Sept. 23, 2007
Week 4 - Sacred Heart vs. Duquesne Post Game Notes
The Pioneers played their first overtime game since the 2004 season, a 30-24 win over conference foe Wagner on Homecoming. Saturday's loss snapped a streak of five straight wins on SHU Homecoming Weekend dating back to 2002. The last time SHU lost a game in overtime was in 2003, a 38-31 loss at Iona. It was also just the fourth ever overtime game in SHU history. The Pioneers are 2-2 in overtime all-time.
Duquesne took the series lead, 2-1 with Saturday's win and have won two-straight over the Pioneers. The future NEC member made their first trip to Fairfield on Saturday. The Dukes posted a 24-21 win at home last season. SHU won the first-ever meeting, 31-15 in the 2001 ECAC Bowl clinching a perfect 11-0 season for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers are 1-2 against the MAAC this season, losing two-straight (30-23 - Duquesne; 34-10 - Iona). SHU will face Marist later this year to complete the four-game trip through the MAAC Football League.
The Pioneers blocked their first punt of the season and their first since last season's finale against Robert Morris. Senior safety John Wilson came up with the big block on Saturday, scooping up that ball and running it in for the game-tying score. Wilson was also the last Pioneer to block a punt, coming up with the block in the RMU game. That block also resulted in a touchdown.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Andre Geraghty saw his first action of the season and recorded a career-high nine tackles, 1.5 for a loss. He tied with Wilson's nine stops for the team-high. Senior defensive lineman Jason Richardson recovered his second fumble of the season.
Senior tailback Jason Payne ran for 72 yards on 11 carries and caught three balls for 67 yards including a 40-yard sprint for a td down the sidelines. It was Payne's 4th TD on the season and his second receiving touchdown of his career. On the season, Payne has gained 268 yards on just 37 carries, an outstanding 7.2 yards per rush.
Redshirt-freshman Dale Fink was forced out of the game late in the first half with an ankle injury and could not return. However, before departing Fink completed six of his nine passes for 94 yards including a 40-yard dump and run to back Jason Payne and a 26-yard scoring strike to senior Joey Henley. It was the fifth time this season the duo of Fink and Henley has hooked-up for scores. For Fink, he has 10th touchdown throws on the year and four straight games with a TD pass.
Henley's touchdown grab gave the senior wideout five on the year, tying his career-high for a season set during 2004, his rookie campaign. Henley now has 15 touchdown grabs for his career, a mark that ties him with teammate Corey Bundy for second on the all-time touchdown reception list as well as sixth on the career touchdowns scored list.
Junior Derek Marks was forced to punt seven times on Saturday, a season-high and two off his career high set last season. Marks average 36.7 per punt, booming a 55-yarder and dropping one inside the Duquesne 10-yard line.
Freshman back-up quarterback Tyler McKeon saw his first significant action of the season in relief of an injured Fink. McKeon completed five-of-eight for 91 yards in his relief effort.
SHU came into Saturday's game leading the NEC and the nation in third down efficiency at 60.0% but managed to convert just five-of-15 in the loss. The Pioneers saw their streak of 11-straight red-zone scores snapped in overtime with the game-ending interception. SHU came in 10-of-10 in the red-zone and kicked a field goal on their first red-zone appearance on Saturday.
The Pioneer offensive line struggled once again protecting the quarterback, giving up four sacks in the loss (loss of 35 yards). In their back-to-back losses, SHU quarterbacks have been dropped 10 times in the backfield.
Sophomore place kicker Joe Schroeder missed his fourth extra point on the season, Saturday's proving pretty costly. After a blocked punt for a touchdown knotted the game at 23-23, Schroeder lined-up for the go-ahead extra point but saw his kick miss left. Schroeder did convert on his second field goal of the season, a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter.