2009 Pace University Season Outlook

 

Information Provided By Pace University Sports Information


QUARTERBACK

Senior Ray Gregg returns for a second season as the Setters’ starting quarterback after an outstanding 2008 campaign. Gregg tossed for 1,560 yards on 136-for-246 passing with 11 touchdowns. He finished the season third in the Northeast-10 with 173 passing yards per game. Dean Trerotola also returns as a second backup quarterback after seeing action in four games last season. Trerotola tossed for 203 yards on 23-for-48 passing with a pair of touchdowns. Red-Shirt freshman Joe Romanick adds solid depth to the position with his strong throwing arm, while newcomers Kevin Smolensky and Brian Mizerek round out the signal callers for the Setters.

RUNNING BACKS

The Setters return Nathaniel Ford as their starting running back following his best season in a Setter uniform. Ford averaged 81 yards per game, finishing with 816 and ranking third in the Northeast-10 Conference. Ford earned Second Team All-Conference Honors with his best game coming in the season finale as he rushed for 191 yards against Saint Anselm College. Ford is an excellent fit for the Setters West Coast offense as he has the ability to catch passes after totaling 17 receptions in 2008. Eshawn Armstrong returns as a solid #2 tail back after seeing limited action, rushing for 63 yards in three games last season. Armstrong will look to push for playing time in 2009 giving the Setters a solid rushing attack. Iona College transfers Desmond Hinds and Jason Washington, along with red-shirt freshman Jurrell Hawkins and newcomer Robert Eversleigh gives Coach Iezzi a talented backfield that will vie for playing time this season.

WIDE RECEIVER

Coach Iezzi returns two of their three starters from a year ago as leading receiver Eric Ortega and Justin Polanis remain the top two targets for the Setters. Ortega led the Setters in 2008 with 33 receptions and 413 yards, while scoring five touchdowns. Polanis posted 25 catches for 266 yards last season. Ray Carrasco, Dominique West and Kyle Lotwich will push for playing time giving the Setters solid depth in the receiving corps. Coach Iezzi also added Iona College transfer Danroy Henry along with freshman Patrick Lupfer and Henry Burgos to the receiving group in the off season.

TIGHT END

Senior Tri-Captain Andrew Kulak returns for a third straight season as the Setters starting tight end after posting solid numbers in 2008. Last season, Kulak totaled 26 receptions for 304 yards and two touchdowns. Kulak was a 2008 Second Team All NE-10 selection as well as a 2009 D2Football.com Preseason First Team NE-10 selection. Kulak will be backed up by sophomore Jake Parrott as well as newcomers Tom Moore, Cody Childs and Ryan Cuffe.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Coach Iezzi again returns the majority of starting linemen from the 2008 season, making the position one of the strongest on the field for the Setters. Senior and tri-team captain Ken Marcoux returns with a wealth of experience and will be looked on to be the leaders at his position. Juniors Colin Brady, Shaine Artis and Matthew Arciero return for their third season as the mainstays on the offensive line, giving this unit significant experience at a key position. Sophomore Lyndon Johnson along with red-shirt freshman William Woodard will also push for playing time this season. Coach Iezzi brought in a pair of top recruits for the future in Matthew Strizek and Maquan Adams.

DEFENSIVE LINE

The Setters rebuilt their defensive line in the off season following the loss of First Team All-Conference player Lee Robinson and three-year starter Matt West. Coach Iezzi brought in a veteran pair of linemen in Division I transfers Dwyane Jones and Tyrell Zimmerman. Jones comes to the Setters from Iona College, while Zimmerman joins the Setters from Northwestern State. Red-shirt freshman Shkelzen Gecaj will join Jones and Zimmerman on the defensive line as the nose guard position. The Setters will have plenty of depth on the D-Line as Patrick Finnegan returns after recording 42 tackles, 10 for losses along with four sacks in 2008. Juniors Max Katzner and Charles Bachelder will transition to the line from linebacker this season. Last season, Katzner posted 13 tackles and one interception, while Bachelder totaled 20 tackles, six for losses and three sacks. The Setters will also have Felix Pagan along with Joe Graboff along with newcomers Drew Cashin and Stephan Ahart that will compete for playing time this season.

LINEBACKER

Coach Iezzi returns a solid group of linebackers in senior tri-captain Michael LaMonica along with junior Jonfrey Sanchez. LaMonica was fifth on the team in tackles last season with 65, while Sanchez posted 23 tackles. The Setters brought in Division I Transfer Andrew Lipski from Iona College, who led the Gaels last season with 127 tackles, 14 for losses along with a pair of interceptions. Graduate Ricky McCollum, who missed the 2008 season with a leg injury, will move to linebacker from the secondary this season. Junior Jesus Cardona returns after missing part of last season with an injury. Cardona recorded 17 tackles and one interception in five games last season. Junior Rich Bonhomme also returns for the Setters and will push the playing time this season after posting 16 tackles in 2008. Newcomers Steve Alesi, Eliott Johnson, Thaddeus Kowal and Yves Delpeche give the Setters plenty of depth at the linebacker position.

DEFENSIVE BACK

NE-10 Second Team All-Conference and D2Football.com Preseason All NE-10 selection Greg Brain returns to lead a talented group of defensive backs. Last season, Brain led the team with 76 tackles and three interceptions. He ranked tenth in the conference in tackles and was tied for eighth in interceptions. The Setters return John Induisi and Albert Walden from last season as both players saw action in all ten games in 2008. Induisi recorded 26 tackles and one interception, while Walden posted 27 tackles. Coach Iezzi brought in a pair of transfers from the University of Connecticut in Marvin Taylor and Glen Mourning. Both players are expected to see immediate playing time and contribute in the secondary. Red-shirt freshman Ruben Austin-Schmidt along with Mike Aydinian and Raphael Polonco will look to push the starters for playing time this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Sophomore Ali Mourtada returns as the primary punter and place kicker in 2009. Last season Mourtada averaged 34.8 yards per punt, while connecting on 6-of-11 field goals, good for a third place tie in the NE-10. Mourtada was also 24-for-27 on extra point attempts. The primary long snapper for the Setters will be Colin Brady. In the kick return game, Eric Ortega and Justin Polanis return as the primary kick returners for the Setters this season.

 




Mike Iezzi

Andrew Kulak

Team Information



2009 Schedule

Date Opponent Score
9/5 at Salisbury
L, 34-14
9/11 at So. Connecticut *
L, 27-10
9/19 Saint Anselm *
L, 17-13
9/26 Albright
L, 26-20
10/3 Assumption *
L, 34-26
10/10 at Stonehill *
L, 34-14
10/17 Bentley *
L, 28-27
10/24 at New Haven *
L, 49-27
10/31 American Int'l *
W, 20-9
11/7 at Merrimack *
L, 46-14