Sacred Heart (2-1, 0-0 NEC) at LIU (0-1, 0-0 NEC)
Saturday, Sept. 21 | 1:00 p.m.
Bethpage Stadium | Brookville, N.Y.
Sacred Heart | LIU
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Riding an impressive two-game win streak in which the offense has put up a combined 86 points, the Sacred Heart football team heads into their Northeast Conference opener on Saturday with a meeting at the newest league member LIU. Formerly LIU Post, the institution's athletic programs underwent an integration with LIU Brooklyn to form the LIU Sharks and enter the NCAA Div. I ranks for the first time. Kickoff from Bethpage Stadium is set for 1:00 PM.
- QB Logan Marchi became the program's first-ever CFPA FCS National Performer of the Week, an honor handed out weekly to the top individual performance in the nation. Marchi took on a starring role, dropping big plays all over the field to finish 22-for-32 for 407 yards with 6 TD and 0 INT, engineering the highest-scoring game for SHU since 2013. Marchi became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game while his 6 TDs led all FCS QBs in Week 3.
- Marchi's 407 yards against Lafayette represents a new career-high, marking the first time he has throw for 400+ yards and the fourth time he has gone for 300+ in a game. The yardage total is the second-highest single-game total for a SHU QB in program history. Over the last two games combined, Marchi has gone 43-for-69 (62.3 percent) on his pass attempts for an incredible 723 yards, 9 TD and 0 INT while averaging 16.8 yards per completion.
- Through three games, Marchi has yet to throw an interception in his first 98 pass attempts as a Pioneer. His streak of 98 attempts without an INT is already the fourth-longest in program history, trailing Dale Fink's program record of 148 in the 2010 season as well as RJ Noel's 126 consecutive passes without a pick in 2013 season and Tim Little's streak of 117 in 2011. The three-game streak with no interceptions is the longest such streak for SHU since the 2013 campaign wherein the Pioneers went four straight games without an INT.
- WR Tyrese Chambers is quickly becoming the go-to receiver in an explosive SHU offense as the first-year picked up his second straight NEC Rookie of the Week honor. Chambers went off on Saturday, registering nine catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Both his nine-catch and 133-yard efforts are new single-game program records for first-years. Six of Chambers' nine catches went for first downs or touchdowns while he caught 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) of his targets. Over the last two games, Chambers has 13 receptions for 227 yards (17.5 yards per catch) and 3 TD.
- Two of the leading factors behind the offense's success through three games is that the Pioneers are one of just two teams in the FCS who haven't committed a turnover (+6 turnover margin) and one of just four FCS teams who haven't allowed a sack. With these two stats combined, SHU is the only team in the nation who hasn't allowed a sack or committed a turnover in the 2019 season.
- SHU's offensive line - LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Donald Rappoccio - continue to dominate as the Pioneers haven't allowed a sack in 108 dropbacks through three games. This marks the third time in the last four seasons SHU has a rolled off a three-game streak with no sacks allowed.
- Now in his eighth season at the helm, Head Coach Mark Nofri has already become the winningest head coach in program history owning an all-time career mark of 46-37 (.554) with five winning seasons to his credit.
- Rushing for 241.1 yards per game last season (15th nationally), SHU featured the NEC's top rushing attack last season as well as the nation's fifth-best passing defense (148.8 yards allowed per game).
- SHU's 42-14 loss at Maine snapped a six-game win streak as the last time the Pioneers had lost a game to open a campaign, prior to this season, came back in 2012 with a 30-27 overtime loss at Morgan State.
- On offense, leading the charge will be the Pioneers' dominant two-headed duo at the running back position with 2019 Preseason All-NEC pick in Jordan Meachum (1,396 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns in 2018) and 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year Julius Chestnut (713 yards, seven TDs) combining for over 2000 yards last season.
- The strength of this SHU team is on the defensive end as the Pioneers return nine starters, including all three linebackers, from a unit that ranked second in the NEC in total defense (336 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (22.1) while ranking fifth in the nation in pass defense (148.8).
