Pioneers Fall in NEC Opener, 27-14 at Monmouth

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (September 22, 2012) – For the second-straight week, the Sacred Heart football team was shut-out in the second half, losing their Northeast Conference opener 27-14 at Monmouth University Saturday afternoon on Kessler Field.  The Pioneers fall to 0-3 (0-1 NEC) to start the season while the Hawks earn their third-straight win and are now 3-1 and 2-0 in the NEC.

The Pioneers (0-3, 0-2) struggled running the football all day, being held to just 42 yards on 23 carries in the loss.  SHU quarterback Tim Little (Egg Harbor Twp., NJ) completed 18-of-33 passes for 199 yards, hooking up with r-sophomore Robert Dim (Sicklerville, NJ) on a 33-yard touchdown.  Little did throw three interceptions, matching his career-high.

The Hawks (3-1, 2-0) got a fine day from their r-senior quarterback Kyle Frazier who threw for 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Junior wideout Lamar Davenport hauled in nine passes for 105 yards in the win.  Defensively, sophomore free safety Pat Gray led the way with eight tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Monmouth opened up a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.  Frazier led a seven play drive that he capped with a 15-yard toss to Tristan Roberts for six on the Hawks second possession, coming off Little's first interception of the day.  The Hawks scored their second touchdown on the second play of the second quarter as wide receiver Eric Sumlin took and end-around and snuck inside the pylon on the left side to cap an 11-play, 87 yard drive for a 14-0 lead.

The Pioneers answered with 4:25 left in the first half at Little found Dim on a wide-receiver screen to the right.  Dim broke one tackle and ran away from the defense for six, cutting the score. Dim finished the day with a career best six catches for 108 yards.  The Pioneers got the ball with 2:28 left in the first half and put together a drive that took them down to the MU 21-yard line. 

A Dan Sullivan sack of Little dropped the Pioneers back and after a delay game penalty SHU was staring a fourth and 19 with second left.  Little heaved one toward the end zone where Gray picked off the pass right at the goal line.  SHU's Rock Tate (Lantana, FL) forced a fumble by Gray and the Pioneers caught a huge break as r-freshman Tyler Dube (Southington, CT) jumped on the football for a touchdown and a tie score at the half 14-14.

Once again the second half was costly for the Pioneers as the Hawks posted 13-unanswered points over the final 30 minutes for the win.  The Hawks took the opening kick-off and produced an 11-play drive that resulted in an Eric Spillane 37 yard field goal.  A pair of Pioneer three and outs followed and Frazier answered with an eight-play drive ending with a strike to Roberts for six and a 24-14 lead.  Spillane tacked on a 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

SHU's Justin Sexton (Murrieta, CA) finished with eight tackles, six solo.  Defense lineman Chaz Partosan (Willimantic, CT) and Troy Moore (Worcester, MA) each had 1.5 sacks in the loss.

The Pioneers will play their first home game of 2012 next Saturday when they play host to Central Connecticut State on Homecoming weekend.  Kickoff is at 12 noon and the game is live on Fox College Sports and ESPN3

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx