November 15, 2012

Pioneers Close Season at Saint Francis (PA)

SACRED HEART (2-8, 1-6 NEC) VS. SAINT FRANCIS (4-6, 3-4 NEC)

Game 11 * Loretto, PA * DeGol Field * 12:00 pm

Video * Live Stats

Game Notes

Setting the Scene...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers head to Saint Francis (PA) to close out the 2012 season.  SHU is looking to end the year by snapping a four-game losing streak and avoiding a 1-7 NEC mark.  The Pioneers are coming off a 21-17 loss at home to Robert Morris last week where they saw a 17-6 fourth quarter lead erased by the Colonals.  RMU's Jeff Sinclair tossed the winning touchdown to Nick Groat on fourth and one from the SHU two-yard line with 35 seconds to play.  The SFU Red Flash are coming into the season finale off a 45-31 win at Monmouth last week.  Saint Francis got their first ever win at Monmouth and in the process, set a new Division I school record for wins.

Series Notes...  Saturday is the 17th meeting between the Pioneers and Red Flash.

- The Pioneers are an identical 5-3 against SFU both at home and on the road.

- SHU set a new Division I program record with 60 points and broke the all-time mark for yards gained with 588 in the 60-45 win at home last season.

- Keshaudas Spence and Greg Moore became the first running back tandem in school history to both exceed 100 rushing yards in a game.  Spence finished with 124 yards and four scores while Moore checked in with 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

- The two sides combined to break a NCAA FCS record by scoring 74 points in the second half, the largest-ever total in a half.

- The Pioneers last trip to Saint Francis results in a 41-0 loss.   The 41-point loss was the largest margin of defeat by a Pioneer team since a 49-8 loss at home to Monmouth on October 6, 2007.

Pioneers in NEC Play...  The 2012 season marks the 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference for Sacred Heart University.

- The Pioneers joined the NEC in 1998 for football.

- SHU holds a 42-58 all-time NEC record.

- The Pioneers won the 2001 NEC Championship with a perfect 8-0 record.

- SHU is coming off 6th (t) place finish in 2011 with a 3-5 mark.

- The Pioneers were picked to finish 8th in the 2012 NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll

The Head Coaches...  The Pioneers will be lead by interim head coach Mark Nofri in 2012.  Beginning his 19th season as a member of the Pioneers coaching staff, Nofri is the longest tenured coach in Sacred Heart program history.  He will lead the team with Head Coach Paul Gorham on medical leave.  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.  Chris Villarrial is finishing his third season as the head coach at Saint Francis University.  Villarrial was a three-time All-American at Indiana (Pa.) and was a draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 1996.  He played 11 seasons in the NFL for the Bears and Buffalo Bills.

Up Next...  The 2012 season comes to a close following today's game.