- The Pioneers were picked second in the NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll, earning one first place vote, as SHU finished last season 7-4 overall (5-1 NEC) on their way to a split of the NEC Regular Season title which represents the program's third NEC crown over the last six seasons.
TALE OF THE TAPE (2019 stats/rankings)
|LIU (NEC rank)||Category||Sacred Heart (NEC rank)|
|3.0 (8)||Points||33.3 (2)|
|123.0 (8)||Total Offense||406.7 (2)|
|52.0 (8)||Rushing Yards||131.0 (4)|
|71.0 (8)||Passing Yards||275.7 (1)|
|30:38 (3)||Offensive Time of Possession||26:24 (8)|
|324.0 (3)||Total Defense||505.3 (8)|
|186.0 (5)||Rushing Yards Allowed||149.3 (4)|
|0/0||Rushing TDs/Passing TDs||5/9|
|138.0 (3)||Passing Yards Allowed||356.0 (8)|
|3/1||Rushing/Passing TDs Allowed||6/6|
|29:22||Defensive Time of Possession||33:36|
|-1 (7)||Turnover Margin||+4 (3)|
|38.0 (8)||Points Allowed||30.7 (6)|
INSIDE THE LAFAYETTE BOX SCORE
- Despite trailing at the half 24-21, SHU came storming out of the halftime locker room and outscored the Leopards 21-3 in the third quarter to power past Lafayette, 56-40
- Going down 24-14 midway through the second quarter, SHU started a streak of six straight possessions ending in a touchdown that lasted into the fourth quarter
- This marked a fifth straight victory for the Pioneers over Lafayette as well as the second straight over a Patriot League foe in 2019
- QB Logan Marchi took on a starring role, finishing 22-for-32 for 407 yards, 6 TDs and 0 INT
- Marchi became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game, matching the program record set by Dale Fink against Duquesne on Nov. 14, 2009
- His 75-yard TD score to Snelling is the longest TD pass for SHU in a game since an 80-yard toss from RJ Noel to Tyler Dube came against Cornell (Oct. 17, 2015 – 40 games ago)
- The WR duo of senior Kezio Snelling (five catches, 158 yards, 3 TD) and first-year Tyrese Chambers (nine catches, 133 yards, 2 TD) combined for 14 catches for 291 yards and 5 TDs in the victory
- For Snelling, he posted single-game career-highs across the board while Chambers set single-game program records in all three statistical categories
- Snelling's three receiving scores is tied for the second-highest single-game total in program history, a feat accomplished just nine times by five different Pioneers
- Snelling's 31.6 yards per catch average is the fourth-highest single-game total in program history and the highest since Joey Henley put up 31.8 yards per catch back on Sept. 17, 2005 against Iona (154 games ago)
- SHU's defense allowed 623 total yards from Lafayette, including 545 combined passing and rushing from QB Kevin Shoemaker (411 passing, 143 rushing) but the Pioneers came up with two interceptions and four sacks which proved enough for the 16-point win
- LB Mike Wilen tallied double-digit tackles for the fourth time in his career, finishing with a game-high 10 tackles including 2.5 TFL and one sack
- DE Chris Agyemang racked up two sacks, marking the fourth time in his career in which he finished with more than one sack in a game
- CB Lamar Evans and SS Alaam Horne each snagged their first career INT on defense in the win
- The 56 points scored for the SHU offense is tied for the sixth-most in a game in school history and represents the highest-scoring total in a game since defeating Bryant 56-28 on Oct. 19, 2013 (62 games ago)
- In addition, the 56 points for the Pioneers is tied for the fourth-most in school history against an FCS opponent
INSIDE THE BUCKNELL BOX SCORE
- The outcome was decided in the second quarter as the Pioneers exploded for 23 for their 30 points scored on the evening.
- SHU's defense pitched a clinic in the first half, allowing just 75 total yards and three points from the Bison to give a decisive 23-3 edge to the Pioneers at the half.
