THE PACE CHRONICLE

Pace Football Falls Short in Home Opener

The Setters could not repeat their great performance last week against Millersville, as the team lost 36-10 in its home opener Saturday against the University of New Haven. Photo Courtesy of Pace Athletics.

The Setters could not repeat their great performance last week against Millersville, as the team lost 36-10 in its home opener Saturday against the University of New Haven. Photo Courtesy of Pace Athletics.

Justis Nieves, Sports Writer

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This past Saturday, Pace Football looked to defend their home turf against the University of New Haven (UNH) Chargers in the team’s home opener. Unfortunately, the Setters could not bring their bite, as they fell to the Chargers 36-10, placing the team at 1-1. 

To start the game, the Chargers scored on their opening drive thanks to an eight-play drive that concluded with a 7-yard rushing touchdown, but the team failed to put the ball between the uprights on the extra point attempt.

The Setters’ offense started off slow on their first drive, recording two incomplete passes and only three positive yards on the ground. UNH took the ball again after the punt and repeated what they accomplished on their first offensive series, courtesy of a 4-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 1.

With Pace trailing 12-0 after a blocked extra point by defensive lineman Dan Pelish, the Setters began to find a rhythm in their offense in both the run and passing game. The Setters’ scoring drive was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown lob from quarterback Brandon Simmons to wide receiver Darius Jones to get the team on the board.

Down by five after the PAT, Pace needed to get a stop on defense and get the ball back to cut the lead or possibly even take it. However, UNH had other plans, as their offense marched down the field in 10 plays for another rushing touchdown to increase the Chargers’ lead to 19.  At the half, New Haven still held a firm lead at 22-10 going into the third quarter.

Looking to put points up, the Setters received the second half kickoff and started on their own 25. Hopes of scoring on this series were quickly erased as the Chargers forced a fumble and recovered it after a Setter completion. Luckily for the Setters, they were able to prevent another score after the turnover. With the ball placed at their 20, the Setters steadily moved up the field only to be taken back from UNH’s 36 to their own 33 after two consecutive TFLs by the Chargers and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called against the Setters to bring up a devastating 3rd and 41.

Unsurprisingly, they were unable to convert. With the third quarter winding to a close, UNH struck the end zone once again for six after a 29-yard TD. 

Entering the fourth quarter, it was a continuation of plays from the third for both teams. UNH forced two more turnovers and scored once again on another touchdown run, while Pace couldn’t reach the red zone until the very end, but still couldn’t capitalize on the field position.

Quarterback Brandon Simmons threw for 225 yards going 15 for 23 and logging the only TD for Pace on the evening. Running back Jhalen Bien-Aime led the Setters in rushing with 51 yards. On the receiving end, Anthony Carter-Guy lead the team with five catches for 33 yards. Following Carter-Guy was  Ramir Tann-Davis with 92 yards of his own on two catches.

The Setters will look bounce back next Saturday afternoon against American International College in Springfield, MA. 

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