Pace Football Excels on All Sides of the Ball in Season-Opening Win at Millers
Millersville, Pa. – Fueled by great efforts in all three phases of the game, the Pace University football team began its new season with a 23-10 triumph over Millersville University on Thursday night. The Setters have now won back-to-back season openers over the Marauders as they head back to Pleasantville, 1-0. Inside the Numbers Pace showed off terrific balance on Thursday night, scoring in each phase of the action. Quarterback Brandon Simmons (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross Academy) ran in for a touchdown, place-kicker Pat Davis (Forked River, NJ/Lacey Township) drilled three field goals and linebacker Harrison Moran-Fernandez (Union City, NJ/Union City) tallied a 55-yard score off an interception. Simmons, who was enjoying his first-career start, finished the night 13-of-23 for 160 yards. He also rushed for 55 yards, while staying turnover free. Speaking of rushing, running back Jhalen Bien-Aime (Dorchester, MA/Bridgton Academy) racked up 109 yards on the ground. Bien-Aime has now eclipsed the century mark in six of his last 11 games. Junior wide-out Darius Jones (Bethlehem, PA/Liberty) was on the receiving side of six of Simmons' completions, registering 85 yards in the process. In addition to Moran-Fernandez's clinching interception in the fourth quarter, the Setters also had seven sacks and a fumble recovery in the game. Joe Mendez (Old Bridge, NJ/Manalapan) tallied a team-best three of those sacks, to go along with another tackle-for-loss. How it Happened Following a touchdown pass at the 12:21 mark of the second quarter—which provided Millersville a 10-7 lead, Pace didn't allow a single point the rest of the way. In fact, the Setters yielded just 66 yards across the entire second half. While a 13-yard scoring scamper from Simmons provided Pace's first lead at the end of the first quarter, it was a pair of field goals near the end of the first half that gave the Setters the momentum they needed. Davis knocked in a 35-yarder with a little less than four minutes left in the second quarter, capping off a 57-yard march down the field. 14 yards from Bien-Aime, and a haul of 44 yards from Jones, put the Blue and Gold in great position. Davis would then record his second field goal of the second quarter as time expired before halftime. Kadeem Langhorne's (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) fumble recovery on fourth-and-one from Pace's 31-yard line gave the Setters one more shot prior to the break. Pace's momentum rolled right into the second half as the defense forced four-straight three-and-outs to begin the third quarter. Davis would connect on another 35-yarder at the 1:19 mark of the third quarter to give the Blue and Gold a 16-10 edge. The Setters would then finally close the door mid-way through the fourth as Moran-Fernandez's 55-yard snag-and-score supplied the visitors an insurmountable 23-10 lead. Up Next The Blue and Gold will make their home debut next Saturday when they welcome the University of New Haven to Pace Stadium for a noon start.