Oct. 29, 2005
FAIRFIELD, CT - Senior running back Ed Pricolo (Johnston, RI) ran for 232 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, while quarterback Tyler Arciaga (Bonita, CA) threw for 284 yards and three scores to help the Sacred Heart University Pioneer football team outlast visiting St. Francis University 53-45 in a Northeast Conference battle Saturday afternoon. The two teams combined for school records of 98 points and 1,086 total yards.
The Pioneers, 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the Northeast Conference, jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game on a 22-yard pass from Arciaga to freshman receiver Kyle Smith (Pawcatuck, CT) and a 50-yard run by Pricolo. The Red Flash closed within three at 13-10 before the end of the first quarter on a 36-yard pass from wide out Luke Palko to fellow receiver Michael Caputo with 3:05 left, and then a 39-yard field goal by Adam Sciulli with :29 remaining.
Pricolo, who is closing in on 3,000 yards in his career, scored on a 15-yard run with 12:30 left in the first half and then on a 27-yarder with 5:05 left to put his team ahead 27-10. The Red Flash, 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the NEC, scored on a 59-yard strike from QB Anthony Doria to Caputo less than a minute later.
Sacred Heart took a 34-17 lead with 2:26 left on Pricolo's fourth score of the first half, this one on a 15-yard run. The score was set up by an attempted onside kick by St. Francis that was touched before it had traveled ten yards. They were then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Pioneers the ball at the Red Flash 29.
The back-and-forth duel continued when Doria put St. Francis on the scoreboard one more time before the half when he hit Antoine Rivera with a 21-yard scoring pass with :42 remaining. Doria would throw the ball an incredible 61 times in the game, completing 33 and finishing with a school-record 494 yards.
The Pioneers held St. Francis on the initial drive of the second half and responded with a score of their own. Arciaga capped a five-play, 70-yard drive with a 13-yard pass to freshman tailback Evin Jones (Pennsauken, NJ).
Doria struck again with 3:47 left in the third quarter, hitting Palko with a 32-yard pass. He then hit Caputo with a two-point conversion pass to cut the SHU lead to 40-32. Two minutes later Arciaga answered for the Pioneers with a 35-yard TD pass to junior Alvin Franklin (New Haven, CT), giving SHU a 47-32 lead.
With 11:44 remaining in the game, the Doria-Caputo tandem made more noise. The pair finished off a 71-yard drive with a four-yard TD pass. The extra point cut the Pioneer edge to 47-39. Caputo finished the game with career highs of 14 receptions and 294 yards.
Sacred Heart took five minutes off the clock on its next possession but failed to score, giving up the ball on downs at the SFPA 36. The Red Flash capitalized when Doria connected with Caputo for a 21-yard pass to the SHU one, and Nick SanDoval plunged in to cut the lead to 47-45. St. Francis failed to tie the score on the two-point conversion when Doria's pass for Caputo sailed over his head and out of the back of the end zone.
The Red Flash again tried an onside kick, but the Pioneers recovered. On the first play from scrimmage after the kick, Pricolo burst through the line for his fifth TD of the game, scampering 47 yards. The PAT was missed but SHU led 53-45.
The Red Flash had one last gasp but junior linebacker Jon Corto (Orchard Park, NY) made knocked away three straight Doria passes to secure the Pioneer win.
Pricolo's five touchdowns broke the single-game school record of four set by Marvin Royal against Marist in 2000. In the process he also became the school's all-time leader in total touchdowns with 31.