LORETTO, PA – The Saint Francis University football team opens its 2012 campaign on the road Saturday against No. 5/8 James Madison with kickoff set for 6 p.m.


Opponent: James Madison

Location: Harrisonburg, Va.

Stadium: Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field

Start Time: 6 p.m.

Series: First Meeting


The Red Flash return to the state of Virginia to open the season for the second time in the past three seasons. SFU opened the 2010 campaign against Liberty in Lynchburg, Va. In that match up SFU scored first and led at the end of the first quarter 7-0 but then surrendered 52 unanswered points to fall to the Flames. This season’s opener against the Dukes continues an SFU recent history of scheduling highly ranked non-conference opponents. Last season, SFU traveled to four-time FCS national champion Youngstown State and took on eventual 2011 National Champion North Dakota State. In addition to their 2010 meeting with Liberty, the Red Flash also traveled west to take on Cal Poly but the Mustangs bested the Red Flash, 41-33.

Senior place-kicker Josh Thiel stands as the only Virginia native on the Red Flash roster and will be playing in his second college career game in his home state. Thiel was apart of the Red Flash team that played Liberty in 2010 but his only field goal attempt in the contest was blocked. The Red Flash do have a large number of players from nearby Maryland with 10 student-athletes from the “Little America” state including starting quarterback John Kelly.


The Red Flash enter 2012 looking for their first season opening win since SFU knocked off Saint Peter’s in the 2006 regular season opener. Season opening road wins have been harder to come by for SFU as they have not pulled off the trick since opening the 1974 season with a 24-7 win against Saint John Fisher.   


Saint Francis opens its home schedule Sept. 8 at DeGol Field against Northeast Conference rival Bryant with a noon kick which will be broadcasted live on NECFrontRow.com