Sept. 12, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. (September 12, 2009) - Sacred Heart sophomore Garry Coles (Southington, CT) set a new school record with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown but the Pioneers were dealt a 52-21 loss at the College of Holy Cross Saturday afternoon. Coles finished the day with 262 all-purpose yards in the loss as SHU falls to 0-2 to start the year.
Sacred Heart (0-2) senior wide receiver Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) tied his own school record by hauling in 11 catches for 100 yards and a score in the loss. SHU quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) completed 30 passes for the second-straight week going 30-for-53 for 272 yards, a score and two picks. His 53 attempts sets a new school record he previously shared with former Pioneer Tyler Arciaga at 47.
The Crusaders (2-0) took the opening kickoff and wasted little time in taking control with 28-straight point before Coles' 99-yard jaunt. HC quarterback Dominic Randolph engineered scoring drives his team's first three-possessions, running in the first two touchdowns on the afternoon from a yard and nine yards out, respectively. Running back Matt Bellomo closed out the first quarter with a three-yard score to make it 21-0. On the ensuing kickoff Coles appeared to give the Pioneers the first of what proved to be a few sparks Saturday afternoon, breaking away for a 90-yard return for six only to see it negated by a holding call.
After Eddie Houghton made it 28-0 Holy Cross at the eight minute mark of the second quarter, Coles made lightening strike twice, bursting up the right sideling on his way to a 99-yard return, running his way into the Pioneer record book. Coles' 99-yard jaunt eclipses the longest return in school history set by Scott Warman who ran one back 95 yards against Stony Brook on October 2, 1993. The play was the second longest scoring play in SHU history, falling just one yard short of a 100-yard interception return by Bill Johnston against Assumption on October 16, 1993.
SHU fed off the momentum shifting play and forced a quick three and out defensively giving the Pioneer offense a chance to get back on the field. Fink found his rhythm and put together a 13-yard drive that was capped by Coles who plunged in from a yard out to make it 28-14 with 1:58 left before the half. On the day, Coles ran for 82 yards on 15 carries (5.5 ypr) and also caught three balls for 28 yards, including a 19-yard diving effort on the right sideline to set up his own score.
Randolph orchestrated a quick 10-play drive to produce points before the half, taking his team 50-yards down the field to set p a Rob Dornfried 34-yard field goal for a 31-14 lead at the break. Randolph, who finished 20-of-38 for 274 yards and two scores, hit Bill Edger to open the scoring in the third quarter to put his team in front 38-14 but SHU found a way to respond once again.
After a fumble recovery gave the Pioneers the ball on their 44-yard line, Fink took the team down the field once again this time hooking-up with Tedesco from six yards out to pull SHU within 38-21. Randolph put any thoughts of a Pioneer comeback to rest with 9:47 left in the fourth, finding Luke Chmielinski on a 16-yard strike for a 45-21 lead. The Crusader scoring drive was set up after a fumbled punt set them on the SHU 30-yard line. Back-up quarterback Kevin Watson ran the final score of the afternoon in from seven yards out with 1:25 left for the final 52-21 score.
Tedesco's 11 catch afternoon tied a record he already shared with Doug Geoffrey who caught 11 against Stony Brook on October 14, 2000. Tedesco hauled in 11 balls in a win at Duquesne last season. The senior wide out also inched closer to the SHU record for career touchdowns as he nabbed his 27 career score. Tedesco is now one behind Marvin Royal (2000-01) and six away from tying Ed Pricolo (2002-05) for the all-time mark.
The Pioneers will return to action in two weeks when they open up Northeast Conference play at league favorite Albany. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 pm.