- SHU went over 500 yards on offense, 191 of which came on the ground while 316 came through the air. Fifth-year QB Logan Marchi finished 21-for-37 for 316 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. Sophomore RB Julius Chestnut carried the load on the ground, rushing a career-high 21 times for 162 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and three total TDs (one rushing, two receiving). Sophomore WR Naseim Brantley (six catches, 96 yards) and first-year WR Tyrese Chambers (four catches, 94 yards, 1 TD) were the top pass catchers on the day for the Pioneers.
- A balanced attack through the air saw Marchi find eight different players who tallied at least one reception on the evening.
- The defense came away with three sacks, two interceptions, nine pass breakups and 10 QB hurries on the day as CB Shawn Ramcheran and SS Noah Provenzano both snagged interceptions late to seal the victory.
- Sophomore LB DeAndre Byrd was everywhere on the defensive end, finishing with a team-high eight tackles while adding half a sack, one TFL and one forced fumble
- Sophomore DE Kevin Peprah added six tackles and one TFL while first-year LB Myles Talley was all over the field, registering four tackles, his first career sack and leading the team with 1.5 TFL
- The victory moved SHU to 8-0 in home openers under HC Mark Nofri, outscoring the opposition by an average margin of +26.9 in the eight-game win streak.
- Playing in front of a record crowd for a home opener, the announced official attendance of 4,187 is 30 higher than the Pioneers' previous-highest home opener crowd of 4,157 achieved in the 2018 opener against Lafayette (Sept. 1, 2018).
INSIDE THE MAINE BOX SCORE
- SHU's ground game, which led the NEC with 241.1 yards per game average last season, was largely held in-check by a Maine run defense that led the nation in 2018. The Pioneers gained 115 yards on 33 carries, led by Julius Chestnut who totaled 65 yards on nine carries (7.2 ypc). Fifth-year Eli Terry, who suffered a season-ending injury on the first play from scrimmage last season, saw the bulk of the work in the fourth quarter in his first game back and scored his second career touchdown.
- New faces led the SHU defense last Friday as sophomore inside linebacker Robert O'Donnell racked up a game-high eight tackles in his first career action. Junior Lamar Evans made six takcles while three Pioneers turned in four apiece. Sophomore Kevin Peprah recorded the game's only sack, the first of his career.
- Fifth-year transfer QB Logan Marchi started for SHU and played all but one series, going 12-for-29 for 104 yards and no interceptions against a Maine team that forced 18 last season. Marchi also punched in a one-yard score in the first quarter, good enough for the second rushing TD of his collegiate career.
- The Black Bears put the game away in the first half, scoring a touchdown on all six of their drives in the opening two quarters of play.
- Maine's three-year starter at QB, Chris Ferguson, tossed for a career-high 423 yards and three touchdowns including 404 yards in the first half alone, all against a SHU pass defense that ranked Top 5 in the country in 2018.
- After being outscored 42-7 and outgained 487-65 in the first half, SHU came back to shutout Maine (7-0) and outgain the Black Bears 142-95 in the second half
- Entering the game with 1952 career rushing yards, fifth-year RB Jordan Meachum gained 33 yards on nine carries to move to within 15 yards of becoming the eighth SHU player in program history to gain 2000+ career rushing yards
- Sophomore WR Naseim Brantley caught a career-high five receptions for 25 yards
- Sophomore WR Troy Holland went for 33 yards in his first career action, including an impressive 32-yard catch in the fourth quarter
- Prior to the loss, the last time SHU had lost in the team's first game of the season came all the way back in 2012 with a 30-27 overtime loss at Morgan State.
- In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, SHU dropped to 3-3 all-time in games played against nationally-ranked opponents.
- The Pioneers came into the game riding a three-game win streak against ranked foes, having beaten No. 24 Delaware (2014), No. 21 Bryant (2014) and No. 20 Stony Brook (2016) all within the last six seasons.
- The game also represented the first time SHU has ever faced an opponent ranked Top 10 in the nation.
