The LIU Post football team was handed its first loss on Friday, Sept. 20 when the Bentley University Falcons defeated the Pioneers 38-24. The Falcons (2-1) scored 21 unanswered points during the final 6:30 to close out the game to steal a win from the Pioneers (2-1).
Junior quarterback Steven Laurino finished the contest completing 16 of his 31 pass attempts for 196 yards. Although he threw two touchdowns, Laurino also threw two interceptions and fumbled in the fourth quarter. Freshman wide receiver Michael Richardson made five receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Joe Botti also caught a touchdown in the loss. Botti has found the endzone four times already this season and has scored at least once in every game.
The first half was an offensive struggle for both squads as the Falcons led 10-7 going into the break. The score at the end of the third quarter certainly did not make it seem like this game would be a shootout. At the end of the third, it was evened up at 17-17.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Pioneers’ freshman running back Mike Williams broke free and sped his way to a 48-yard touchdown to make the score 24-17 in favor of LIU Post.
However, this was the last time the green and gold rejoiced. The Falcons answered back a few minutes later with a touchdown of their own. Senior quarterback Danny Guadagnoli launched a 65-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Chris Walsh to once again tie up the game with just over eight minutes left to play.
On the ensuing possession, Laurino fumbled and Falcons’ senior linebacker Mike Marini recovered the ball to give excellent field position to Bentley at the 38-yard line of LIU Post. Guadagnoli needed only two plays to give the Falcons the lead 31-24. This time, junior wide receiver Jeff Hill was the beneficiary of a touchdown pass from Guadagnoli.
The Pioneers came up empty with a three-and-out as they tried to respond back to the Falcons stealing away the lead. At the end of their offensive sequence, the Pioneers punted from their own 18-yard line. However, the punt by sophomore Tim Sternfeld was 29 yards giving the Falcons a short field.The Guadagnoli-Hill connection delivered the back-breaking blow as with 2:22 left in the game, the two found each other for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 38-24 lead, which proved to be the final score.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior defensive lineman David Sumter finished with six tackles and 1.5 sacks. Senior linebacker Rob Bright added 13 tackles in the loss.
The next time the Pioneers play is on Saturday, Sept. 28 on the road against the University of New Haven (2-1) at 1:00 p.m.