Bryan Collins said on Tuesday he was still waiting for LIU Post “to put together that almost perfect game.”
Enter Saturday’s 70-21 thrashing of host American International, in which the Pioneers scored a touchdown on 10 of their 12 possessions, putting an emphatic end to the coach’s wait.
“This was definitely the kind of game we’ve been looking for,” Collins said. “Our offense was obviously clicking, but our defense and special teams were definitely big, as well.”
The offensive outburst came within a mere five points of tying the program’s single-game record, according to Post’s archives. The Pioneers dropped a mammoth 75 points on St. Peter’s back in 1973.
“It’s a cool feeling being part of an offense and team that came close to setting a program record like that,” said quarterback Yianni Gavalas, who completed 14 of 16 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 70 yards on only five attempts.
Before entering halftime leading 28-0, Gavalas said he realized this could be a special day for Post’s offense with the dominant play of the offensive line.
Post (5-2, 4-2 Northeast 10) matched its first-half point total in the third quarter, with running back Malik Pierre beginning the scoring with a 100-yard kickoff return to the end zone. Pierre followed with a 64-yard scoring run and Gavalas threw TD passes of 29 yards to Michael Richardson 51 yards to Jake Bofshever, giving the Pioneers a 56-14 advantage.
Pierre topped last week’s three-touchdown performance with four scores against AIC (2-5), getting 139 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries. Post rushed for a total of 424 yards, 76 on 10 carries from Kadir Wisdom, who added two touchdowns.
Similar to Gavalas, Pierre said the offensive line deserved all the credit for the dominant ground attack.
With three regular season contests remaining, Gavalas doesn’t view Saturday’s offensive barrage as an aberration.
“This was very important for our confidence,” Gavalas said. “I think we can definitely have more days like this.”