By Matt Weinstein
Coming off of a big Homecoming win 37-6 against Saint Anselm College, the Pioneers defended their undefeated streak in their match against long-time rivals, the Pace University Setters, on Oct. 20.
The 41-6 win against the Setters marks the 15th straight win since October 1998. Head coach Brian Collins, who was in the middle of his first season coaching at Post when they last lost to Pace, recalled the promise he made, saying, “‘We’ll never lose to that team again.”
The last time the Pioneers started off a season 6-0 was in 2016. Back then, the Pioneers were “a little more explosive defensively in 2016” but are doing better defensively this year, according to Collins. “We’ll compare them after we accomplished what the 2016 team accomplished. Until then we’re fighting hard to win the next game,” he said.
The football team is nationally ranked No. 20 in the American football coaches poll. “It’s nice to be recognized by coaches around the country, and they recognize we have a very strong program,” Collins said. The success of their program can be attributed, in part, to their undefeated record in the regular season. “Now it’s crunch time and it’s Pioneer time,” he said. “It’s October – when the leaves start falling the Post boys start balling.”
The defensive players are putting in the work and reaping the benefits. Nazir Streater, a sophomore defensive back player, made a huge step up in defense. “He’s feeling real comfortable about himself,” Collins said. “He has tremendous skills, he’s an excellent athlete.”
Now more than halfway through the regular season, many defensive players stand out. “I think Zach Cofrancesco (junior defensive back) stands out,” Collins said. “He’s very engaged, he’s smart and he knows what he’s doing, he knows how to play the game. He’s probably the biggest surprise on the entire team, he’s playing at such a high level.”
The Pioneers now sit at 7-0 for the season. Their next game is against Assumption College in Worcester, Mass as part of the NCAA Division II Showcase on Oct. 27. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m.