BY Colin Cannata
Senior Jordan Meachum and freshman Julius Chestnut of the Sacred Heart University football team have received recognition from the Northeast (NEC) Conference this season for their athletic performances.
Meachum rushed for 318 yards on 23 carries in the team’s 49-26 victory against Bryant University on Oct. 27, at Campus Field. According to the Sacred Heart athletics website, this broke the program’s rushing yard record in a game, which was previously 302 yards.
“It felt great to be able to rush for that record but truthfully I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the big guys up front, the tightness, and also the wide receivers,” said Meachum.
Meachum received the STAT FCS “National Offensive Player of the Week,” and NEC “Co-Offensive Player of the Week,” for his performance. According to its website, STAT FCS aims to transform the way college football is presented through data and content.
“The honors mean a lot to me, but the biggest one of all has yet to be accomplished,” said Meachum. “The most important goal is the team goal, and that is winning an NEC Championship.”
Chestnut received NEC “Rookie of the Week,” for the second time this season for his performance against Bryant. According to the Sacred Heart athletics website, he rushed for 164 yards on 13 carries.
Chestnut followed that up with a 152-yard rushing performance in a 38-7 win over Robert Morris on Nov. 3. He would win his second straight NEC “Rookie of the Week,” award and his third overall this season.
“It’s a big accomplishment and it means a lot to me and my family,” said Chestnut. “It was the offensive line and me being patient and listening to the coaches that helped me get it,” said Chestnut.
Head coach Mark Nofri has been pleased with Chestnut’s and Meachum’s efforts this season.
“They’re great kids and they work hard,” said Nofri. “Julius has fit into our system really well, and Jordan has worked his butt off for the past four years, so I’m glad to see the success that they’ve had.”
The team’s goal for an NEC Championship could’ve been realized on Nov. 10. Sacred Heart traveled to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne, looking to win the title for the first time since 2014. However, they wound up losing 28-24, making them 4-1 in conference play.
Chestnut again received “Rookie of the Week,” honors for his performance against Duquesne, which makes it three weeks in a row he’s received the award. According to the Sacred Heart athletics website, Chestnut rushed for 131 yards on 10 carries. It was also the third week in a row he rushed for over 130 yards.
With the loss, Duquesne improved to 4-1 in conference play. This moved them ahead of Sacred Heart in the NEC Standings.
Sacred Heart ends the regular season on Nov. 17, against Saint Francis University at Campus Field, which is also Senior Day.
Sacred Heart needs to defeat Saint Francis and needs Central Connecticut State (CCSU) to defeat Duquesne in order to win the NEC. Duquesne and CCSU will play each other on Nov. 17. Sacred Heart defeated CCSU on Oct. 20, which is why they would win the conference champinship should CCSU beat Duquense.
“I think us sticking together and working on the little things has been the difference maker in our team play this season,” said Meachum. “We all love each other and are willing to do whatever it takes.”