Oct. 1, 2005
STATEN ISLAND, NY - Senior QB John Sciarra threw for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Chris Turner set a Wagner College school record with 202 receiving yards as the Seahawks defeated visiting Sacred Heart University 26-21 in the Northeast Conference football opener for both teams.
Wagner, 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the NEC, broke the ice first on a 23-yard field goal by sophomore Piotr Czech with 9:58 left in the first quarter. The score capped a 14-play, 74-yard opening drive ridden mostly on the arm of Sciarra.
JJ Wilson (Bloomfield, CT) took the ensuing kickoff for the Pioneers back 44 yards to the Wagner 47-yard line. Senior tailback Ed Pricolo (Johnston, RI) gained 20 yards on the first play, and picked up 18 more on the second to bring the ball to the Seahawk nine. After two ineffective plays, Arciaga found junior receiver Joey Henley (Kent, WA) in the endzone for a touchdown and a 7-3 Pioneer lead.
Sciarra helped helped the Seahawks answer with 3:31 left in the quarter when he hit senior wideout Shaun Grover with a 22-yard TD strike. It was Sciarra's 13th TD pass of the season and the fifth caught by Grover.
Wagner took a 13-7 lead with 9:27 left in the first half on another field goal by Czech, this one from 31 yards.
Arciaga, who finished with a career-high 270 yards passing, kept the see-saw going by finding Corey Bundy for a 31-yard touchdown pass with 7:03 remaining. The score was set up two plays prior when Arciaga connected with Henley for 18 yards to the Wagner 31.
The two teams played a scoreless third quarter but Wagner punched the ball in the end zone on a one-yard plunge by Warren Barnett on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks a 19-14 lead. The Seahawks tried for the two-point conversion but Sciarra's pass to Mike Malik misfired.
The Pioneers, 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference, picked up a first down on their next possession on a 15-yard pass to Henley, but on the next play Arciaga was picked off by Chris Ferrara. On the first play for the Seahawks after the pick, Sciarra hit Turner for 40 yards to the Pioneer 13. After the Seahawks were called for holding, giving them a first and goal at the 17, Sciarra connected with Malik in the end zone for a 26-14 lead.
Arciaga kept the Pioneers alive, orchestrating an 80-yard drive in six plays that was ended by a five-yard run by Pricolo. Prior to the TD, on a third and 15 from the Pioneer 15, Arciaga connected with Bundy on a 45-yard pass to the Seahawk 40. On the next play he hit Alvin Franklin at the Seahawk five to set up the score.
Sacred Heart held Wagner to a three-and-out on their next possession and took over at their own 23 with just under five minutes to play. Arciaga was picked off in the end zone by Alfred Phillips, when he under threw a lob to Henley in the left corner with 1:20 left in the game.
The Pioneers again forced Wagner to give up the ball after three plays, but had just :25 left on the clock when they received the punt. Arciaga completed a pass to Henley to get the ball to the Pioneer 45 and another to the Wagner 48. Henley was injured on the second reception and had to be carried off the field. With one play left, Arciaga was sacked by Phillips to end the game.
Pricolo finished the game with 103 yards rushing for the Pioneers and is not just 46 yards away from becoming the University's all-time leading runner.