No. 19 Football Weathers the Storm for 21-7 Road Win at Assumption
WORCESTER, Mass. – it was wet, it was windy, and it was all LIU Post as the Pioneer football team exploded during the second half to take down the Assumption College Greyhounds, 21-7 on the road on Saturday, Oct. 27. The win extends the Pioneer win-streak to 13 games, matching the longest unbeaten streak in program history. The 21 points makes it 26-straight contests with the Green and Gold offense scoring 20 or more points. On a day where the high temperature reached 43 degrees, a steady rain fell throughout the entire contest, and the winds whipped in excess of 30 miles per hour, the Pioneers could not be slowed down. The 19th-ranked team in the nation improves to 8-0 on the season and 7-0 in Northeast-10 Conference play with the win. It was a defensive battle during the first half despite the Pioneers outgaining the Greyhounds, 201-98. LIU Post moved the ball efficiently despite the conditions but were unable to capitalize deep in Assumption territory. Senior kicker Joey Tolgyesi was unable to hit on a 47-yard attempt with a heavy cross wind during the first quarter, and the Greyhound defense got a hand on consecutive attempts from 27 yards and 32 yards. The Pioneers were unable to convert on a 4th-and-5 attempt with 20 seconds remaining in the half and the two squads entered the locker room in a scoreless tie. LIU Post won the coin toss prior to kickoff and deferred to receive the second-half kickoff and the decision paid major dividends as sophomore Nazir Streater bounced off two tacklers and took the opening kick 86 yards for a touchdown to give the Green and Gold a 7-0 advantage just 17 seconds into the third quarter. The momentum continued as the Pioneer defense stepped up in a huge way after a Greyhound punt was fumbled deep in Pioneer territory, but the Green and Gold stuffed Assumption on 4th-and-3 when Streater came up from the secondary to take down Doug Santos. Taking over on downs, redshirt-freshman Jonathan DeBique gave the Pioneers a first down with a 15-yard carry before redshirt-senior Malik Pierre bounced outside for a 20-yard gain on the following play to set up the offense at midfield. Redshirt-senior Michael Richardson hauled in a great 39-yard reception down the right sideline to set up the Pioneers at the 11-yard line. It took six attempts from inside the five-yard line, but Pierre eventually punched in a one-yard rush for his eighth touchdown of the season and the Pioneers carried a 14-0 lead into the final quarter. Everything started clicking for LIU Post as the defense forced a punt from the Assumption 34-yard line and redshirt-junior Abel Joseph got around a blocker and stuffed the punt attempt with his left hand to give the Pioneers the ball at the Greyhound 17-yard line. Four plays later, DeBique went untouched into the end zone from four yards out to give LIU Post a 21-0 advantage early in the final period. The Greyhounds got on the board on the following possession when Cody Williams took a quarterback-keeper 30 yards down the right sideline to make it a two-possession game. The Pioneers took care of the rest, forcing a four-and-out by the Greyhounds on the following possession before running out the clock with a 10-play drive. It was the ground game that was the difference on Saturday, as the Pioneers netted a season-high 212 yards on the ground while holding the Greyhounds to 137 yards rushing. Pierre set season-highs with 32 carries and 124 yards on the ground, adding 12 receiving yards for 136 yards of total offense. DeBique added 80 yards on 12 carries, finding the end zone for the third time this season. The redshirt-freshman added two receptions for 53 yards, including a 50-yard gain on a screen pass during the first half. Defensively, the Pioneers were stout all afternoon, limiting Assumption to just 1-of-12 on third-down conversions on the day. The Greyhounds gained just 232 yards of total offense as the Pioneers held its sixth opponent of the year under 10 points. Redshirt-senior Jake Carlock led the swarming effort with eight tackles, while classmate Kevin Petit-Frere added seven tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack. The Pioneers look to make it a new program record when they go for their 14th-consecutive victory next weekend at Southern Connecticut State with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m.