Oct. 7, 2007
Week 6 - Sacred Heart vs. Monmouth Post Game Notes
The Pioneers lost their fifth-straight meeting with Monmouth Saturday afternoon, losing by the second largest margin in the series. The 49-8 loss is second only to the 57-7 loss suffered during the 1998 season. It was also the second highest point total allowed in a NEC contest, second only to those 57 against the Hawks.
Monmouth is responsible for the three worst loses in SHU's 10 year history in the league. 57-7 in 1998, 45-14 in 2005 and 49-8 in 2007.
The Pioneers saw their losing streak hit four-straight, their second-longest streak under head coach Paul Gorham. The Pioneers lost four-in-a-row last season on the way to six-straight to end the year.
The road doesn't get any easier next week as the Pioneers travel to preseason favorite Albany. The Great Danes have beaten the Pioneers six-straight times. The last SHU win in the series came in 2001, a 32-17 win on the road. Their only other victory in the series came in 2000, a 25-28 overtime win at home. Albany leads the all-time series 7-2.
For the third-straight game senior safety John Wilson led the Pioneers in tackles with 15 tackles. Wilson also forced a fumble in the loss. Sophomore outside linebacker Andre Geraghty made a career high 11 tackles against the Hawks. Junior safety Steve Young picked up his third career sack and his first this season.
The Pioneers gave up their second blocked punt of the season, with the Hawks blocking Derek Marks kick attempt on SHU's first possession. The Hawks scored on a touchdown scooping up the ball and running it back 14 yards. Their other blocked punt came at Iona. It marked the first time since the 1998 season the Pioneers have allowed two blocked punts in a season. That year, they came in the same game against Central Connecticut.
The SHU defense allowed a season high 593 total yards in the loss, 331 on the ground. The 593 yards and 49 points were the most yards and points allowed in the Coach Gorham era. The previous high for yards and points was 556 to Saint Francis (PA) in 53-45 SHU win. It fell seven yards short of the most yards allowed ever by a SHU defense. Monmouth racked up an even 600 yards in their 57-7 win in 1998.
The Pioneer offense failed to get a first down on their first two possessions and were held to just two on their first five possessions, going three and out three times. In that time, they fell behind 28-0 as the Hawks scored the first four times they had the football.
Senior running back Jason Payne had the first 100 yard rushing day for a Pioneer running back this season. Payne carried the ball 10 times for 123 yards and a touchdown. He ripped off runs of 73 and 52 yards to give set up the Pioneers twice in the redzone but each time the SHU offense came up short, coming away with no points. It was just the fourth 100-yard game of the senior's career.
Payne averaged 12.3 yards per carry, increasing his league leading average to 7.7 per carry on the year. The senior now has four rushing touchdowns and one receiving on the year, giving him 15 career scores. The mark ties him with teammate Corey Bundy for sixth on the all-time list.
Sophomore fullback Brian Friedman scored his first career touchdown, plunging into the end zone from four yards out in the fourth quarter. Friedman carried the ball 12 times for 48 yards, both career highs.
The Pioneers continued to struggle with their extra point attempts. With kicker Joe Schroeder missing four point afters on the season coming in, his only attempt on Saturday was blocked by the Hawks.
SHU was held to their lowest point total of the season (8) and their lowest since being shutout by Monmouth (24-0) last season. SHU is 2-48 all-time when they are held under 10 points. Under Coach Gorham the Pioneers have been held under 10 points on five times, all loses. 8 vs. Monmouth in 2007, 0 vs. Monmouth in 2006, 7 vs. Albany in 2005, 6 vs. Albany in 2004 and 6 vs. Central Connecticut in 2003.