SFU Falls in Home Finale

LORETTO, Pa. - LORETTO, Pa. – The Saint Francis football team fell 16-7 against Sacred Heart on Saturday at DeGol Field.  The Pioneers scored early in the game and were able to use their run game to control the ball for most of the game.  The Red Flash dropped to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the NEC, while Sacred Heart improved to 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
 
The Red Flash will need a win next week at Eastern Kentucky to clinch its third straight winning season.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Roy Kidd Stadium.  The Colonels are 3-7 overall and 3-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference. 
 
After the game, SFU honored 15 seniors as part of Senior Day.  This senior class has combined for 24 wins over the last four years, tying the 1971-74 teams for the program-record for wins in a four-year span.  The seniors were a major part of Saint Francis' first ever Northeast Conference Title and FCS Playoffs berth in 2016 and has combined for over 200 starts. 
 
The Red Flash totaled 239 yards of offense, including 111 passing and 128 rushing.  Saint Francis had three turnovers, including two interceptions.
 
Quarterback Freddy Bopst (Jarrettsville, Md./Boys Latin), making his first career start, completed 11-of-21 passes, including a touchdown and two interceptions. 
 
Junior Kamron Lewis (Fresno, Calif./Edison) caught four passes for 63 yards.  With that performance, he passes Antoine Rivera (2005-09) to move into second all-time at Saint Francis with 2,494 yards.  He's now also fourth all-time in catches, with 151, passing Omar Winston's 149 catches from 2007-10.
 
Jorge Solano had three catches for 30 yards and Colin Hindle (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) caught a five-yard touchdown pass.  Freshman Joel Denley rushed for 60 yards on 12 carries and junior Byron Johnson (Germantown, Md./Northwest) added 56 yards on six carries.
 
Linebacker Sean Orsini (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) led the defense with 13 tackles, including six solo, and a tackle for loss.  Defensive end Luke Weiss (Verona, N.J./Verona) had a career-high 12 tackles, seven solo, while safety Hakeem Kinard (York, Pa./York Catholic) had 11 stops, with seven solo.  Linebacker Ben Bruni(Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) recorded eight tackles and a sack, while defensive end Austin Gray (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./Egg Harbor Township) had four tackles, two for loss, and a sack. 
 
Sacred Heart gained 334 total yards, including 241 on the ground and 93 through the air. 
 
Quarterback Kevin Duke completed 13-of-23 passes, with Andrew O'Neill leading the receivers with four catches for 35 yards.  Nate Chavious rushed for 84 yards on 22 carries and Jordan Meachum gained 48 yards on 14 rushes.  Ezekiel Ennis had a 76-yard touchdown run.  Kicker Josh Freiria hit all three of his field goal attempts.
 
Cornerback Khaamal Whitaker led the Pioneers with eight tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.  Linebacker Kevin Barry added eight stops, with one for loss, while Jake Davis had seven stops, including a strip-sack.  Safety Tim Johnson had five tackles and an interception.
 
The Pioneers took an early 7-0 lead, scoring on their first offensive play of the game.  On a jet sweep, Ennis took the handoff and went up the left sideline into the end zone.
 
Sacred Heart extended its lead to 10-0 with 14 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.  A fumble by Bopst was recovered by SHU's Whitaker at the SFU 24.  After three plays only moved the Pioneers a total of three yards, SHU settled for a 39-yard field goal by Freiria.
 
The Pioneers held a 13-0 advantage with 3:11 to go in the first half after a 27-yard field goal by Freiria.  The 45-yard drive included three runs for 18 yards by Duke and a 10-yard catch by Mike Whalen.
 
Saint Francis cut the deficit to 13-7 with 1:31 left in the half on a five-yard touchdown catch by Hindle.  A 64-yard drive featured a 44-yard catch by Lewis to open the drive.  A five-yard and a 10-yard run by Denley setup the catch by Hindle.  Bopst rolled out to his right on the play and found a wide-open Hindle in the corner of the end zone.
 
Sacred Heart extended its lead to 16-7 with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Freiria.  The drive began after a 55-yard punt return by O'Neill to the SFU 6.  Stops by Sean Orsini (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) and Luke Weiss (Verona, N.J./Verona) helped to force the field goal.


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