SHU Pioneers Open with 41-20 Win at Assumption

SHU Pioneers Open with 41-20 Win at Assumption

Aug. 30, 2007

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WORCESTER, Mass. (August 30, 2007) - Sacred Heart rookie quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) completed 16 of 25 passes for 238 yards and four scores in his collegiate debut to lead the Pioneers to a season-opening 41-20 win at Assumption College Thursday night. The red-shirt freshman's four scoring strikes tied the Sacred Heart school record for touchdown passes in a game.

The Greyhounds (0-1) and the 2,109 fans in attendance may have had some early thoughts of an upset after Assumption took the opening kick-off and then proceeded to march 80 yards down the field scoring on a three yard plunge by sophomore tailback and Trumbull, CT native Jay Youngblood to take the 7-0 lead.

From there it was all Sacred Heart (1-0) as Fink led the Pioneers on four first half scoring drives. After a short kick on the ensuing kickoff, the SHU offense took control on the Assumption 48 yard lone. After a quick first down, the Pioneers faced a third-and-eleven from the 38 yard line when Fink found Joey Henley (Kent, WA) on a deep post route and the senior took it in for six.

The SHU defense found their legs on the Greyhounds second drive, forcing a three and out and putting Fink and Pioneers back on the field. Facing another third and long situation, Fink was flushed from the pocket and threw on the run, looking for a streaking Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) along the right sideling. The ball just made it over the hand of the Greyhound corner Matt Klaskin as Tedesco made a twisting one-handed grab falling into the end zone for the score.

SHU made it 21-7 on their next possession as senior Jason Payne (Cortlandt Manor, NY) took a handoff to start the second quarter and cut back left for a 24 yard score. From there, the Pioneers offense struggled some on their next two possesions, giving the Greyhounds a chance to get back in it. A roughing the passer penalty on third down set Assumption up on the Pioneer 44 yard line but senior receiver Jake Beers missed an opportunity to cut the lead to one score, dropping a sure touchdown in the end zone. SHU's defense held, and after a broken up screen pass by junior safety Steve Young (Brooklyn, NY) for a loss of eight, the Greyhounds failed to convert on fourth down.

After another Pioneer punt, the defense stood their ground and forced their second three and out of the half, giving the ball back to the offense with 1:03 on the clock. Fink directed the Pioneers down the field and following a Greyhound roughing the passer penalty, he and Tedesco hooked up on a 14-yard strike over the middle for a 28-7 lead at the half. The rookie signal caller had a stellar first half, completing 13-20 for 195 yards and three scores.

The Pioneers squashed any hopes of a Greyhound comeback as Fink led a nine play drive to start the second half, converting a pair of third downs, before Payne took it in from 19 yards out for his second score of the day. Fink led the final scoring drive of the day for SHU on their next possession, another nine play jaunt that covered 61 yards. Fink and Tedesco hooked up for the third time on a nine yard score with the big play coming on a 30-yard pitch and catch to red-shirt freshman Tony Patterson (Groton, CT) on the left sideline to set up the score.

On the day, Tedesco finished with five catches for 66 yards and the three scores, tying the school mark for touchdown receptions in a game. Payne finished with 76 yards (9.4 per carry) on the ground with teammate Evin Jones (Pennsauken, NJ) picking up 89 yards on 16 carries.

Defensively, the Pioneers were led by freshman Matt Dorosh (Beacon Falls, CT) finished with a game-high nine tackles, six solo. The Pioneer defense held Assumption to just five of 14 on third down in the win and just 58 yards on the ground.

SHU racked up 487 yards of total offense and converted 10 of their 15 third down opportunities.

SHU will return home next weekend to play host to La Salle University, the first ever match-up between the two schools. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.