When LIU Post was down its top two quarterbacks on Saturday, it turned to the ground game. The Pioneers’ runners did not disappoint.
No. 14 LIU Post totaled 294 yards rushing in a 22-7 win over visiting American International College in Northeast-10 Conference play, leaning on a trio of runners to carry the load.
David White led with 98 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while Holbrook’s Malik Pierre had 73 yards and two scores on 14 carries and Tim Marinan had 70 yards on 11 carries.
Pierre also hauled in four passes for 30 yards.
“David White and Malik Pierre all season long have complemented each other very well,” coach Bryan Collins said. “Malik is a slashing-type running. White brings the power.”
Starting quarterback Jeff Kidd was injured in last week’s win over Southern Connecticut State, forcing Matt Brennan into a starting role.
After completing 5 of 11 passes for 48 yards in the first half, he also left with a knee injury. That put the ball in Mike Campbell’s hands, and the No. 3 executed the offense and kept the Pioneers in position to win.
“Our game plan didn’t really change when we went to Mike from Matt,” Collins said. “It was just about running the same thing and wearing them down.”
Post (8-0, 7-0 NE-10) led 3-0 at the half after Joey Tolgyesi converted from 24 yards with four seconds left in the first. He missed from 36 yards earlier in the quarter.
Needing a spark, red-shirt junior Kyle Ward took the opening kickoff of the second half 61 yards to AIC’s 30-yard line. Seven consecutive run plays later, Pierre punched in his first touchdown from a yard out, increasing the lead to 9-0.
“We had good field position in the first half, but we couldn’t come away with points,” Collins said. “We hit one field goal and had another one blocked. Ward’s return was a momentum shifter.”
Pierre scored again from two yards in the fourth, followed by White’s three-yard run, giving the Pioneers a 22-0 lead. The Post offensive line of Chris Coles, Chris McBride, Matt Carroll, Joe Lacey and James Louison were physical all game, opening holes in short-yardage situations.
AIC’s Reco Facey accounted for the Yellow Jackets’ only score on a one-yard run. The Pioneers defensive front was staunch, limiting AIC (3-5, 3-4 NE-10) to 165 yards of total offense.
Joshua Flowers led with eight tackles and two passes broken up, while Nate Felix and Holtsville’s Connor Farrell made seven tackles. Seaford’s Anthony DeNunzio was a force, tallying six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Jared Chester intercepted a pass.
The Pioneers host Pace on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Northeast-10 play. It’s unclear if they’ll be without both Kidd and Brennan again, but behind a savvy running game, Post likely won’t struggle to move the chains.