Happy Homecoming for the Pioneers

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David Otero
Sports Editor

The LIU Post football team ended its four-game losing streak by defeating the Millersville Marauders (2-6) on Homecoming by a final score of 20-15. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Heuer started in place of injured sophomore quarterback Steven Laurino, and helped lead the team to a much needed win in front of a packed house at Hickox Field on Saturday, October 20.

The Pioneers (3-4) had no trouble putting up points through the first 30 minutes of play as the team led 20-6 at the half. The highlight of the day took place early in the first quarter when Heuer jump-started the offense with an 82-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Kamron Palmer. Following an interception by senior defensive back D.J. Young, Heuer and the offense were put in great starting field position to do some damage at the Millersville 29 yard line. Senior running back Thomas Beverly capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run for his second rushing touchdown of the season.

The Pioneers finally got off to a solid start like Coach Bryan Collins has preached all season long. However, on the first play of Millersville’s ensuing drive, junior running back Ian Sadon busted out a 75-yard touchdown run make the score 13-6 in favor of the Pioneers early in the second quarter.

The Pioneers once again capitalized on Millersville turnovers. Junior outside linebacker Tommy Williams intercepted a pass and nearly ran it the distance for a touchdown. The offense of the Pioneers needed only one play to take a two score advantage as junior linebacker Rob Bright barreled his way into the end zone for a touchdown. With that score, the Pioneers had a comfortable 20-6 lead at the break.

In the second half, Heuer and the offense did not show up as the team did not even threaten to score once during the final 30 minutes. The Pioneers’ defense came up clutch on Homecoming as it forced four turnovers and limited the Marauders to only 15 points all game. Sophomore defensive lineman Joseph Thompson was a game-changer as he led the Pioneers with two sacks, while senior linebacker Anton Rukaj had a team-high 10 tackles.

With the defense playing so well, the offense had to hold onto the ball to avoid the Pioneers losing the fifth straight game. Late in the fourth quarter after throwing his second interception of the quarter and third of the game, Heuer was pulled in favor of Laurino. For the game, Heuer was 11-20 for 113 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions through the air. However, Heuer was efficient on the ground rushing the ball 19 times for 137 yards. With less than four minutes left to play, Laurino entered the game with a broken left hand and a broken right thumb ready to close out a Pioneers win. And he did just that. Despite not throwing the ball once, Laurino had three rushes for 11 yards, protected the ball, and moved the chains to seal a Pioneers win on Homecoming.

The Pioneers have the team’s final home game this week on Saturday, October 27, at 1 p.m. when they square off against the 3-4 East Stroudsburg Warriors.

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