LIU SCOUTING REPORT
- Long Island (0-1), formerly LIU Post, is in the midst of their first season at the NCAA Div. I level after spending years as a successful Div. II program playing in the Northeast-10
- The Sharks arrive in the FCS coming off a great run at the Div. II level. In the previous five seasons, LIU has gone 10-1, 8-2, 12-1, 7-4 and 8-4. It joins the NEC having won 13 NE-10 titles in the program's history
- This is a program that believes in strong defense as the Sharks ranked fourth in Div. II last year, allowing just 12.9 points per game
- Five of the top 11 tacklers returned in 2019 but the Sharks has 16 new starters taking the field to start the season as just six total starters return from last season
- QB Clay Beathard started in the Shark's season opening loss at then-No. 3 nationally-ranked South Dakota State and went 9-for-20 for 71 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT
- Beathard is the first LIU quarterback since Jeff Kidd in 2015 to start under center before his final year of eligibility
- RB Tim Marinan rushed a team-high 13 times in the season opener for 34 yards (2.2 yards per carry) and was also the team-leading receiver, catching three balls for 22 yards
- LB Liam McIntyre led the defensive effort in the season-opener, registering a team-high eight tackles with one sack
- LIU was selected eighth in the NEC preseason poll in its first season of Div. I competition
- Head coach Bryan Collins is in his 22nd season at LIU, compiling a 160-72 (.689) record, including 17 winning seasons and six NCAA postseason appearances in his tenure
INSIDE THE SERIES: SHU vs. LIU
- These two sides met just once before, when both were at the Div. II level back in 1997
- Known at the time as C.W. Post, SHU dropped a 62-10 decision at home
LOGAN MARCHI | CFPA NATIONAL PERFORMER OF THE WEEK, CSM NEC OFFENSIVE POW, NEC OFFENSIVE POW (SEPT. 15)
- QB Logan Marchi was the big winner of the week, hauling in an FCS National Performer of the Week as well as both the College Sports Madness and conference's NEC Offensive Player of the Week honor
- This marks the first time in program history that SHU has seen a player honored with National Performer of the Week honors on offense as Marchi was distinguished with an award handed to the top individual performance in Week 3 of FCS play
- Marchi's finished with a line of 22-for-32 for 407 yards with 6 TD and 0 INT, engineering the highest-scoring game for the Pioneers since 2013
- He became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game, matching the program record established by Dale Fink against Duquesne on Nov. 14, 2009
- The six-touchdown total also represents the most passing TDs in a game for any FCS QB in week 3
- Marchi's 407 yards represents a new career-high, marking the first time in his collegiate career he has thrown for over 400 yards and the fourth time he has gone for 300+ in a game
- The yardage total is the second-highest single-game total for a SHU QB in program history
- Over his last two games, Marchi has gone 43-for-69 (62.3 percent) throwing for an incredible 723 yards, 9 TD and 0 INT while averaging 16.8 yards per completion in that span
TYRESE CHAMBERS | NEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 16)
- WR Tyrese Chambers earned his second straight NEC Rookie of the Week honor after going off in a 56-40 road win at Lafayette, registering nine catches for 133 yards and 2 TD
- Both his nine-catch and 133-yard efforts are new single-game program records for first-years
- Six of Chambers' nine catches went for first downs or touchdowns while he caught 9-of-11 targets (81.8 percent) and carried the ball three times for 12 yards
- Chambers' TD catches were for 24 and 20 yards, the second of which came in the Pioneers' opening drive of the third quarter that gave SHU a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of play
- After seeing limited action in the season opener at Maine, Chambers has exploded over the last two contests, totaling 13 catches for 227 yards (17.5 yards per catch) and 3 TD
LOGAN MARCHI | CSM NEC OFFENSIVE POW (SEPT. 8)
- Fifth-year QB Logan Marchi took on a starring role for the Pioneers on Saturday night, finishing 21-for-37 for 316 yards through the air to go along with three touchdowns and no interceptions to earn College Sports Madness NEC Offensive Player of the Week honors
- This marked the third time in Marchi's collegiate career he has gone for 300+ yards in a game, falling just shy of his career-high 365-yard performance against UConn as a sophomore with Temple in 2017. He also continues to play mistake-free football as he has yet to throw an interception in his first 66 passing attempts as a Pioneer.
