Bison Football Drops Tough Season Opener to the Pioneers

Brooke Tracey, Contributing Writer

The Bison football team struggled to find the end zone in their 2021 season opener at Sacred Heart University this past Saturday, Sept. 4. The No. 2 NEC ranked Pioneers outscored the Orange and Blue 21-0 after a scoreless first quarter of play.   

The Bison defense put forth a strong effort against the offensive-minded Pioneers. It wasn’t until 32 seconds left in the first half that the Pioneers got a break by the Bison defense, leading to their first touchdown. The Pioneers entered halftime with only a slight edge over the Orange and Blue. It was in the second half that Sacred Heart expanded their lead.

Even while down, the Bison continued to fight until the final whistle. Their best opportunity came in the second half, following a Pioneers punt from their own end zone. The Bison failed to capitalize on this drive, however, eventually leading to another one of Sacred Heart’s touchdowns.

There were 10 Bison who made their first career start in the season opener, six of which were on defense. This young team held their own, with only five out of the 22 starters having more than five career starts for the Bison. 

Key contributor to the Bison defense, linebacker Blake Leake ’24, remains optimistic following this weekend’s result, admitting that “losing [wasn’t] the outcome [they] wanted, but it felt good to be back on the field with fans in the stadium.” After their abbreviated spring 2021 season with limited fan presence, Leake acknowledges the importance of having their fan base back in the stands. 

The Bison have plenty of time to bounce back, with ten regular-season games remaining. The Orange and Blue will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 11 at Villanova, which is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

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