Football Team Captures First Conference Title

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Football Team Captures First Conference Title

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Quarterback Zack Drayer accounted for four touchdowns to help the Saint Francis football team claim its first ever Northeast Conference title.  The Red Flash earned a 31-21 win over Central Connecticut State on Senior Day at DeGol Field on Nov. 12 to improve to 7-3 overall and 5-0 in the NEC.

With the win, SFU clinched at least a share of the NEC title and an automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs for the first time in school history.

The Red Flash, who joined the Northeast Conference in 1996, are 5-0 in NEC action for the first time ever.

On a day where Saint Francis honored 20 seniors from a class that has accounted for a school-record tying 24 wins over their four years, SFU totaled 323 yards of offense.

Drayer completed 12-of-29 passes and connected with Marcus Alston, Jordan Milberry and Kam Lewis on touchdown passes.  The senior quarterback also ran for a score.

Lewis set a new career-high with 189 yards on eight catches.

Marcus Bagley rushed for 69 yards on 24 carries.

Safety Hakeem Kinard led the Red Flash with 10 tackles, including six solo and a sack, while Malik Duncan and Solomon Leaeno each had eight stops, with Leaeno recording one tackle for loss and a sack.

CCSU quarterback Jacob Dolegala completed 25-of-38 passes for 318 yards and two scores.  He also ran for a touchdown.

The Red Flash got on the board first on Millberry’s nine-yard touchdown reception.  After the SFU defense forced a three-and-out, the Flash started a drive at its 37.  On the first play of the drive, Drayer hit Lewis over the middle for a 49-yard gain to the CCSU 14.

Two plays later, Drayer connected with Millberry on a screen pass to the right, with Millberry finding plenty of space in front of him to get into the end zone. Lance Geesey’s extra point gave SFU a 7-0 lead with 12:50 left in the first quarter.

However, the Blue Devils answered quickly with a 78-yard touchdown to Jose Garcia, off a screen pass by Dolegala.  CCSU tied it at 7-7 with 11:26 to go in the first.

Saint Francis added a touchdown on a 19-yard throw from Drayer to Lewis with 4:34 left in the opening quarter.  Lewis had a 19-yard catch earlier in the drive and Junior Ajayi had a key 17-yard gain on a 3rd-and-10. Bagley added a 10-yard run to help set up the score.

The Red Flash extended its lead to 17-7 with 2:14 left in the first quarter on Geesey’s 28-yard field goal.  After forcing CCSU into a three-and-out, SFU started the possession at its own 36.  On the first play of the drive, Drayer hit Lewis for a 50-yard gain to the CCSU 14.

CCSU cut the SFU lead to 17-14 with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Dolegala to Joey Fields early in the second quarter.

However, SFU went into halftime with a 24-14 lead after a two-yard fourth-down touchdown run by Drayer with 6:42 left in the second quarter.

Saint Francis scored early in the third quarter to push its lead to 31-14.  After a muffed punt reception by CCSU, Drayer found Alston in the back of the end zone for a six-yard score.

CCSU scored on a two-yard run by Dolegala with 1:59 to go in the game to cut the lead to 31-21.

However, SFU’s Jarren Williams recovered an onside kick attempt to seal the win and SFU’s first-ever NEC title.

Story courtesy of SFU Office of Athletic Communications