With LIU Post preparing to visit American International on Saturday, coach Bryan Collins believes the matchup will represent a good road barometer for the Pioneers.
“We know we can play well at home, but we want to be sure that we’re a good road team,” Collins said. “Part of that is to block out the distractions and be extremely focused on the task at hand.”
Post fell to 1-1 on the road this season after disappointing in its last road trip with a 40-21 defeat to Bentley on Sep. 23. The Pioneers will continue to be tested, with three of their final four regular season contests take place away from Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium.
Quarterback Yianni Gavalas, a graduate student from Manhasset, hopes Post (4-2) can feed off its 52-35 victory over Southern Connecticut State last Saturday. The win snapped a two-game losing streak.
“We’re just trying to prepare the best we can and do the same thing we did last Saturday,” Gavalas said.
In order to build upon last week’s three-touchdown, 375-yard performance, Gavalas said he will need to be wary of American International cornerback Devonte Dillion, who played a major role in limiting Post to only 54 yards passing in last year’s 22-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets. Due to Dillion’s quickness at 5’9, 185, Gavalas is well aware of his disruptive nature.
In terms of the AIC offense, Collins said he’s intent on containing running back Samad Davila, who has rushed for a total of 441 yards thus far.
Although AIC (2-4) averages just 15.7 points per game, Collins has preached to his team that winning will not come easily. Especially against a respectable Yellow Jacket defense allowing 21.7 points per contest.
“We can’t overlook them,” Collins said. “Springfield, Massachusetts is a very hard place to play.”
Following their win over SCSU, Gavalas said the Pioneers regained the confidence that had waned during the skid. Standout performances from Malik Pierre and Michael Richardson were also beneficial, as they both found the end zone three times.
Gavalas expects more out of Post moving forward, even on the road.
“We wanted to be undefeated at this point,” Gavalas said. “But the past can’t be changed. We’re just looking forward to going 1-0 every week now.”