Kearns, Jr. and Felder combine for 169 yards as teams rush for 378 yards in Nor'easter elements
Ejiofor led the defense with nine tackles. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2018) – The University of New Haven, receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll, used an interception return for a touchdown and one long second quarter drive to edge Stonehill College, 12-7 in Northeast-10 Conference football action on Timothy J. Coughlin, '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium this afternoon.
With rainy and windy conditions as an early Nor'easter hit the region, the teams were largely relegated to running the ball, and combined for 378 yards on the ground this afternoon. Senior C.J. Fitzpatrick paced the New Haven defense with seven tackles (four solo), including 1.0 tackles for a loss of four yards, with an interception returned 38-yards for a touchdown to open the scoring in the first quarter. Sophomore Mcprecia Remy totaled a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) for the Chargers, including 3.0 for a loss of five yards, while senior Jordan Francklin added ten stops (four solo), including 1.5 for a loss of two yards.
Junior Ryan McCarthy led the New Haven offense with 83 rushing yards on 14 attempts, including a key 44-yard run on third and five from the Chargers seven yard line on the first play of the second quarter that kept a drive going that would ultimately finish up with a touchdown for a 12-point lead. Senior Chris Liggio added 50 yards on 15 carries for New Haven, while postgrad quarterback Ajee Patterson chipped in with 90 total yards, rushing the ball seven times for 42 yards, while completing 3-of-10 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Stonehill compiled 206 of its 215 yards of total offense on the ground, led by 88 yards on 17 attempts by junior Brian Kearns, Jr. Freshman Justin Felder added 81 yards on a season-high 19 carries with the Skyhawks touchdown, as well as another 14 yards on two receptions, while senior Mike Cordova chipped in with 41 yards on 14 attempts.
Senior John Ejiofor led a solid Stonehill defensive effort with nine tackles (four solo), while junior Ryan Shuts added seven stops (five solo). Senior Jerel Archer had six tackles (four solo), including 1.0 for a loss of two yards, while freshman Lloyd King chipped in with a tackle for loss.
Felder rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown today. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Stonehill drove to the New Haven 33-yard line on its opening possession before the drive petered out and the Skyhawk were forced to punt and establish field position. Kearns Jr. had a key 36-yard run during the possession. The Stonehill defense forced a three and out deep inside Chargers territory, but Patterson delivered a 52-yard punt that put the Skyhawks on their own 26. Fitzpatrick picked off junior quarterback Kyle Smith on third and four and returned it all the way for the opening touchdown with 5:53 remaining in the opening quarter.
New Haven produced a 12-play, 98-yard scoring drive on its second possession of the game that extended into the second quarter. The Chargers converted four times on third down during the drive, including McCarthy's 44-yard run on third and five from their own seven on the first play of the second quarter. Patterson also connected with postgrad Joe Caico on third and five from the Stonehill 11 for a touchdown with 9:27 remaining in the half.
Stonehill followed with a lengthy 18-play, 95-yard scoring drive itself that chewed up 9:10 off the clock and was capped by an eight-yard touchdown run from Felder with 17-seconds remaining in the half. Felder was featured on the drive and totaled 69 yards on 13 carries, with another 12 yards on a catch. The Skyhawks converted four times on third down themselves, with Felder grabbing first downs on runs of five (3rd & 4), ten (3rd & 9) and nine yards (3rd & 6), and Cordova adding a five-yard run on third and three, to keep the drive moving.
Neither team scored in the second half, with New Haven posting 10:39 of possession in the third quarter after Stonehill held the ball 20:40 in the first half. Stonehill had two possessions in the fourth quarter with a chance to grab the lead, but was unable to sustain drives. The Skyhawks looked to take advantage of great field position after a punt to the Chargers 45 with three-minutes to play, but was unable to get a first down as Felder was stopped three yards short on fourth and seven to seal the Chargers seventh-straight win.
Stonehill (1-7, 1-6 NE10) returns to action next Saturday, when it visits American International College at noon. The Skyhawks return to W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday, November 10, to host Assumption College for Senior Night at 6 p.m. New Haven (7-1, 7-0 NE10) hosts Saint Anselm College next Saturday at 1 p.m.
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