By Michael Otero
Capped off with a 34-yard field goal as time expired by sophomore kicker Joey Tolgyesi, the Pioneers bested the Falcons from Bentley University, 27-24, on Saturday, Sept. 24, in front of the Pioneer faithful in Brookville, N.Y.
The game-winning kick by Tolgyesi came two minutes after the Falcons orchestrated a four-play, 80-yard drive, which ended with a 50-yard touchdown and tied the score at 24.
Rewinding to earlier in the game, it was a defensive battle early on. The first quarter saw zero points combined. The big play came in handy for both teams in the second quarter. The Pioneers struck first when senior quarterback, Jeff Kidd, connected with redshirt junior receiver, Kyle Ward, on a 40-yard touchdown to give the Pioneers a 7-0 lead. The Falcons, however, one-upped the Pioneers with a 69-yard touchdown pass just three minutes later to pull even. At the break, the score was knotted at seven. After the intermission, the Pioneers got a momentum boost when their defense made a huge play and got a safety, putting them up 9-7.
Less than three minutes before the start of the fourth quarter, redshirt senior Shane Hubbard hauled in a seven-yard touchdown from Kidd, which made the score 16-7. After another passing touchdown by the Falcons, the Pioneers saw their lead disappear when the Falcons connected on a field goal to go ahead, 17-16.
The Hubbard-Kidd connection worked well once, so why not try it again? The duo successfully gave the Pioneers the lead on a game-changing 52-yard touchdown pass, which, thanks to a two-point conversion by Kidd, gave the Pioneers a seven-point lead.
That lead was not safe though, as the Falcons tied it up but left too much time for the Pioneers to get Tolgyesi in field goal range. The 27-24 win is the Pioneers’ fourth of the season, and the team remains undefeated.
Kidd finished with 377 yards in the air, three touchdowns, and 80 yards on the ground. The halfback combination of senior David White and red-shirt sophomore Malik Pierre rushed for 77 and 58 yards, respectively. In the receiving department, Hubbard led the way with 14 catches for 167 yards and two scores, while Ward totaled seven catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Junior defensive back Richard Wright was all over the place, totaling six tackles and snagging an interception. Redshirt junior defensive lineman Anthony DeNunzio and redshirt senior defensive lineman Kenny Scotland also played well, each adding a sack.
The Pioneers are back in action Saturday, Oct. 1, at Worcester, Mass. to battle with Assumption College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.