Bryant Runs Past Stonehill, 42-7

Sophomore Jesse Hunt made his Stonehill debut and passed for 221 yards and a touchdown today at Bryant.

Brown runs for 228 yards and three scores for Bulldogs

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (October 8, 2011) – NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member Bryant University rushed for 329 yards and five touchdowns to fuel a 42-7 victory over Stonehill College in non-conference football action at Bulldog Stadium this afternoon.

Junior running back Jordan Brown (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) spearheaded Bryant's running attack with 26 carries for 228 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 8.8 yards per rush. The Bulldogs finished with 476 yards of total offense, with 329 coming on the ground and another 147 passing. Brown also caught two passes for ten yards, and returned a kickoff and a punt each for a combined 31 yards as the NCAA I FCS all-purpose yard leader posted another 269 such yards on the afternoon.

Freshman Ricardo McCray (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) added 72 yards on 12 rushes with a touchdown, while sophomore Jordan Harris (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) caught two passes for 87 yards and a score. Senior quarterback Mike Croce (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) completed 7-of-13 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

Senior linebacker Franck Tebou (Mattapoisett, Mass./Old Rochester) led the Bryant defense with a game high 12 tackles (four solo), including 1.0 for a loss of a yard and a fumble recovery. The Bulldogs defense held Stonehill to just 35 yards rushing (37 attempts) to go with 265 through the air for 300 total yards. Classmate Tyler Carter (Baltimore, Md./DeMatha) added six stops (three solo), with 1.5 for a loss of a yard, while junior Jordan Kelly (Canton, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) contributed six tackles (two solo) and 1.5 for a loss of five yards.

Sophomore quarterback Jesse Hunt (Winchendon, Mass./Oakmont Regional) made his Stonehill debut in replacement of classmate Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) and completed 12-of-28 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Meyer completed 4-of-6 for 44 yards with an interception before leaving the game.

Junior running back Jermetrius Troy (Mattapan, Mass./Tilton School) was held to 27 yards on 19 carries, but also caught five passes for 84 yards to finish with 111 all-purpose yards for the day. Classmate John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) also had five receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown and added four kickoff returns for 67 yards to finish with a team-best 141 all-purpose yards.

Senior captain Matt Iannucci led the Skyhawks with a season-high matching 11 tackles. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Senior safety Matt Iannucci (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) led Stonehill with a season-high matching 11 tackles (five solo). Classmate Dorian Johnson (Newnan, Ga./Northgate) had a career-best eight stops (three solo), including 1.0 for a loss of three yards, while junior cornerback Kevin Anderson (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet) finished with eight tackles (two solo), two interceptions and another pass breakup.

Stonehill looked to gain some early momentum after stopping Bryant on fourth and a yard on the Skyhawks 15 on the opening drive after the Bulldogs had a touchdown called back for holding. Stonehill marched to the Bulldogs 22, keyed by Meyer passes to Troy (16 yards), sophomore Paul Piccirillo (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) for 15 and Gomes (12), but he was intercepted in the end zone on first down by senior Samad Wagstaff (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) on a pass intended for sophomore Jamal Johnson (Brockton, Mass./Brockton).

Bryant took advantage with a four play, 85-yard drive, after Wagstaff returned the ball to the 15, capped by a two yard touchdown plunge from Brown. He also reeled off a 75 yard run to key the scoring drive on second down. The Bulldogs doubled their lead 1:17 into the second quarter with a three yard scoring run by senior fullback Zack Wilson (Yarmouthport, Mass./Barnstable) to cap a four play 60 yard drive with the key play a 52 yard catch by Harris.

Bryant added a third score before halftime off Stonehill's second turnover of the day with a one yard Brown run with 10:09 left in the half. Stonehill drove to the Bulldogs 27 on its next possession, but came up empty on fourth and eight to turn the ball over on downs. Anderson kept the Skyhawks down three scores with an interception in the end zone after a fumble on a Bryant punt put the Bulldogs in good shape at the Stonehill 15.

Stonehill drove to the Bryant 30 on its first drive of the second half, but Gomes was stopped on fourth and five and the Bulldogs scored four plays later to take a 28-0 lead on a 58 yard touchdown run by Brown.

Stonehill finally broke through later in the third after missing a 32 yard field goal as Hunt completed a 22 yard scoring pass to Gomes with 1:37 left in the quarter. That capped an eight play, 44 yard drive that took 1:51 after Anderson picked off Croce for the second time.

Bryant capped the scoring with a pair of fourth quarter scores as Croce connected with Harris for a 35 yard touchdown pass and McCray scored from five yards out with 4:24 remaining.

Stonehill (1-5, 0-3 NE-10) looks to get back on the winning track when it hosts Pace University for a Northeast-10 Conference matchup as part of Family Weekend at the College next Saturday at 1 p.m. Bryant (4-2, 2-1 NEC) hosts Monmouth College next Saturday at 1 p.m.