With just four seconds remaining in regulation, a 31-yard field goal by Bentley University (5-5) handed the LIU Post football team (6-4) a 30-28 defeat on Saturday, Nov. 7, in a Northeast-10 Conference showdown at Bentley University Field in Waltham, Mass.
Trailing 28-27 with just 30 seconds to go, Bentley received the ball on the 43-yard line following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It only took the Falcons twenty seconds to move into field goal range as sophomore quarterback C.J. Scarpa threw a 31-yard bomb, which was hauled in by junior wide receiver Chris Calvanese at the LIU 14-yard line, setting up the game-winning field goal from kicker Alex Baron.
Heading into this game, Bentley only averaged 14.6 points a game, but history didn’t play its course as they scored 31 points. Calvanese had a field day for the Falcons, recording 10 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns. The hosts also used a trick play to open up the scoring as senior wide-out Chris Walsh threw a 42-yard touchdown strike to Calvanese in the first period.
Down 27-14 in the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Jeff Kidd and the Pioneers’ offense flipped the switch; scoring two touchdowns to jump on top, 28-27. Kidd first staged an impressive 17-play, 84-yard drive resulting in a 13-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver James Higgins, trimming the lead down to seven.
After Baron shanked a 35-yard field goal try, LIU Post capitalized, finding the end-zone once again. It wasn’t an easy task though as the Pioneers converted a fourth-and-long when Kidd hoisted a prayer that was hauled in by red-shirt sophomore wide-out Kyle Ward for 42 yards. The Oregon-native spread the ball around to six different receivers for 91 yards on the drive. Kidd checked down to junior running back Mike Williams for an 8-yard touchdown making it a 27-26 game. LIU went on to score a two-point conversion as Kidd connected with Higgins in the back of the end-zone, giving the visitors a 28-27 edge with just 30 seconds left.
Kidd, the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week, completed 34-of-58 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Shane Hubbard caught seven balls for 97 yards. Senior tight end Sean Binckes wasn’t targeted much until late in the game, but still had six receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown. However, LIU’s ground attack was non-existent; freshman wide-out Ramel Joseph led all rushers with 28 yards on mostly reverses.
The Pioneers were once again depleted with injuries on defense as junior safety Clarence Sears left the game early and senior defensive lineman James Athan had to be helped off the field twice during the game. Junior cornerback Kareem Folkes and sophomore defensive back Richard Wright were picked on early and often by Scarpa, as the secondary continued to struggle against the pass. Several miscues and penalties also haunted the Pioneers throughout the course of the game, which was capped off by the unsportsmanlike conduct after the two-point conversion.
Junior linebacker Nate Feliz stood out defensively, leading the Pioneers with 12 tackles. Freshman linebacker Connor Farrell totaled nine stops and one pass-deflection. Sophomore defensive end Kevin Pettit-Frere pitched in with six tackles and a blocked extra point.
LIU Post fell to sixth place in the NE-10 as head football coach Bryan Collins and the Pioneers will travel back to Waltham to play Bentley again on Saturday, Nov. 14 in the fifth place game on Championship Weekend. Kickoff is yet to be determined.
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.