Pioneers Host Defending Northeast Conference Champs

Pioneers Host Defending Northeast Conference Champs

WAGNER (1-4, 0-0) at SACRED HEART (5-0, 0-0)


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Game Notes

Setting the Scene… The undefeated Sacred Heart football team opens up their Northeast Conference schedule as they play host to the Wagner Seahawks, the defending conference champions. The Pioneers played the Seahawks tough in 2012, with Wagner prevailing 12-3 at Campus Field. Sacred Heart is 7-8 all-time against Wagner with their first meeting coming on September 19, 1998. The Pioneers last defeated Wagner in the final game of the 2013 season by a score of 38-22.

Pioneers in NEC Play...  The 2013 season marks the 16th season of play in the Northeast Conference for Sacred Heart University.

- The Pioneers joined the NEC in 1998 for football.
- SHU holds a 42-60 all-time NEC record.
- The Pioneers won the 2001 NEC Championship with a perfect 8-0 record.
- SHU is coming off a 9th place finish in 2012 with a 1-7 mark.
- The Pioneers were picked to finish 7th in the 2012 NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll

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. Walt Hameline is in his 32nd season at the helm of Wagner Football. In 2012, Hameline led the Seahawks to their first-ever Northeast Conference Championship and a berth into the Division I FCS Championship. Wagner went on to defeat Colgate in the first round of the NCAA's for the program's first ever FCS championship victory. Hameline is also Wagner's Athletic Director.

Scouting the Seahawks… Wagner comes into this afternoon with an overall record of 1-4 and a NEC record of 0-1. Wagner has lost four straight games, including dropping their Northeast Conference opener Saturday afternoon, 47-28 to the Bryant Bulldogs. Wagner was the preseason favorite this season to win back-to-back Northeast Conference championships.  The Seahawks lone win of the 2013 season came against Georgetown in their opening game of the year by a score of 28-21. Wagner is averaging 21.2 points per game and over 160 rushing yards per contest. Wagner running back Dominique Williams ranks third in the conference, already rushing for 530 yards and three touchdowns in five games. Last season, Williams led the conference with 1,268 yards on the ground.
Up Next...  Sacred Heart will host in-state rival Central Connecticut next Saturday at Campus Field.  Last season, the Pioneers defeated CCSU, 34-21, at Campus Field.