NEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week
LARRY McCOY, DUQUESNE
Sr., RB, 5-10, 226 lbs., Wytheville, VA/George Wythe
McCoy took a breather for the entire fourth quarter of the Dukes’ Week 3 matchup with Valparaiso, but the preseason all-NEC running back had already done plenty of damage to the Crusdaers’ defense. The veteran ball carrier ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns in Duquesne’s 45-17 victory, the team’s second in as many weeks over a Pioneer League foe. McCoy touched the ball 30 times in the game (29 carries and 1 reception), averaging a 5.83-yard gain per play. The senior running back capped Duquesne’s opening drive by ripping off a 28-yard touchdown run. His 19-yard scoring scamper put Duquesne in front, 21-17, right before halftime. McCoy’s six-yard TD burst upped the Dukes’ lead to 31-17 with 5:27 remaining in the third period.
NEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week
KEION WADE, SAINT FRANCIS (PA)
Sr., RB, 5-10, 223 lbs., East Orange, NJ/East Orange
Wade carried the bulk of the load for a rushing attack that rolled up 457 yards in Week 3. The senior running back, who surfaced atop the depth chart when Kyle Harbirdge was lost for the season, ran 27 times for 243 yards and three touchdowns during a 57-23 road win over Pioneer League member Morehead State. Wade’s three touchdown runs helped the Red Flash turn a 17-0 deficit into a 28-23 lead by the 4:54 mark of the third quarter. Wade put Saint Francis on the scoreboard by plunging in from three yards out midway through the second quarter. He produced a 40-yard scoring sprint on the Flash’s first possession of the second half, pulling his team within 23-21. Wade put the Flash ahead for good when he scored on a 1st-and-goal play from the 9-yard line.
NEC Defensive Player of the Week
DAN SULLIVAN, MONMOUTH
Jr., LB, 6-2, 235 lbs., Manasquan, NJ/Manasquan
Sullivan is from Manasquan, NJ, but he was living in Wagner’s backfield this past Saturday. The junior linebacker made 4.5 tackles for a loss, including 3.5 quarterback sacks, during Monmouth’s 38-17 victory over Outer Bridge rival Wagner. Sullivan’s efforts spearheaded a defense that limited Wagner to nine first downs and 145 yards of total offense. The explosive Sullivan recorded a team-high nine tackles (7 solo) and was also credited with a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. He sacked Nick Doscher on Wagner’s first play from scrimmage, sending the Seahawks on their way to a 3-and-out. Sullivan later derailed three consecutive Wagner drives with a trio of solo sacks in the second quarter. The third sack forced a fumble at Wagner’s 23-yard line and gave Monmouth a last-second chance to add to its 28-10 lead right before halftime.
NEC Special Teams Player of the Week
OTIS WRIGHT, WAGNER
So., RS, 5-10, 180 lbs., Fort Lauderdale, FL/Dillard
Returning kickoffs during the annual Outer Bridge rivalry game, Wright sparked Wagner on a couple of occasions during what was a career day for the sophomore. Wright totaled 189 yards on five kick returns, accounting for the most return yards in a single NEC game since the 2010 season. The highlight of Wright’s afternoon came on the first play of the fourth quarter when he brought back a Monmouth kickoff 89 yards to pay dirt. The touchdown return was the longest in NEC play since Central Connecticut’s Josue Paul returned one 90 yards against Wagner on Oct. 30, 2010. After Monmouth went up by a 21-3 score early in the second quarter, the sophomore return specialist ripped off a 37-yard run back to set the Seahawks for a touchdown drive.
NEC Rookie of the Week
KHAIRI DICKSON, SAINT FRANCIS (PA)
Fr., RB, 6-0, 182 lbs., Cleveland, OH/Cleveland Central Catholic
Dickson was not 100 percent health wise, but still managed to contribute to Saint Francis’ dominant rushing attack in a convincing non-conference victory over Morehead State. The freshman ball carrier, who was “slowed by injury,” ran 11 times for 42 yards and one touchdown. His efforts were part of a 457-yard rushing performance from the Red Flash offense. On his way to securing the NEC Rookie of the Week award for a second week in a row, the 6-foot freshman accounted for four of the Flash’s 26 rushing first downs and accounted for first-down runs on three separate touchdown drives.
Top Performers of Week
? Dan Sullivan (Monmouth)
The third-year linebacker looked like he was shot out of a cannon on a number of occasions during the Hawks’ Outer Bridge rivalry win, flying into the backfield to made 4.5 tackles for loss.
? Larry McCoy (Duquesne)
The running back reached the 100-yard rushing mark for the second week in a row and the 21st time in his career, totaling 171 yards on 29 carries in three quarters of play at Valpo.
