Keshaudas Spence ran for a career high 168 yards on 18 carries, as SHU ran for 322 yards as a team. The victory was the second for the Pioneer program against a school from the Patriot League.  Their only previous win against the league came in 2010 at home against Georgetown (33-20).

The Head Coaches...  The Pioneers will be led by second year head coach Mark Nofri in 2013.  Beginning his 20th season as a member of the Pioneers coaching staff, Nofri is the longest tenured coach in Sacred Heart program history.  The Pioneers were 2-9 last season with Nofri serving as the interim head coach.  Nofri is also the long time linebackers coach for the Pioneers, turning out several All-Conference and All-American linebackers including Jayson Jarrett '01, Kayode Mayowa '02, Craig Capurso '02, Jon Corto '06 and Chris Mandas '11. Ramon Flanigan is in his first year as head coach of the Lions. Flanagan comes to Lincoln after coaching at Mississippi Valley State and the University of North Texas where he was both an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Scouting the Leopards... The Lions enter this afternoon's contest off of a 33-28 win at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania last Saturday. Quarterback Douglas Cook led the way for the Lions, completing 14 of 21 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Wideout Akeem Jordan caught all three touchdowns from Cook en route to 114 yards receiving on seven catches. After Sacred Heart, Lincoln will travel to take on fellow Northeast Conference member Saint Francis University next Saturday.
Up Next...  Sacred Heart is back at home next Saturday on Homecoming Weekend, playing host to the Chowan Hawks.  Kick-off is scheduled for 1 pm on Campus Field.