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Sacred Heart Off to 5-0 Start After 31-28 Win over Robert Morris
FAIRFIELD – Sacred Heart University celebrated Homecoming on Saturday afternoon, and the campus was in a festive mood.
SHU’s football team contributed to the jovial atmosphere.
The Pioneers defeated Robert Morris 31-28 before a lively crowd of 3,019 at Campus Field. SHU is 5-0 for the first time since 2001, when it finished at 11-0 and won the NEC championship.
Following the game, the Pioneers acted as if they had won another conference championship, as the hollering cheers and chants could be heard loud and clear in the coach’s office.
“The kids are extremely happy,” SHU coach Paul Gorham said. “This validates what we have been doing. We are in uncharted waters right now. Our players have never been in a big game before. People are going to be coming after us now.”
Propelled by the physical play of the Pioneers’ offensive line, which has not allowed a sack all season, senior running back Evin Jones had 33 carries for 187 yards and one touchdown.
“We are feeding off this – everyone is going crazy,” Jones said. “We are trying to turn this program around.
“It is a different feeling being the hunted,” said Steve Tedesco, whose touchdown reception with 7:33 left in the third quarter – giving SHU a 21-13 lead following Joe Schroeder’s extra point – was the 20th TD of his career, setting a program record, passing DeVeren Johnson.
“It’s a big accomplishment, but it’s not just about me,” said Tedesco, who finished with
five catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. “It has been a total team effort to get these touchdowns.”
“He is a good player and a classy kid,” Gorham said. “He is an academic All-American and broke the school record in two and half years. That speaks for itself.”
Gorham was unhappy about SHU;s sloppiness, as the Pioneers committed nine penalties for 110 yards. However, Robert Morris (1-4) fared worse, committing 14 penalties for 134 yards.
“We talked all week about poise,” Gorham said. “We didn’t come out as well balanced as we should have.”
However, SHU overcame its mistakes. Quarterback Dale Fink (17-for-25, 143 yards, two touchdowns) connected with tight end Chris Rapp for a three-yard touchdown with 14:53 left in the fourth quarter. Following Schroeder’s successful extra point attempt, SHU took a 28-21 lead.
Schroeder’s 35-yard field goal, tying a personal career high, extended SHU’s lead to 31-21 with 5:52 left.
Robert Morris marched down the field on its next possession and scored on a five-yard touchdown run by Karey Murray, cutting SHU’s lead to 31-28 with 3:42 left.
But that play concluded the scoring for both teams, preserving the Pioneers’ victory.
SHU football off to 5-0 start
By Andrew Tripaldi, The Connecticut Post
Photo Credit: Autumn Pinette/The Connecticut Post