The Pioneers suffered their eighth consecutive loss of the season, after losing to Salisbury University 42-13 on November 16th. The Pioneers ended the season with a record of 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Even with two wins, they ended the season with a losing streak. This game wasn’t just the last home of the game of the season, it was also senior night.
Coming into this game the Pioneers relied on their defense and to have positivity to knock off a ranked team.
The Pioneers started the game with freshman running back Terrique Riddick who rushed from the five yards out to cap off a 16-play, 74-yard drive at the end of the first half. Helping the Pioneers get on the scoreboard and ending the first half (28-6). Senior Tracy Fudge Jr. closed out his last Pioneer game by going 14-of-22, for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Fudge and junior tight end William Frese seemed to have a connection coming into this game on an 11-yard scoring strike with 5:49 remaining in the game. Riddick ended the game with 45 yards on 25 carries, while Frese led all the players with four receptions and 44 yards. By the end of the game, the Pioneers had a total of 13 points.
Defense has always been a strength for the Pioneers, however, the defense fell short this time. The Pioneers scored a total of 13 points to Slisbury, who is a ranked team went into this game with a record of 8-0. The defense came into the game with great energy. Senior linebacker Andrew Anthony registered a team-high nine tackles. Along with Tyler Gross who collected six stops with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Freshman R.J. Massey added four tackles and an interception, while freshman cornerback Devyn Blount added in six stops.
The Sea Gulls got their touchdown from their quarterback Jack Lanham, running back Mike-Ryan Mofor and running back Shamar Gray helped lead Slisbury 21-0 after the first. The Pioneer defense soon allowed the Sea Gulls to get a three-yard rush by Hopeton Mair and a 36-yard scamper by Devon Fowlkes. This made the game 35-6 at the half. Soon Mofor’s second touchdown came into play, allowing him an eight-yard run, this set off the Sea Gull’s scoring.
This was not only the last home game, but the last game of the season. The Pioneers ended their season with a losing streak, ending their season with a 2-8 record overall and 0-7 in the NJAC. Senior quarterback Cornelius Kitchen (who did not play due to his shoulder energy) did not let this ruin his last time ever being on a college football field.
Kitchen had some encouraging words for his fellow Pioneers, “Do not take it for granted, you never know when your last play is, to work hard on the offseason and come back hungry two wins was good and all, but why not want more?”
Watch out for the Pioneers to see what they have up and coming for next season. The key for the Pioneers is their defense and positivity. If the Pioneers have both these during a game, they can end games different than what they have been doing.