- Utilizing several different players, Marchi spread the ball around as eight different players had at least one catch on the evening. Marchi also utilized the deep ball quite well, averaging an impressive 15 yards per completion against the Bison. Marchi's 316-yard outing also marked the first time this season that an NEC quarterback has thrown for over 300 yards.
JULIUS CHESTNUT | NEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 9)
- Chestnut, the 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year and four-time NEC Rookie of the Week award winner last season, earned his first career Offensive Player of the Week distinction by the conference
- A stellar all-around outing saw the sophomore rush a career-best 21 times for 162 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and three total TDs (one rushing, two receiving)
- Coming into the game against Bucknell with three career receptions, Chestnut caught three passes for 25 yards, two of which went for touchdowns
- Chestnut broke the defensive struggle open midway through the second quarter with a career-long 86-yard touchdown that made it 10-3 SHU
- He was the lone NEC player to rush for over 100 yards on Saturday while his three total TDs tied for the lead among all non-QBs in the NEC
- His 162 yards on the ground are just two short of his single-game career-high of 164 established in a 49-26 home win over Bryant last season
- Chestnut's 187 total yards from scrimmage on Saturday represented a career-best and are the most by an NEC player in a game thus far in the season
- For his efforts, Chestnut was also named an FCS National Offensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention
TYRESE CHAMBERS | NEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 9)
- Chambers made big plays all over the field on Saturday, finishing with four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown in a 30-10 home win over Bucknell
- The first-year receiver posted catches of 24, 28 and 37 yards, a pair of which were highlight-reel worthy receptions, as the big-play threat burst open the Bucknell defense and led to a 300+ yard game for QB Logan Marchi
- After seeing little time in the season opener at Maine, Chambers was thrust into the Pioneers' three-WR sets and came away with a near 100-yard effort as well as his first career TD
HOLD THE LINE
- SHU's offensive line play has been stellar through three games as the combination of LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Donald Rappoccio has started all three games and has yet to allow a sack
- The Pioneers are one of just four teams in the nation who haven't allowed a sack thus far in 2019
- Marchi hasn't hit the turf in his 108 dropbacks this season
- In total, this marks the third time in the last four seasons that SHU has rolled off a streak of three straight games without allowing a sack
- Making this even more impressive is only Della Fave and Sokol played last season in their current positions. DiRenzo started all 11 games at right tackle in 2018 and has shifted to the left tackle spot in 2019. Carnesale is a graduate transfer addition from Towson this season while Rappoccio was a backup his first two years at SHU
- WR Tyrese Chambers is quickly establishing himself as one of the top first-year wide receivers in all of FCS
- Through three games, Chambers sits third among all first-year WRs in receiving yards (227) while he is tied for second in receptions (13) and first in touchdowns (three)
- Making this even more impressive is the two-time NEC Rookie of the Week has done all his damage over the last two weeks as he played just one series in the season opener at Maine
MARCHI-NG DOWN THE FIELD
- QB Logan Marchi's red-hot play over the last two games has catapulted him up the national ranking list as he ranks 16th in FCS in passing efficiency (157.3), tied for fifth in passing TDs (nine), 14th in passing yards (827), 16th in passing yards per game (275.7) and fifth in yards per completion (15.04)
- Marchi is one of just five QBs in FCS to throw for at least five touchdowns and have zero interceptions so far in 2019
CHESTNUT CARRYING THE LOAD
- Through three games in 2019, including just two as the team's primary ball carrier, RB Julius Chestnut has racked up 301 rushing yards on 51 carries (5.9 yards per rush) to go along with 5 total TD (three rushing, two receiving)
- Chesntut ranks Top 10 in both rushing yards (301, 9th in FCS) and rushing yards per game (100.3, 10th FCS)
- His three rushing scores has him tied for 19th in FCS