The LIU Post football team hit its first roadblock of the season Saturday.
The No. 9 Pioneers had their 13-game conference winning streak snapped in a turnover-laden 40-21 loss at NE-10 rival Bentley.
“This is a difficult place to play and a very good program,” Post coach Ryan Collins said after the Pioneers turned the ball over six times in their first loss of the season. “We just couldn’t match their intensity early on.”
Bentley (3-1, 3-0) established a 19-0 lead at 2:24 of the second quarter thanks to quarterback Mack Lowrie’s third touchdown pass. He finished 18 of 28 passing for 255 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
Michael Richardson’s 20-yard touchdown reception put Post (3-1, 2-1) on the board with 8:43 remaining in the first half, but Bentley responded with Austin Ryan’s 29-yard touchdown catch with 3:19 to go to take a 26-7 lead into the locker room.
After Post cut the deficit to five about midway through the fourth quarter, Bentley responded with a 56-yard touchdown to Ryan to build a 33-21 advantage and essentially put Post away.
Turnovers severely plagued the Pioneers throughout the day. Quarterback Yianni Gavalas completed 37 of 47 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but tossed two interceptions.
He entered the game on a roll, having thrown four touchdown passes in each of Post’s first three contests.
The Pioneers were also done in by lost four fumbles.
After speaking about the importance of protecting the football, Collins noted how this sort of loss will reveal plenty about Post entering next week’s matchup against Assumption.
“We’ll find out what kind of program we are after this,” he said. “When things are going well it’s easy. Losses can show character. We need to bounce back from it.”