|Sophomore Anthony Tomasz had four tackles, one for loss and an interception in the Skyhawks' 35-7 win over Bentley.|
Seniors Go Out In Style With 35-7 Win Over Bentley
Easton, Mass. - Behind a defense that recorded nine sacks and eight turnovers, including a school-record seven interceptions, Stonehill snapped a 14-game losing streak to archrival Bentley that spanned the better part of two decades with a resounding 35-7 win at W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The victory for the Skyhawks gives them back-to-back wins for the first time this season and ends a stretch of losses to Bentley that began back in 1995.
On day when the program honored its 20 seniors playing in their final collegiate contest, several of them made huge plays to help secure the win. Kevin Bonnett (Manchester, N.H.) had possibly the best game of his career, registering six tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery, while five of the seven interceptions the Skyhawk defense recorded came from members of the Class of 2008.
"It's obviously huge, finishing with a win and in the fashion we did, especially versus Bentley," said head coach Robert Talley. "The kids hung in there and they believe in what we are saying and we are starting to turn the corner."
In its final two games, Stonehill outscored its opponents 70-7 and held them to a combined 22 yards on the ground.
Stonehill took the opening kickoff and marched 55 yards on three plays with all the yardage coming on the feet of sophomore Eddie Vachon (Newton, Mass.). After a two yard run, he caught a pass out of the backfield and turned upfield, avoiding tacklers along the right sideline until he was stopped at the 19-yardline. On the next play, Cruz Parsons (Signal Hill, Calif.) found Vachon open in the back of the endzone for a one-handed touchdown grab and a 7-0 Stonehill advantage.
Two drives later, facing a 3 rd and 29, Parsons hit Chris Palmer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) for a short gain, but Palmer broke free of a tackle and crossed the field and set the Skyhawks up deep inside Bentley territory following a 47-yard completion. Three plays later, David Pringle (West Haven, Conn.) hauled in a tipped pass from seven yards out, giving Stonehill a 14-0 lead.
Bentley answered with a Luis Cotto two-yard plunge early in the second quarter, making the score 14-0 at halftime.
A fumbled punt in the early stages of the second half gave Stonehill the ball on the Bentley 28 and the Skyhawks immediately took advantage of the excellent field position, when Parsons hit Palmer in the endzone for an 11-yard score and a 21-7 bulge.
Another Falcon miscue, this time an interception by Jon Kilborn (North Dartmouth, Mass.) had Stonehill in Bentley territory on the next drive and Vachon punched in the Skyhawks fourth touchdown of the day on a draw play off the right side.
Bentley looked to be moving towards a score as the third quarter moved to the fourth but sacks by seniors Bryan Bigica (Hawthorne, N.J.) and George Whetstone (Westwood, Mass.) thwarted their progress and in turn set the Skyhawks up for their final score of the afternoon. Senior Jeff Payne (West Haven, Conn.) took the handoff, found a seam on the right side, cut back to the middle and outraced the Falcon secondary to the endzone for a 20-yard score.
In addition to the defense picking off seven passes, Stonehill held Bentley to -54 yards on the ground.
The offensive stars for the Skyhawks included Parsons, who was 9-of-15 for 167 yards and three touchdowns, Payne who had 73 yards rushing and a score and Palmer, who had a team-high 58 yards and a score.
Defensively, Greg Sanzari (Centerport, N.Y.) had eight tackles and two pass breakups, while Kilborn had four tackles and two interceptions. Seniors Jared Zanello (Walpole, Mass.) and Jeff Cuqua (Walpole, Mass.) each had interceptions, as did sophomore Anthony Tomasz (Hopkinton, Mass.). Freshman Stephan Neville (Foxboro, Mass.) picked off two passes, giving him a team-leading five for the season along with Kilborn.
Whetstone finishes the season with 11 sacks, tied for the third most quarterback stops in a single season in school history.
Sophomore Steven Good (Mansfield, Mass.) recorded five tackles and 1.5 sacks, the second straight contest in which the defense back registered a sack. Also picking up sacks were senior Michael Greene (Plainview, N.Y.) and junior Andrew Lesko (Florence, Mass.).
After winning just five games in their first two seasons on campus, the Class of 2008 won nine games in its final two seasons.