Junior linebacker Brian Harrington led the defense again with 13 stops, including 1.0 for a loss of three yards. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Defense dominant, forcing four turnovers and collecting six sacks
EASTON, Mass. (September 28, 2013) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll for the first time in program history, backed the recognition up with a dominating defensive performance in posting a 30-3 triumph over rival Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference football action at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium as part of Family Weekend at the College tonight.
The Stonehill defense forced four turnovers, giving the Skyhawks at least three over each of the last three weeks, and sacked the Bentley quarterbacks six times on the night. Stonehill also held the Falcons to just 1-for-9 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth in posting its most lopsided victory over its rival since a 35-7 non-conference triumph here at W.B. Mason Stadium on November 8, 2008. The three points are the fewest Bentley has scored against Stonehill in 28 meetings all-time.
Junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) reached double-figures for tackles for the fourth time in as many games this season as he finished with 13 (six solo), including 1.0 for a loss of three yards. Freshman Mark Trudeau (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) was disruptive on the defensive line all night, finishing with a season-high five stops (three solo) and was in on half of Stonehill's six sacks, finishing with 2.5 for a loss of 12 yards. Junior Sterry Codrington (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Boro) added six tackles (five solo) with an interception, while freshman Vincent Burton (Randolph, Mass./Blue Hills Regional) chipped in with 1.5 sacks for a loss of six, a forced fumble and pass breakup.
Freshman Mark Trudeau had a breakout performance with 2.5 sacks for a loss of 12 yards, finishing with five total tackles.
Stonehill's offense showed great balance in posting 420 yards of total offense with 256 passing and 164 on the ground. Senior Jamal Johnson (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) controlled the ground game with a career-best 31 carries for 151 yards and career-high matching two touchdowns. Senior Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) was extremely efficient in completing 17-of-32 passes for 256 yards and two scores without being intercepted or sacked all night. Junior Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) caught eight passes for 116 yards and a score, while sophomore Corey White (Bergenfield, N.J./Bergenfield) had four receptions for 61 yards and his team-leading fifth touchdown of the year.
Senior Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) completed 20-of-31 passes for 217 yards, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times, to go with 13 carries for 28 yards as he finished with 245 total yards. Junior Jeff Hill (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) had eight receptions for 88 yards.
Senior AC Carter (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) led Bentley with 11 tackles (eight solo), including 1.0 for a loss of four yards. Junior Brad Keirstead (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) contributed ten stops (seven solo) with a forced fumble and fumble recovery and three pass breakup.
Senior Jamal Johnson went over 100 yards for the third week in a row, finishing with 151 yards on a career-best 31 carries for two touchdowns. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Stonehill opened the scoring with an 11 play, 70-yard drive on its first possession after Bentley turned the ball over on downs at the Skyhawks 30. Meyer connected with White for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 6:42 to play in the quarter on third and ten as the Skyhawks converted on third down three times to keep the drive moving.
The extra point was off the mark and Bentley nearly had a chance to take the lead two possessions later when the Falcons took over at the Stonehill 23 after a fumbled punt. Guadagnoli found sophomore Chris Walsh (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) down the middle on third and 12, but sophomore Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) knocked the ball loose and the Skyhawks regained possession when the fumble rolled through the end zone for a touchback.
Stonehill took command of the game with a 17-point second quarter, starting with a 19-yard touchdown run by Johnson to cap and eight play, 80-yard drive after the Walsh fumble on the second play of the stanza. Meyer found sophomore Gordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass./BC High) for a 28 yard pass to set up the score.
Stonehill scored again after a failed fourth down conversion by Bentley at the Skyhawks 34. The Falcons had marched down the to Stonehill 25 after a personal foul penalty, but the Skyhawks tackled Guadagnoli for a loss twice, corralled junior running back Jet Kollie (Lowell, Mass./New Hampton School) for a loss of three on a screen pass and then the fourth down play fell incomplete. Meyer found Robitaille for a 35 yard score on third and four with 2:18 to go before halftime at the end of a five play, 66-yard possession. Stonehill took a 23-0 lead into halftime with a 25-yard field goal from sophomore Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) with 30-seconds to play in the half.
Bentley got on the scoreboard with a 22 yard field goal from sophomore Michael Baron (Medfield, Mass./Roxbury Latin) just under two minutes into the fourth quarter. Johnson capped the scoring on the night with a three-yard touchdown scamper with 9:21 to play in the quarter.
Tonight's win is the first for Stonehill since a 23-21 victory over then 24th-ranked Bentley and the third for head coach Robert Talley in nine meetings all-time since taking the Skyhawk reigns in 2007.
Stonehill (3-1, 3-0 NE-10) is right back at home next Saturday to host preseason NE-10 favorites American International College for a Conference clash at 1 p.m. Bentley (2-1, 1-2 NE-10) hosts Saint Anselm College next Saturday at 1 p.m.
|Highlights and Postgame Interviews
||Coach Talley Postgame