FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Sacred Heart football team lost its fourth consecutive game Saturday, falling 29-26 to the Dartmouth Big Green in front of a single-game record football crowd of 5,569 at Campus Field. Two late turnovers kept the Pioneers from being able to tie the Big Green.
For the third consecutive game, Kevin Duke set a new career-high in passing yards. The senior completed 36-of-52 passes for 330 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Duke completed passes to eight different receivers, let by Byron Barney's 10 catches for 93 yards. Ezekiel Ennis had eight receptions for 69 yards and his first career receiving touchdown. CJ Parvelus led the Pioneers defense with 12 tackles and an interception.
Sacred Heart 2-4
The Turning Point...
Trailing 14-7, the Pioneers scored 19 unanswered points to take a 26-14 lead early in the third quarter. The run started with 12:13 to go in the second quarter when Duke threw a prayer into the end zone that turned into a 31-yard touchdown reception by Ennis to tie the score 14-14. SHU took the lead on its next possession, when Duke found Jordan Meachum for a 20-yard touchdown reception to make the score 20-14 with 6:30 left in the half. Josh Freiria made a 46-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Pioneers a 23-14 halftime lead. He then made a 24-yarder on SHU's opening possession of the second half to give the Pioneers a 26-14 lead.
The Big Green got back in the game when a 57-yard punt return by Dylan Mellor gave Dartmouth the ball at the SHU four yardline. On fourth-and-goal from the two, Jack Heneghan found Emory Thompson for a two-yard touchdown pass, making the score 26-21 with 4:22 to play in the third quarter. Dartmouth then took the lead on its first drive of the fourth quarter. Heneghan found Thompson in the end zone for a five-yard pass and score with 12:19 to play, making the score 27-26. The Big Green went for two and converted, with Heneghan finding Drew Hunnicutt in the end zone.
After back-to-back punts, SHU had the ball at its own 35 yardline with 5:47 to go. The Pioneers drove all the way down to the Big Green eight yardline before Kyran McKinney-Crudden intercepted Duke at the Dartmouth two yardline with 3:12 to go. SHU had one last chance to try and at least tie the game, but the Big Green came up with another interception in SHU territory with 0:59 to play.
How They Scored...
14:44 1Q - Dartmouth 7, SHU 0; Jack Heneghan found Drew Hunnicutt down the middle of the field for a 78-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game.
11:05 1Q - SHU 7, Dartmouth 7; The Pioneers drove 80 yards in 10 plays to tie the game 7-7. Duke was 6-for-6 on the drive, connecting with Barney for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
4:56 1Q - Dartmouth 14, SHU 7; The Big Green took back the lead with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Heneghan to Ryder Stone. Stone converted a 4th down in SHU territory to keep the drive alive.
12:13 2Q - SHU 14, Dartmouth 14; SHU turned a CJ Parvelus interception into seven points. With the ball on the Dartmouth 31, Duke heaved a pass to the end zone before getting hit. Ezekiel Ennis caught the prayer in the back of the end zone for his first career touchdown reception.
6:30 2Q - SHU 20, Dartmouth 14; Duke threw his third touchdown pass of the half to give SHU the lead, connecting with Jordan Meachum on a 20-yard pitch and catch. The Big Green blocked the extra point attempt to keep it a six-point game.
0:00 2Q - SHU 23, Dartmouth 14: Josh Freiria connected on a career-long 46-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The Pioneers drove 51 yards in 12 plays, using the last 3:23 of the quarter.
10:27 3Q - SHU 26, Dartmouth 14; Freiria's second field goal of the day was good from 24 yards to open the second half. SHU drove 67 yards in 14 plays and took 4:33 off the clock.
4:22 3Q - SHU 26, Dartmouth 21; The Big Green started the drive at the SHU four yardline after a 57-yard punt return by Dylan Mellor. On fourth-and-goal from the two, Heneghan completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Emory Thompson.
12:19 4Q - Dartmouth 29, SHU 26; Heneghan's fourth touchdown of the game proved to be the game-winner, as competed a five-yard score to Thompson. He then threw to Hunnicutt for the two-point conversion.
Key Stats and Notes...
- Duke's 52 pass attempts tie him with RJ Noel for the fourth-most in a single game in SHU history.
- Barney's 10 receptions were a career-high.
- The previous record for attendance at a single game at Campus Field was 5,080, set Oct. 24, 2015 against CCSU.
- The Pioneers were 11-for-22 on third down, and held Dartmouth to 2-of-12.
The Pioneers go on the road next week to take on Robert Morris. Kickoff is at 12 p.m.