Junior Jareed Gaines led the Skyhawks with 12 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of four yards, and two pass breakups this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Skyhawks retain "Ol' Bronze Hawk" for seventh-straight year behind stout defensive effort and Meyer's 285 yards and three touchdowns
EASTON, Mass. (November 5, 2011) – Stonehill College retained the "Ol' Bronze Hawk" for the seventh-straight year behind a strong defensive effort in a 35-7 triumph over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference football action on Senior Day at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium this afternoon.
Stonehill's defense held the Saint Anselm offense that averages 356 yards per game, including 241.6 passing yards, to just 167 yards of total offense, with 103 passing and 64 rushing. Stonehill also posted five sacks and forced two interceptions, limiting the Hawks to one touchdown, which was set up by a Skyhawks turnover. The Skyhawks also played a role in Saint Anselm converting just 3-of-20 chances on third down and then going 1-for-5 on fourth down.
Juniors Jareed Gaines (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) and Raymond Bass (Canton, Mass./Canton) both finished in double-figures for tackles to lead the Stonehill defense. Gaines posted a team-high 12 tackles (seven solo), including 1.5 for a loss of four yards, 1.0 sacks for a loss of three and two pass breakups, while Bass contributed ten stops (five solo), including 2.5 for a loss of 18 yards, and 2.0 sacks.
Senior captains Matt Iannucci (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) and Stephan Neville (Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough) both had strong games in the final home game of their careers. Iannucci posted nine tackles (six solo), including 1.5 for a loss of seven yards, a half sack for a loss of six and an interception that he returned three yards. Neville totaled a season-high eight tackles (all solo), including 2.0 for a loss of ten yards, and an interception on the Stonehill one yard line that he returned 38 yards. Neville finished with 104 all-purpose yards, adding a 63 yard kickoff return and three punt return yards to his 38 yards off the interception, moving into fifth place in Stonehill history with 2,941 career all-purpose yards.
Senior Matt Iannucci posted nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, and an interception. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Sophomore Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) returned to the starting lineup for Stonehill after missing the previous three weeks with an injury and engineered the offense by completing 20-of-37 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He moves into sixth place on Stonehill's career list with 2,303 passing yards over his two seasons, with his 1,357 yards so far this season good for tenth in program history.
Meyer completed passes to nine different receivers on the day with junior John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) collecting five for 82 yards and a touchdown, adding a 22 yard kickoff return to finish with 104 all-purpose yards. Freshman Zaire Reiph (Norwalk, Conn./Saint Luke's School) added four receptions for 80 yards and a score. Sophomore running back Justin Willis (East Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) contributed a career-best 22 carries for a career-high 136 yards (6.2/rush) and a touchdown, going over 100 rushing yards for the first time.
Senior Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn./Bridgton Academy) finished with 158 all-purpose yards for Saint Anselm as he caught 13 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown to go with four carries for 17 yards on the ground, 63 yards on three kickoff returns and two punt returns for 19 yards. Junior quarterback Mike Pierce (Andover, Mass./Andover) was limited to 85 yards on 19-for-38 passing with a touchdown, two interceptions and five sacks.
Junior linebacker Chris Bent (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) posted a game-high 14 tackles (ten solo) for Saint Anselm, including 5.0 for a loss of seven yards, 1.0 sacks for a loss of three yards and a fumble recovery. Senior Kyle Hayes (Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island) added eight stops (five solo), including 1.5 for a loss of five yards and an interception he returned 20 yards to set up the Hawks lone touchdown of the afternoon. Senior Shane O'Donnell (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) contributed six tackles (four solo, including 3.0 for a loss of ten yards, 1.0 sacks for a loss of eight and a quarterback hurry.
Sophomore Logan Meyer completed 20-of-37 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns in his return to the lineup. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Stonehill limited Saint Anselm to just one first down over its first three possessions, but the Hawks were inside Skyhawks territory on its third drive after a fumble gave the Hawks the ball at midfield. Gaines sacked Pierce on fourth and ten from the Stonehill 35 at the 38 yard line to force the turnover on downs and Meyer connected with Gomes for a 54 yard touchdown three plays later to open the scoring with five minutes left in the quarter.
Stonehill forced another Saint Anselm three and out on the next drive before Meyer hit Reiph for a 60 yard catch and run two plays later to double the lead with 2:50 left in the first quarter. It marks Meyer's longest touchdown pass of the season and a season-best for Reiph as well.
Saint Anselm took advantage of a Meyer interception at the Saint Anselm 44 by Hayes that he returned to the Stonehill 36. Wilson took a pass from Pierce on second and one from the Stonehill 14 and ran to the pylon for a touchdown that cut the Skyhawks lead in half 1:28 into the second quarter.
Stonehill scored two more touchdowns in the final three minutes of the quarter to carry a 28-7 lead into halftime. Sophomore Jamal Johnson (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) scored his fourth touchdown of the year with an eight yard scamper with 2:54 remaining in the half to cap an eight play 55 yard drive after Saint Anselm turned the ball over on downs when Pierce was sacked by Bass and Iannucci for a loss of 12 yards on fourth and six from the Stonehill 33. Willis scored on a 31 yard run on third and ten with 1:02 left in the half for his second touchdown of the year.
Stonehill scored the lone touchdown of the second half to cap the scoring with Meyer finding sophomore Thomas Sullivan (Tyngsboro, Mass./Tyngsboro) for his first career touchdown at the back of the end zone for a 13 yard scoring pass with 12:05 to play in the contest.
Stonehill now holds an 8-5 advantage in the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" against Saint Anselm, winning the last seven in the series, including all six trophy games. Prior to the game Stonehill recognized its 26 seniors playing their final game at W.B. Mason Stadium.
Stonehill (3-7, 2-5 NE-10) closes out its 2011 season with a Northeast-10 matchup at Assumption College next Saturday at 1 p.m. Saint Anselm (1-8, 1-6 NE-10) closes out its season by hosting Saint Anselm College at noon.
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