Sept. 29, 2007
STATEN ISLAND, NY - Senior Piotr Czech (Keyport, NJ) connected on three field goals of 46, 31, and 47 yards to lead the Wagner College Seahawk football team to an 18-15 win over visiting Sacred Heart University in a Northeast Conference game Saturday afternoon.
Wagner scored on the first play of the game when a pitch from SHU QB Tyler McKeon (Worcester, MA) to tailback Jason Payne went through Payne's hands into the endzone. Payne fell on the ball, but was downed by Robert Brown for a safety.
On Wagner's second offensive possession, junior QB Matt Abbey fumbled the ball when he was sacked by Bryan Cocco (Northampton, MA). Senior Jason Richardson (Malden, MA) fell on it at the Seahawk five.
The Pioneers were flagged for delay of game on the first play and then McKeon was sacked by Jeremy Spinks, to make it second and goal from the 20. Payne then ran for nine yard, but McKeon's third-down pass intended for TE Thomas Stripe (Mahwah, NJ) was incomplete. Sophomore Joe Schroeder (Jackson, NJ) lined up for a 28-yard field goal but missed it wide left.
SHU had yet another chance when Rishard Brown (Miami, FL) intercepted an Abbey pass on the next Wagner possession, giving the Pioneers the ball at the Wagner 22. A holding call on the first play again pushed the Pioneers back. On a third and 27, McKeon hit Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) for 18 yards to set up another Schroeder field goal try. This time the 38-yard attempt missed wide right.
The game remained 2-0 until late in the second quarter. Wagner started a drive at their own 28 with 3:29 to go in the period. A couple of short runs by Jason Butler, followed by a 32-yard hookup from Abbey to senior Joe Kinnard gave the Seahawks the ball at the SHU 30. On the next play Butler picked up 11 more on the ground, then Abbey hit Lon Woods for 11 to put the ball at the SHU nine. On third and goal, Abbey found Woods in the middle of the end zone for a TD and a 9-0 lead.
A squib kick after the score gave the Pioneers the ball at their own 45 with :32 left. McKeon hit Tedesco for 11 yards then ran for three on the next play. He was hit late out of bounds and a 15-yard penalty against Wagner gave the Pioneers the ball on the Seahawk 41. On the next play, however, McKeon was picked off by Al Phillips when he threw the ball to the middle of the field, while his intended target broke the pattern to the sideline.
Wagner took the opening kick off of the second half and drove 53 yards in nine plays, capped by a 46-yard field goal from senior Piotr Czech to make it 12-0.
Evin Jones got the Pioneers on the scoreboard with a one-yard plunge, that completed a 14-play, 82-yard drive that ate up over seven yards on the clock. McKeon hit Tedesco with three passes that totaled 55 yards. Tedesco finished the game with a career-high 11 catches for 143 yards.
Wagner answered quickly off the SHU score, using a Czech 31-yard field goal to make it 15-7.
Sacred Heart tied the game with 12:04 left thanks to a 25-yard run by Jason Payne, followed by a two-point conversion run from McKeon. Wagner helped the Pioneers twice on the drive with 15-yard penalties, one for a late hit on McKeon and then a facemask on an attempted sack.
Czech gave Wagner the lead once again with a 47-yard field with just under eight minutes to play. SHU took the ensuing kickoff and marched down the field until a run by Jason Payne gave the Pioneers a first and goal at the Wagner seven. Payne lost three yards on first down and McKeon was sacked by Joseph Harkins back to the 17 on second down. On third and goal from the 17 McKeon threw high over Tedesco's head, setting up another Schroeder field goal attempt. The sophomore missed his third attempt of the game.
Wagner took over on its own 20 with 2:03 to play and picked up a first down on a couple of runs by Butler that allowed the Seahawks to run out the clock. Butler finished the contest with 157 yards on 37 carries for Wagner.
McKeon finished 20 of 34 for 207 yards for the Pioneers. He was sacked four times.