The Sacred Heart University football team opened the 2014 season with a 28-7 win over visiting Marist College on Campus Field Saturday night. It marks the second consecutive season that the Pioneers have earned a season opening win over the Red Foxes.
Keshaudas Spence (Roxbury, Mass.) rushed for 139 yard on the night and became the program's all-time leading rusher in the process. He finished the evening with 3,104, surpassing Ed Pricolo (2002-05) who finished his career with 3,052.
Marist scored on its opening drive, with its first play from scrimmage being a 78-yard completion from Ed Achziger to Joe Tralli. Two plays later the duo connected for a seven-yard score, to give Marist the 7-0 lead.
Sacred Heart got on the board with its own short drive late in the first quarter. RJ Noel (Lowell, Mass.) hit Tyler Dube (Southington, Conn.) for a 41-yard score to knot the game 7-7 with 3:27 remaining in the opening period. Spence put the Pioneers in front midway through the second quarter, with a one-yard touchdown run.
Marist received the ball to start the second-half, trailing 14-7. The first play from scrimmage was picked-off by Gordon Hill (Sicklersville, N.J.) and returned the ball 40-yards for a touchdown 16 ticks into the third quarter. Noel and Dube hooked-up again on a 12-yard strike with 6:01 to play in the third quarter to wrap-up the scoring for the game.
The Sacred Heart defense held Marist to just 241 total yards of offense, with only 47 yards on the ground. Troy Moore (Worcester, Mass.) and Kevin Barry (River Edge, N.J.) both finished with six tackles, with Barry recording three TFL's, including a sack. SHU broke up six passes and blocked a field goal attempt on the evening.
Spence's 139 yards, on 30 carries, paced a 230-yard effort on the ground for Sacred Heart. Noel carried the ball nine times for 68 yards, as well as going 16-31 in the air for 190 yards. Dube caught 10 of those passes, for 125 yards and two scores.
The Pioneers return to action next Saturday at 6 p.m. when they host Lafayette College.