|Jeff Payne had success running the ball early on and finished with 88 yards, giving him 1,011 for his career.|
Skyhawks Drop Second Straight, 28-14
Easton, Mass. - Behind a 14-for-22, 230-yard, three touchdown passing performance from third string quarterback Chris Roberts, Southern Connecticut extended its winning streak to 12 games over Stonehill, pulling away from the host Skyhawks to post a 28-14 win on Friday evening at W.B. Mason Stadium.
Stonehill actually held the lead twice in the contest before the Owls scored 21 unanswered points to take command of the game. The Skyhawks took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in nine plays capped by a Jeff Payne (West Haven, Conn.) five yard score to take a 7-0 lead.
Roberts and the Owls answered back immediately, going 55 yards in four plays on the next possession, eventually hooking up with Brian Tourtelette from 19 yards out to even the score.
After the two teams traded punts, the Skyhawks had the ball and went to the air on first down. After David Pringle (West Haven, Conn.) made the catch, Jerome Pinckney jarred the ball loose, setting the owls up deep inside Stonehill territory. Southern Conn. advanced to the Skyhawks' two yard line, but were turned away on consecutive rushes forcing third down. Roberts dropped back to pass but was sacked by Andrew Lesko (Florence, Mass.), who knocked the ball free. Senior linebacker Michael Greene (Plainview, N.Y.) scooped up the ball and raced 91 yards for a touchdown, swinging the momentum and registering the longest play in W.B. Mason Stadium history.
As they did the entire night, the Owls had an answer, however, churning out a 10-play, 70-yard drive as Roberts found a wide open Johnny Lee for a 27-yard score, to knot the game at 14.
The next time the Owls got the ball, the drive wasn't as long but it was just as effective. John Wiechman took a handoff and sprinted through the Stonehill secondary for an 85-yard score, giving the Owls a lead they wouldn't relinquish at 21-14.
The only score in the second half came five minutes into the half as Roberts found Wiechman open underneath for a six yard gain but he was stripped by Greg Sanzari (Centerport, N.Y.) and the ball rolled straight into the hands of Tourtelette who outraced the Stonehill defenders into the endzone for the touchdown.
The Skyhawks had several chances in the third and fourth quarter to get closer, moving the ball inside the Owls' 20-yard line but a missed field goal and two unsuccessful fourth down attempts thwarted any thoughts of a comeback.
Southern Conn. held huge advantages in total offense (428-212) and passing yards (230-91), but both squads found success on the ground. Weichman finished the day with 180 yards on 29 carries, while Payne had 88 yards on 20 attempts for Stonehill.
Pinckney paced the Owls with a game-high 12 tackles and forced fumble, while both Andrew Pratt and Jaliem Cuttino each recorded eight stops for the victors.
Stonehill, meanwhile, got nine tackles apiece from George Whetstone (Westwood, Mass.), Jon Kilborn (North Dartmouth, Mass.) and Sanzari.
With the win SCSU moves to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Northeast-10 action, while the Skyhawks fall below .500 for the first time ever under head coach Rob Talley at 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the Northeast-10.
Stonehill returns to action next Friday when they travel to Bentley to take on the Falcons. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.