April 16, 2011 - The Sacred Heart football team hosted their annual Red & White Spring Game on Saturday afternoon with the defensive unit coming out on top. The defense forced five turnovers in the game with the offense getting solid performances from Rich Rossi (Moosic, PA) and Gregory Ibe (Queens, NY).
Linebacker Michael Zambarano (Natick, MA) led the defense with nine tackles, two for a loss, and had an interception. Outside linebacker Niko Sierra (Longmeadow, MA) had six tackles and broke up a pass that led to Zambarano's interception. Jean-Daniel Roussel (Pawtucket, RI) halted the offense's first drive, picking off quarterback Luke Wischnowski (Philadelphia, PA) who was looking to throw the ball down the field.
Justin Embler (Cinnaminson, NJ) scooped up a fumble and rumbled 28 yards before getting tackled at the four-yard line, to set up the games first touchdown. Running back Bret Swider (Boca Raton, FL) scored on the offense's first play off the turnover, pushing his way in from four-yards out. setting up Swider's opening score.
One of the biggest question marks for the 2011 Pioneers will be who will replace the departed Dale Fink under center next fall. Wischnowski and Tim Little (Egg Harbor Township, NJ) took the majority of the snaps on Saturday. Wischnowski finished nine-for-21 for 171 yards and two picks while Little completed 14 of 21 passes for 161 yards a touchdown and an interception.
Rossi, who was named All-Northeast Conference last fall, transitions to tight end full time for the fall and had an impressive spring game catching three passes for 131 yards and a score. Rossi hauled in a pass from Little crossing over the middle and bolted up the right sidelines for a 75-yard score. Rossi and Wischnowski hooked up on a 52-yard corner route as well.
Ibe led all rushers on Saturday with 95 yards coming on 11 carries, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. Ibe burst through the middle of the defense, running untouched for a 43-yard touchdown. Wide receiver Garry Coles (Southington, CT) capped the scoring with a five-yard touchdown after making an impressive cut back on an end around.