FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Cole Doyle tied a school record with five touchdowns passes and ran for another score on Saturday to lead St. Francis of Pennsylvania to a 44-14 victory over Sacred Heart and into the FCS playoffs.

The Red Flash have clinched the first automatic bid to the FCS playoffs, and their second all-time.

SFU (6-2, 5-0) is tied atop the Northeast Conference standings with Merrimack, which is ineligible for the playoffs. Only Sacred Heart can catch SFU, but Saturday's win gives St. Francis the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Doyle opened the scoring with a 34-yard touchdown run then threw four of his TD passes as the Red Flash blew to a 34-7 halftime lead.

Sacred Heart (4-4, 2-2) entered as one of the top passing defenses in FCS, ranking third in yards allowed (119.4) and fourth in efficiency (102.4), but Doyle lit up the Pioneers, completing 22 of 28 passes for 264 yards. QuaSean Holmes had 168 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Malik Grant scored both Sacred Heart touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. He had 104 yards rushing on 19 carries.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap-top25. Sign up for the AP's college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.