Sacred Heart grabs NEC crown beating LIU 38-14

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Malik Grant ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns, Julius Chestnut gained 125 on the ground with a touchdown and Sacred Heart beat Long Island 38-14 to clinch the Northeast Conference championship on Saturday.

The Pioneers (8-3, 6-1) have won the NEC title for the second time in seven months and three in the last four years. Sacred Heart won the NEC Championship game in April by defeating Duquesne, 34-27. In 2018, the Pioneers shared the title with the Dukes, but Duquesne won the tiebreaker to go to the postseason.

Sacred Heart now waits to find out who it will play in the FCS playoffs.

The Pioneers took control during the second quarter with 17 unanswered points for a 24-7 halftime lead.

Sacred Heart marched 99 yards – all on the ground – that included a 40-yard run by Grant followed by Chestnut’s 39-yard touchdown run.

On the ensuing drive, LIU fumbled the pitch on the option and DeAndre Byrd was there to make the recovery. Grant ran it from 36 yards out on the next play.

Long Island (2-8, 2-5) ended its season with a three-game losing streak.

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