LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Sacred Heart football team rallied from two double-digit deficits to tie the Bucknell Bison Saturday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, but a 46-yard field goal by John Burdick on the last play of regulation gave Bucknell a 34-31 win.
Senior quarterback Kevin Duke threw for a career-high 244 yards, completing 14 of 29 passes with a touchdown and two interceptions. Eli Terry led the Pioneers with 67 rushing yards and scored his first career touchdown. Byron Barney had four catches for a season-high 91 yards. Lawrence Nembhard had three catches for 77 yards, including his first career touchdown. Defensively, Kevin Sears had a career-high 16 tackles. CJ Parvelus added 14 tackles as Kevin Barry had 10 stops and a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Turning Point…
Trailing 17-0 late in the second quarter, Sacred Heart (2-2) got on the board with a 34-yard field goal by Josh Freiria to cut the deficit to 17-3 with 1:38 to go. On the ensuing possession, Barry intercepted Bucknell (2-2) quarterback John Chiarolanzio and ran it back 60 yards for a touchdown to make the score 17-10 at halftime.
The Pioneers tied the game on the opening kickoff of the second half, as freshman Ezekiel Ennis ran the kick back 98 yards for his first career touchdown, tying the game 17-17. The Bison took back the lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Joey DeFloria at the 9:18 mark of the third. Early in the fourth, the Bison took a 14-point lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Chad Freshnock that made the score 31-17. SHU responded on its next drive, driving 79 yards in six plays with Terry's 11-yard touchdown run making the score 31-24 with 12:13 remaining.
After two straight stops from the Pioneers' defense, SHU tied the game 31-31 on a 45-yard touchdown strike from Duke to Nembhard. SHU then forced Bucknell to punt on its next possession, getting the ball back with 2:31 to play. On third-and-seven fron the SHU 43 yardline, Duke connected with Ennis on a six-yard pass, coming up one yard short. The Pioneers went for it on fourth down and were stopped, allowing Bucknell to have a chance to win the game. The Bison drove down to the SHU 29 yardline, where Burdick made his game-winning field goal as time expired.
How They Scored…
10:45 1Q – Bucknell 7, SHU 0; The Bison opened the game with a seven-play, 80-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Chiarolanzio connected with Jack Horan on a 38-yard touchdown pass.
9:04 1Q – Bucknell 14, SHU 0; After a Jordan Meachum fumble gave Bucknell the ball at the SHU 16, Joey DeFloria scored on a 12-yard touchdown run.
11:43 2Q – Bucknell 17, SHU 0; The SHU defense held Bucknell to zero yards after a fumble at the 17. John Burdick connected on a 30-yard field goal.
1:38 2Q – Bucknell 17, SHU 3; The Pioneers capped off a 12-yard, 73-yard drive with a 34-yard Josh Freiria field goal.
0:58 2Q – Bucknell 17, SHU 10; Barry's second-career interception return for a touchdown got the Pioneers within seven before halftime. Barry returned the pick of Ciarolanzio 60 yards for the score.
14:47 3Q – SHU 17, Bucknell 17; Ennis returns the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for a touchdown. It was his first career kick return touchdown.
9:18 3Q – Bucknell 24, SHU 17; The Bison turned an Aaron Brown interception into seven points as DeFloria scored his second touchdown on a three-yard plunge.
14:19 4Q – Bucknell 31, SHU 17; Bucknell capped a 10-play, 48-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Freshnock.
12:13 4Q – Bucknell 31, SHU 24; Terry scored his first career touchdown on an 11-yard run. Duke's 47-yard completion to Byron Barney set up the score.
4:12 4Q – SHU 31, Bucknell 31; Duke threw a 45-yard strike to Nembhard to tie the game. The senior opened the quick two-play drive with a 16-yard completion to Barney.
0:00 4Q – Bucknell 34, SHU 31; After two straight Pioneer timeouts, Burdick makes a 46-yard field goal as time expires to give the Bison the win.
Key Notes and Stats
- This is now the second straight season SHU has had a kick return of at least 98 yards for a touchdown. Nate Chavious returned a kick 99 yards for a score at Wagner last year.
- Barry scored his second career touchdown in Saturday night's game. He had an interception return for a touchdown in last season's win at Stony Brook.
- SHU did not have a drive longer than 3:00 in the game.
- The Pioneers had four players with double-digit tackles (Sears, Parvelus, Barry, and Khaamal Whitaker).
The Pioneers return to Campus Field next Saturday to host rival Central Connecticut for Homecoming. Kickoff for SHU's Northeast Conference opener is at 5 p.m., with the