A Look Back - 10th Anniversary of Sacred Heart Football's 11-0 Season

Senior Jayson Jarrett (#44)
Senior Jayson Jarrett (#44)


Week 5 - Sacred Heart vs. Stony Brook - October 13, 2001

Final Stats - SHU 42 - Stony Brook 24

     The 2011 season marks the 10th anniversary of the Pioneers perfect 11-0 season that resulted in a Northeast Conference Championship and the NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major National Championship.  In every Game Day Program and on SacredHeartPioneers.com, we will recap the Pioneers historical run through the 2001 season, going through the 10-year anniversary game-by-game.

     After a 30-14 NEC win over St. John's in their official 2001 home opener, the Pioneers remained at home for another week and played host to the Stony Brook Seawolves from across the Long Island Sound on Saturday, October 13th.  SHU blew open a 14-7 game at halftime with a 21-point third quarter en route to a 42-24 "Homecoming"win and a 5-0 start to the season.

     The Pioneers rode a four touchdown effort from their senior quarterback in J.J. Holtfreter in the lopsided win.  Holtfreter completed an efficient 17-of-26 for 186 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes to both Anthony Gonzalez and DeVeren Johnson.  On defense, the Pioneers once again found the endzone as senior linebacker Jayson Jarrett returned a fumble for a score.

     Holtfreter hit a pair of quick strikes late in the second quarter to put SHU up 14-0.  He found Gonzalez from seven-yards out at 5:49 and then hit Johnson on a 16-yard strike with 3:25 left.  The Seawolves scored to make it 14-7 at the break but the Pioneers would pull away in the third.  Senior running back Brandon Graham capped a seven-play drive with a one-yard plunge for six at 12:20.

   Gonzalez scored his second of the game on a 21-yard pass from Holtfreter and Jarrett followed with a 55-yard return to make it 35-7 with 7:12 left in the third.  Johnson put the finishing touches on the win with his second score top open the fourth quarter. 

     The Pioneer defense got three sacks from defensive lineman DJ Dymond and defensive back Kiheme Cowan picked off his second pass of the season.

Week 6 - Sacred Heart at Albany - October 20, 2001

Final Stats - SHU 32 - Albany 17    

 Junior Tim Redican

     The 2001 Pioneers took their high-powered offense and opportunistic defense back on the road in week six heading to the University at Albany for a date with Great Danes.  In what proved to be one the Pioneers toughest tests of the season, SHU stayed perfect on the year with a 32-17 win in New York's capital city.

    Sacred Heart road the strong right arm of Holtfreter once again to the tune of 296 yards and a pair of scores in the win.  The senior signal caller completed 23-of-36 passes on the day, hooking up with senior wideout DeVeren Johnson 10 times for 186 yards and both scores. 

     Statistically, the two teams posted nearly matching numbers but it would be three Albany turnovers that would prove the difference.  For the second-straight game, linebacker Jayson Jarrett caused a turnover, this week picking off a pass.  Safety Blake Neri and linebacker Tom Sperger also got in the act with interceptions of their own.  Senior linebacker Kayode Mayowa came up two tackles short of the school record with 18 stops on the day, 10 solo.

    The Great Danes would jump out to a 7-0 lead but the Pioneers used the first of two Tim Redican field goals and a 30-yard Holtfreter to Johnson score and a Marvin Royal four-yard scoring run to take a 15-7 lead.  Senior Brandon Graham scored on an eight-yard run in the late in the third quarter and Johnson and Holtfreter put the game away with their second scoring hook-up in the opening minutes of the fourth.

Coming Up - The Pioneers finish off a three-game road swing with stops at Iona and Wagner.