? Keion Wade (Saint Francis)
One of the man attempting to off-set the loss of all-NEC running back Kyle Harbridge (season-ending injury), Wade produced the conference’s first 200-plus yard rushing performance of the season.
? Dorian Bell (Duquesne)
The former Ohio State linebacker posted nine tackles, including 2.0 hits for a loss, as the Dukes held Valpo scoreless over the last three quarters.
? Will Fiacchi (Albany)
The sophomore signal caller went 23-of-35 passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns against the No. 5 team in the nation.
? Otis Wright (Wagner)
The sophomore Seahawk had the longest kickoff return (89 yards) in NEC play in nearly two full years.
? Justin Sexton (Sacred Heart)
The native Californian made 16 tackles (13 solo) and logged 1.5 sacks at Patriot League member Colgate.
SULLIVAN, RIVAL HAWKS STEAL HEADLINES ON WALT HAMELINE’S SPECIAL DAY
The Outer Bridge game was played on Staten Island this season, but it was the Jersey Shore half of the rivalry that prevailed.
On a day that the field at Wagner College Stadium was named in honor of their head coach, the Seahawks succumbed to a suffocating defensive effort of behalf of Monmouth.
Monmouth’s victory evened up the all-time rivalry series at 10-10 and it also continued an odd trend of visiting team dominance. Eight of the last nine meetings between Monmouth and Wagner have been won by the visitor.
Unable to send Walt Hameline to his 205th career victory on the first-ever game played on renamed Hameline Field, Wagner managed only nine first downs and 145 yards of total offense.
Despite the Seahawks’ inability to consistently move the football, Wagner did manage to score more points (17) against Monmouth than CAA member Rhode Island did (6) in its Week 2 meeting at the Jersey Shore.
Monmouth held its opponent under 200 yards of total offense for the second week in a row. This time, the Hawks’ pass rush was at the center of the effort. Monmouth sacked the opposing quarterback six times and forced Seahawks’ signal callers to fumble twice.
Junior linebacker Dan Sullivan, who hails from the Jersey Shore town of Manasquan, accounted for 3.5 of the Hawks’ sacks and earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from The Sports Network as a result.
Although Hameline’s side did not win the 2012 edition of the Outer Bridge rivalry, one of his protégé did. Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan was Wagner’s defensive coordinator early on during Hameline’s head coaching tenure. Callahan served on Hameline’s staff from 1981 through 1983, a span during which the Seahawks posted a 25-4-2 record.
Lights, Camera, Action: The five-week Northeast Conference football television schedule kicks off on Saturday, September 22 under the lights at Central Connecticut. The NEC will broadcast the Week 4 matchup between Wagner and CCSU at the newly-renovated Arute Field in primetime. The broadcast will start at 7:00 pm EST and air live on MSG Network and Fox College Sports (FCS). The game will serve as the NEC opener for Central, which is coming off three consecutive setbacks to FCS Top 25 teams. Meanwhile, Wagner will be looking to bounce back following a loss to Monmouth in its conference lid-lifter. CCSU will play before a national TV audience for back-to-back weeks as the Blue Devils will travel to Sacred Heart for a Week 5 bout that will air live on FCS and ESPN3. New York Giants Radio Network personality Paul Dottino will again serve as the play-by-play announcer for NEC football, while former Cal quarterback Steve Levy provides color commentary.
The Week 4 Docket: Eight of the nine NEC teams will take to the gridiron in Week 4 and six of them will play league games. Only Albany and Saint Francis (PA) will face non-conference opponents, both of whom are nationally-ranked. One week after facing then-No. 5 Youngstown State, the Great Danes will visit No. 23 Maine. The Red Flash, who opened the season at No.6 James Madison, will visit No. 13 Towson. In addition to the NEC-TV Game of the Week between Central Connecticut and Wagner, Bryant will host Duquesne in a NEC tilt while Monmouth entertains Sacred Heart.
Dukes Tighten Up Defensively: After Old Dominion’s high-powered offense overwhelmed Duquesne in the season opener, Jerry Schmitt’s team had responded by turning in strong defensive efforts in back-to-back weeks. The Dukes have followed up their 57-23 Week 1 loss to ODU, a team headed to FBS Conference USA come 2013, by scoring two straight victories over Pioneer League members. They surrendered seven touchdowns on Opening Day, but have allowed only three since. Duquesne has allowed a total of 24 points over the last two weeks, holding the opponent to an average of 87.5rush yards per game in the process.
Bell’s Ringing: Dorian Bell spent his freshman season at The Ohio State University before coming home to western Pennsylvania. The former high-prized high school recruit started the last seven games of Duquesne’s 2011 NEC championship run and made 37 tackles, including 4.0 for a loss. Two games into his second season with the Dukes, Bell already has 13 stops and 3.0 TFL. The 6-foot-1 linebacker was the Dukes’ defensive leader in their Week 3 win at Valpo. Bell totaled nine tackles and 2.0 hits for a loss as the Dukes held Valpo scoreless over the game’s final three quarters.
