By Michael Otero
On Saturday, Nov. 16, the LIU Post football team (5-6) rounded out its 2013 season with a 62-28 victory over the Pace University Setters (0-11) in the Northeast-10 Championship Weekend of games.
The Pioneers kickstarted the scoring with a touchdown on their first possession. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Matt Brennan conducted an 80- yard drive and found fellow red-shirt freshman wide receiver Michael Richardson for the 11-yard touchdown pass. After trading empty possessions, the Setters aimed for seven points. Starting in enemy territory, the Setters converted fourth down opportunities twice on their drive, and cashed in with a touchdown, evening the score at seven.
After a muffed punt return by Pace, Richardson recovered the ball and ran 36 yards to the Setters’ 23- yard line. Four plays later, junior tight end Tyler Heuer found the end zone on a two- yard rush, giving the Pioneers a 17-7 lead. Richardson set the Pioneers up again on their next possession with a punt return that brought them close to midfield. Brennan connected with four Pioneer receivers on the short drive that resulted in an eight-yard strike from Brennan to red- shirt junior wide out Kamron Palmer.
Right before halftime, LIU Post capped off their impressive second quarter with another touchdown. This time it was red-shirt senior wide receiver Joe Botti who caught a 21-yard pass from Brennan. The Pioneers went into halftime up 31-7.
As the second half moved along, Richardson continued his stellar play from the first half. On the Pioneers’ second drive, Richardson accounted for 41 of the 70 yards, including a 20-yard reception from Brennan, adding to the lead, and making it 38-7. The Pioneers added a field goal on their next possession, extending the lead to 41-7. The Setters showed little fight, and scored a touchdown on their next possession, making the score 41-14. On the green and gold’s next drive, Brennan was picked off by senior defensive back Jashon Dawson, who took it the other way for a score. The score held at 41-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Two LIU Post rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter extended their lead even further, pushing the score to 55-21. Adding to the already sizeable advantage on the scoreboard was junior defensive back Roger Hamilton. Hamilton intercepted Setters’ junior quarterback Brian Beeker, and found his way to the end zone. A late touchdown by Pace completed all the scoring of the day. The final score was 62-28, in favor of the Pioneers.
For the Pioneers, Brennan finished 16-27 for 222 yards and four touchdowns. In addition to his contribution through the air, Brennan also ran for 52 yards and a score. The Pioneers’ ground attack as whole, which featured eight people, gained 257 rushing yards. Richardson ended the day with three catches, two of which went for touchdowns, and 53 yards receiving. Botti caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown as well. Defensively, red-shirt junior defensive lineman Dan Belfiore had three quarterback hurries, a sack, and two and a half tackles for a loss.
For the Setters, Beeker was 18-39 through the air with a touchdown, an interception, and a total of 122 yards. Dawson was their leading rusher, running the ball only nine times, but tallying up 96 yards and a touchdown.
Some notable seniors this season included: Joe Botti, Chris DiIorio, Tommy Williams, and Rob Bright. The Pioneers concluded their 2013 campaign at a 5-6 mark, improving their record from the 2012 season.