October 10, 2009

Sacred Heart Pioneers Grind Out 29-7 Win Over Saint Francis (PA)

Oct. 10, 2009

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FAIRFIELD, CT (October 10, 2009) - Sacred Heart senior Brian Friedman (Point Pleasant, NJ) pounded his way to a career-high 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Pioneers past Saint Francis (PA) Saturday afternoon in Northeast Conference action. Friedman led a SHU attack that piled up a season-high 206 yards on the ground en route to snapping a four-game slide as they pick up their first win of 2009.

The Pioneer (1-4, 1-2 NEC) defense held the Red Flash to just 180 yards of total offense, including minus three yards on the ground. Senior linebacker Chansler Davis (Islip Terrace, NY) led the way with nine tackles, three for losses including a pair of sacks in the win. SHU dropped Red Flash quarterback John Kelly four times on the afternoon and held their offense to just three of 16 on third down.

Friedman had his best day running the football, posting new career highs for carries (14), yards (134) and rushing touchdowns (2). Fellow backfield mate Garry Coles (Southington, CT) had 15 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown on a 20-yard scamper.

The Red Flash (1-5, 0-3 NEC) served up the first points of the day on their first possession. After a three-and-out, the team lined up to punt but the snap sailed over punter Grant Price reach and out of the end zone, resulting in a 31-yard loss and a Pioneer safety. SHU added to the lead on their second possession of the day as quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) finished off a six-play drive by hitting senior Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) in the left corner of the end zone on second and goal from eight yards out.

Sacred Heart's running attack took over in the second quarter as Friedman and Coles tacked on a pair of long touchdown runs to give the Pioneers a 22-0 lead. The SHU defense held the Red Flash to their fourth three-and-out on their first five drives setting up the offense on their own 27-yard line with 8:42 left in the second quarter. On the second play of the series, Friedman broke off right tackle and rumbled his way 63 yards, breaking several tackles along the way for six.

Another Red Flash three-and-out and a personal foul penalty on the punt set SHU up on the Saint Francis 43 yard line. The Pioneers struck quickly again, needing just three plays before Coles ripped off a 20-yard score for a 22-0 lead with 4:31 left.

Saint Francis (PA) made use of a no-huddle attack on the ensuing drive and went 60-yards in nine plays with Kelly plunging in from a yard out on a quarterback draw to cut the lead to 22-7 heading into the half.

The second half turned into a battle of both team's defenses before Friedman put his final stamp on the game midway through the fourth quarter. The Red Flash offense was on the move at the end of the third and was set up first-and-10 on the SHU 14 yard line. A pair of Kelly incompletions was followed by a sack from junior Vinny Branchini (Longmeadow, MA) on third down to end the quarter. Looking for points, the Red Flash set up for a 33 yard field goal attempt by Josh Thiel but his kick sailed wide right thwarting the threat.

The Pioneer offense took the ball at their own 20 yard line and put the game away over the next 6:23 with an 11-play drive that ended with Friedman barreling in from three-yards out for a 29-7 lead with 8:33 left. The SHU defense capped off the win with a goal-line stand on the next Red Flash possession, as Davis notched his second sack on first and goal to set the tone.

Sacred Heart turned the ball over twice in the win, a Fink interception and Friedman fumble. The Red Flash got a game-high 10 tackles, eight solo, from linebacker Scott Lewis. Saint Francis posted four sacks of their own and had 12 tackles for a loss in the game.

The Pioneers will be back in action next Saturday, October 17th when they play host to the Monmouth Hawks on "Sacred Heart Family Weekend".

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