Albany Gives “A” Effort: Albany suffered its first loss of the season this past Saturday, but not without a fight. The Great Danes were neck-and-neck with No. 4 Youngstown until the host Penguins opened up a two-score lead with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. Albany, which posted wins over Colgate and Robert Morris during the season’s first two weeks, held an early 7-0 lead over Youngstown in a game that was tied on three separate occasions. Drew Smith hauled in a nine-yard touchdown pass with 00:09 remaining in the second quarter and Sean Kenny’s ensuing extra point evened the score at 21-21 heading into the break. The score remained deadlocked until YSU’s David Brown hit a 25-yard field goal with 2:15 left in the third quarter. Youngstown opened the 2012 season by posting a 31-17 win over ACC-bound Pittsburgh.
Fiacchi Filling Big Shoes: Albany marched to a share of the 2011 Northeast Conference crown thanks to a record season by fifth-year senior quarterback Dan Di Lella. Now that the first team all-NEC passer has exhausted his eligibility, the starting quarterback responsibilities have been given to sophomore Will Fiacchi. So far, so good for the 6-foot-3 Fiacchi. Through Week 3, Albany’s signal caller leads the NEC in completion percentage (69.1) and passing yards (579). Perhaps the most-telling stat is Fiacchi’s 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Fiacchi is 56-of-81 passing over three games this season, two of which are victories.
Red-hot Flash Make It Two in a Row: Saint Francis (PA) followed up its Week 2 win over NEC rival Bryant by exploding for 57 points against Morehead State. The Red Flash stormed back from a 23-7 deficit to post a 57-23 road victory over the Eagles and are off to their best season start in nearly a decade as a result. Saint Francis has won two of the season first three games for the first time since 2004. The common denominator in Saint Francis’ back-to-back wins is the prowess of the Red Flash’s rushing attack. After totaling 339 yards on the ground against Bryant, Saint Francis piled up 457 rush yards at Morehead.
Duquesne upped its record to 6-1 against Pioneer Football League teams (2-1 on the road) under head coach Jerry Schmitt. ... Robert Morris lost to Dayton despite out-gaining the Flyers for the sixth time in the last nine meetings. … Senior QB Jeff Sinclair made his first start of the season for Robert Morris and notched his 14th career game with multiple touchdowns. … RMU’s Donte Jeter set a career high with 113 yards receiving. … Saint Francis (PA) snapped its 25-game road losing streak, which was the second longest active road losing streak in all of college football.
? Larry McCoy, RB (Duquesne)
McCoy matched the Dukes’program record for career 100-yard rushing performances. The senior back totaled 171 yards on the ground at Valpo, his 21st time at or above the century mark. McCoy doesn’t need another 100 yards (only eight) to move into second place on DU’s all-time rushing list. McCoy has 3,823 career rushing yards, seven fewer than Pedro Bowman (1981-84).
? Sean Patterson, QB (Duquesne)
Patterson passed for 260 yards at Valpo to move up a spot on Duquesne’s all-time passing yardage list. He passed Scott Knapp to assume the No. 4 spot with 4,944 yards.
? Jordan Brown, RB (Bryant)
Jordan Brown is just 29 yards away from becoming Bryant’s all-time rushing leader. He has racked up 3,497 yards in his career.
? Walt Hameline, Head Coach (Wagner)
It’s a great honor. It’s humbling. Wagner has been my life, my second family.
- at a post-game reception on the day that the field at Wagner College Stadium was named in his honor.
? Jeff McInerney, Head Coach (Central Connecticut)
“We have 49 freshman and sophomores out of the 80 guys on our team. Sometimes you have to get knocked down and get up and you can learn from it.”
- following CCSU’s third loss to a Top 25 team.
? Bob Ford, Head Coach (Albany)
“We knew we were going to have trouble containing them but we held them to a respectable point. We had some big plays, we had a chance to win it in the fourth quarter. I told the kids just to keep it close heading into the fourth quarter and we did that.”
- on UAlbany’s effort against No. 5 Youngstown State
? Chris Villarrial, Head Coach (Saint Francis)
“I am very proud of the way our team responded after falling behind. We struggled early but our team did a great job of battling and we got a big win today against a solid team.”
- on his team’s comeback at Morehead State
The Danimal unleashed the fury on Wagner today. Monmouth LB Dan Sullivan (Manasquan) had 3.5 sacks, 4.5 TFL and 9 tackles in a 38-17 win.
Honored 2 lead ‘87 National Championship Football Team onto field again as we celebrate 25 Reunion.