Football Wins a Thriller Thanks to DiNota’s Touchdown

BY Asia McCray 

Assistant Sports Editor

After a three-game losing streak, the Sacred Heart football team came from behind, winning a thrilling 36-33 overtime victory over St. Francis on the road. The team fought back from numerous deficits, including a 10-point hole late in the first half to improve to 4-4 overall.

After enduring a three-game losing streak to bring them below the .500 mark, quarterback Logan Marchi believes that the team is not focused on the previous losses, but on how they can improve from those loses to win.

“This is a team that does not quit. After some tough losses early in the season, most teams would pack it in,” said Marchi. “Coaches would take the game plan lighter, get guys more playing time for the future, and the players would start focusing on themselves and prepare less each week. Not this staff and not these guys. These coaches want to win and so do the players.”

Sophomore wide receiver Rob DiNota says in preparation for the game, the team spent the week focusing on building trust with one another during practice in hopes of it carrying over to the field.

“The point of emphasis all week is just doing your job and trusting everyone else to do theirs,” said DiNota. “When we play as one unit and play together no one can stop us.”

DiNota finished the game with six catches for 44 yards. However, no catch was more important than the one that sealed the victory for the Pioneers. Trailing by three, Sacred Heart faced a third-and-nine inside the St. Francis 10-yard line. Marchi found a cutting DiNota, who found the end-zone for his first collegiate touchdown.

“It didn’t feel real. It was awesome, especially to do it in that fashion. I’m just glad we got the win and out of the three-game drought,” said DiNota.

Marchi had a similar reason for what led to the team’s success during this game. The reason was supported by the team focusing on what’s best for them, which is establishing the running game and forcing turnovers on defense.

The idea of going 1-0 each week is something that head coach Mark Nofri has been communicating  to his players.

“Coach has been preaching going 1-0 each week. Not looking past the task at hand each week, said Marchi. “If we have the mindset of going 1-0 this week and controlling what we can control, then everything else takes care of itself.”

Moving forward, the team’s goal is to simply focus on how they can help each other win one game at a time according to DiNota.

“Our expectations moving forward are to go 1-0 each week we want to win out and end the season on a good note,” said DiNota.

The following week, Sacred Heart continued their winning ways. Behind a career-high 203 rushing yards from sophomore running back Julius Chestnut, the Pioneers defeated the Bryant Bulldogs 24-17, to improve to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in Northeast Conference (NEC) play.

The Pioneers are back on the field against Wagner for NEC play on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 12:00 pm at home on Campus field.

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