Pace Football Scores Most Points in over 30 Years in Route to its First Home Win of the Season

The Carlton Aiken led-offense eclipsed 51 points in the Setters' win over Stonehill.

Pace Athletics.

The Carlton Aiken led-offense eclipsed 51 points in the Setters’ win over Stonehill.

Tyaire Joseph, Contributing/Sports Writer

Coming into Saturday, the Setters looked to redeem themselves from last year’s 56-30 loss to Stonehill College. The Setters, led by junior quarterback Carlton Aiken in his second career start, did just that with a convincing 51-30 win. Pace’s offense thrived through the air and on the ground, totaling more than 450 yards for the second game in a row.

Following last week’s loss to Assumption, the Setters came out early making sure not to drop another one at home. They opened up their first drive with strong emphasis on the run game with big runs by running back Jhalen Bien-Aime, who ran for 138 yards in the game. The Setters capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run by Aiken, one of his five on the day, giving Pace a 7-0 lead.

The Setters’ defense also came out strong, forcing the Skyhawks to two consecutive three and outs. With the defense setting them up with good field position, the Setters offense looked to capitalize on their second drive of the game. They achieved this by opening up the drive with a 23-yard completion to Ramir Tann-Davis from Aiken.

The drive ended in the most unusual way with Aiken (inadvertently) throwing a four-yard touchdown to himself after his pass was deflected by a defender, but landed in his hands, giving the Setters an early 14-0 lead.

On the following possession for the Setters, the defense showed and dominance once again. On the second play of the drive, the Setters came up with a big turnover with an interception by Isaiah Williams, which was one of two interceptions by the Setters.

The second quarter opened up with the Setters showing dominance on both sides of the ball, pushing their lead to 23-3 with a touchdown run by Bien-Aime. However, midway through the quarter Stonehill began to storm back into the game, cutting the lead to 23-10 at the half.

Coming into the second half, Stonehill was riding the momentum that they left off with, rounding out the first half that only lasted an hour in real-time. On the opening drive of the half, Aiken’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Jerel Archer. On the following play, Skyhawks quarterback James Lam completed a touchdown pass to Andrew Jaimel, cutting the Setters lead to 23-17.

The Setters struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm early on in the third, punting it away on their second drive of the quarter. The Skyhawks were still hot with their hurry-up offense, and they put up another touchdown to take a 24-23 lead.

After losing the lead, the Setters did not show any worry. Instead of succumbing to the suddenly dramatic game, they pulled it together, led by a large aerial attack from the right arm of their new starting quarterback.

Last week, Aiken spoke about the defense he expected the Skyhawks to run.

“It is pretty clear-cut: they want to take away the run and they want you to pass the ball on them,” he said.

Their wish was Aiken’s command, as he proceeded to throw all over the field.

Aiken led the offense by throwing three touchdown passes in the second half. The first was a rollout pass where Aiken threaded the needle to sophomore wide receiver Adrian Rybaltowski, who proceeded to run up the right sideline for a touchdown.

On the next drive, the Setters faced a 3rd and 4. Instead of handing it off to a running back or attempting to complete a short hitch route, Aiken showed off his arm strength and threw a bomb to Rybaltowski, who raced into the end zone to extend the Setters lead to 14.

Aiken and his wide receivers were not finished yet. To prevent any comeback, the quarterback and communications major threw a jump ball to junior wide receiver Phyll Thomas, who Moss’d his defender and ran into the end zone.

Following running back Kashmier Jackson’s scamper into the end zone, the Setters eclipsed 51 points, the highest total for the team since 1987. It is also just eight points shy of the team’s all-time scoring record of 59.

The Setters are not in action again until Oct. 13 when they go on the road to take on Bentley University.