|« Coyotes Hire Tyndall Native Morrell As Defensive Coordinator||Mocs Back to Work at Finley Stadium »|
Saint Francis Releases 2010 Schedule
A challenging non-conference slate, including trips to full scholarship opponents Liberty and Cal Poly, highlight the 2010 Saint Francis Red Flash football schedule in the team’s first season under new head coach Chris Villiarrial.
The 11-game schedule, which features seven road games and four home contests, will pit the Red Flash against tough competition both inside and outside of the Northeast Conference. The 2010 season will also mark the first time that the Northeast Conference champion will receive an automatic bid to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) tournament.
Red Flash head coach Chris Villarrial says the conference’s improvement in football has allowed teams to expand their schedules to include more quality opponents.
“This is a very exciting time for Northeast Conference football,” said Villarrial, who spent the 2009 season as Saint Francis’ Offensive Coordinator. “With the automatic bid coming next year, it shows that the NEC is catching up with the best conferences in the country. We feel we can go against these teams that are traditional powerhouses and compete at a high level.”
For the second straight year, Saint Francis will open against an opponent ranked in the Top-25 in the previous year’s poll. The Red Flash will open their 2010 season with a trip to Lynchburg, Va. to take
on the Liberty Flames. Last season, Liberty finished 8-3 and ranked No. 22 in the final Sports Networks Top-25 poll.
“Like last year against New Hampshire, we’ll find out very early in the season what we’re made of,” said Villarrial. “It shows how much the program has improved over the past couple years. The players
are really looking forward to testing themselves against Liberty.”
The other non-conference date that looms large on the schedule is an October 30 trip to California, as the Red Flash will take on the Cal Poly Mustangs in the program’s first-ever game on the West Coast.
Villarrial says that the game is one of the most significant for the team on a variety of levels.
“There definitely are not a lot of teams in the NEC that get this opportunity,” said Villarrial. “From a football standpoint, it gives us a chance to get our names out on the West Coast and show off our program. Overall, it shows the commitment to football that Saint Francis has made in the past couple of years. We’re honored to have this opportunity.”
The other non-conference contest comes on September 11 as the Red Flash renew their rivalry with the Morehead State Eagles. Last season, the Red Flash defeated the Eagles for the first time in school history. The teams have played each other in five straight seasons and has truly become a rivalry, especially with the Saint Francis win in 2009.
“It was nice to finally get those guys last year,” said Villarrial. “That’s a game we really want to get. They have a great football tradition at Morehead, and we would love to take two in a row from them.”
The Saint Francis Northeast Conference schedule will open in Loretto on September 18 against the Sacred Heart Pioneers. After a bye week, the Red Flash will again play host to a conference opponent, taking on the Robert Morris Colonials on October 2. The other home games on the slate include a visit from Wagner on October 16 and a Homecoming/Senior Day clash with the Bryant Bulldogs on November 6.
The conference road trips in 2010 will not be overly punishing from a mileage standpoint, but will feature perhaps three of the best teams in the NEC. Saint Francis will head to upstate New York to take on perennial power Albany on October 9, followed by a trip to West Long Branch to take on the Monmouth Hawks. The Red Flash will then take on their other Keystone State rival, the Duquesne Dukes, on November 13, and close out their season against the reigning Northeast Conference champion Central Connecticut State Blue Devils in New Britain on November 20.
The 2010 Saint Francis Red Flash Football Schedule
Sept. 4 at Liberty TBA
Sept. 11 at Morehead State 1 p.m.
Sept. 18 SACRED HEART* 12 p.m.
Oct. 2 ROBERT MORRIS*(1) 1 p.m.
Oct. 9 at Albany* 12 p.m.
Oct. 16 WAGNER* 1 p.m.
Oct. 23 at Monmouth* 1 p.m.
Oct. 30 at Cal Poly TBA
Nov. 6 BRYANT*(2) 12 p.m.
Nov. 13 at Duquesne* TBA
Nov. 20 at Central Conn. State* 12 p.m.
*denotes Northeast Conference game
(1) – Family Weekend at Saint Francis
(2) – Homecoming And Senior Day
By The Northeast Conference