No. 13 Football Wins NE10 Championship Thriller Over New Haven, 17-13
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – In its final Northeast-10 Conference championship game, the LIU Post football team took down the University of New Haven in one of the most exciting games in program history, 17-13 in front of a sold-out crowd at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Green and Gold captured its 13th conference championship with the victory and completed its third undefeated regular season in program history, improving to 10-0 on the year and extending its win-streak to 15 games. Redshirt-senior Jake Carlock had an outstanding game defensively, intercepting New Haven quarterback Ajee Patterson late in the fourth quarter, notched a touchdown-saving pass breakup, recovered a fumble in the end zone during the first half, and was in on the stop on the biggest play of the day. In total, Carlock recorded seven tackles, finishing second behind sophomore Nazir Streater (12) for the team lead. It was a bend, but don't break afternoon for the Pioneer defense who surrendered just 13 points despite allowing 442 yards of total offense. Patterson led New Haven with 366 passing yards and Ju'an Williams hauled in 13 receptions for 217 yards and one touchdown. The defense stepped up when it was called upon, however, forcing two turnovers inside the 20-yard line for New Haven, while also forcing a turnover on downs in the defensive end during the third quarter. Redshirt-senior Malik Pierre posted a season-high 151 rushing yards on 24 carries, finding the end zone for the 10th time this season. Streater added 35 rushing yards on five carries, while redshirt-senior Michael Richardson eclipsed the century mark with six receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Pioneers and Chargers were deadlocked at 10-10 with New Haven driving. On 3rd-and-2 from the LIU Post five-yard line, Carlock leapt over a blocking Charger running back to knock down Patterson's attempt in the flat to save a touchdown. New Haven's Michael Staleny knocked home a 22-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 13-10 advantage with 8:43 remaining. The Pioneers wasted no time responding, as Pierre and freshman Jonathan DeBique combined for 17 rushing yards to move into New Haven territory. On 2nd-and-4, graduate student Chris Laviano found Richardson with a double move down the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown strike to give the Pioneers a 17-13 lead with just over six minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Chargers drove 49 yards on four plays before Carlock intercepted a Patterson pass at the LIU Post 10-yard line to retake possession with 4:09 to play. A three-and-out for the Pioneers offense gave New Haven life, and the wind affected a punt by senior Joey Tolgyesi as the Chargers took over possession at the LIU Post 37-yard line with 3:02 to play. Facing a 3rd-and-20, Patterson found Jake Lareau for a 19-yard completion, and on the following play rushed for six yards for a first down to keep New Haven's hopes alive. After a spiked ball and an incomplete pass, the Chargers faced a 3rd-and-goal from the LIU Post eight-yard line with nine seconds remaining. Graduate student Kevin Petit-Frere nearly took down Patterson for a sack, but the graduate student quarterback eluded the tackle and found Brett Huber on the one-yard line. Carlock along with sophomore Jahmel Johnson and redshirt-junior Zach Cofrancesco stood him up on the goal line to help the Pioneers avoid the heartbreaking loss, as time expired and the Pioneers held on for the 17-13 final. The Pioneers await the seeding for the NCAA Division II Tournament during the live selection show on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 5:00 p.m. The road to the national championship begins on Saturday, Nov. 17 with the No. 1 overall seed earning a first-round bye.