Junior Brian Harrington posted his sixth double-figure tackle effort of the year with a game-high 16 stops to lead a strong defensive effort for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Harrington leads strong second half defensive effort with 16 tackles as Skyhawks score 16 unanswered points for comeback win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (October 12, 2013) – Stonehill College erased a pair of 14 point deficits, scoring 16 unanswered points in the second half, to claim a huge 23-21 triumph and spoil Homecoming Weekend for Southern Connecticut State University in Northeast-10 Conference football action at Jess Dow Field this afternoon.
Stonehill, which posted its first ever win at Southern Connecticut State's Jess Dow Field in eight visits all-time, turned in a strong defensive effort in the second half. The Skyhawks limited Southern to just 115 yards over the final 30-minutes after the Owls scored 21 points on 350 yards in posting a 21-7 halftime lead. Stonehill forced a season-high five turnovers with three fumbles and two interceptions, holding the Owls to less than 14 minutes of possession time in the second half.
Junior Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) led the defense with his sixth double-figure tackle effort in as many games this season, posting a game-high 16 stops (career-high 11 solo) and a fumble recovery. Freshman Andrew Kibarian (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) added a season-high matching eight tackles (six solo), including a season-best 2.0 for a loss of five yards. Sophomore Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) contributed six stops (three solo) and an interception, while junior Nate Morris (Providence, R.I./Wheeler School) added his NE-10 leading third interception of the season and junior Taylor Russell (Keene, N.H./Keene) and freshman Mark Trudeau (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) both chipped in with fumble recoveries.
Sophomore Gordon McLeod registered a career-high 109 yards on five receptions. (PHOTO BY Vaughn Winchell)
Senior quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) completed 21-of-43 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns for Stonehill. Junior Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) finished with 210 all-purpose yards, catching ten passes for 85 yards and a touchdown to go with 125 yards on three kickoff returns, averaging 47.7 per return, including a 78 yard return.
Sophomore Gordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass./BC High) added five receptions for a career-high 109 yards, while senior Paul Piccirillo (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) and sophomore Colin Markus (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) each chipped in touchdown catches. Markus rushed the ball 16 times for 36 yards and added the five yard touchdown catch.
Senior Jacob Jablonski (Gales Ferry, Conn./Ledyard) completed 16-of-29 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown for Southern Connecticut State. Junior John Moscatel (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) added 116 yards on 22 carries, while senior Vaughn Magee (Mastic Beach, N.Y./William Floyd) rushed the ball 20 times for 43 yards and a touchdown. Moscatel also contributed three receptions for 35 yards and returned four kickoffs for 80 yards to complete the day with 231 all-purpose yards.
Senior Vito Fornarelli (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) had six receptions for 134 yards, while junior Gary Williams (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) chipped in three catches for 44 yards and a score.
Freshman Andrew Kibarian matched his season-high with eight tackles (six solo), including a career-best 2.0 for a loss. (PHOTO BY Nicki Pardo)
Junior Mike Dunkley (Yonkers, N.Y./Iona Prep) led the Southern defense with nine tackles (eight solo), while classmate Carlif Taylor (New York, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) finished with nine stops (five solo), including 1.5 for a loss of three yards. Freshman Brandon Martin (Hamden, Conn./Notre Dame-West Haven) chipped in with a fumble recovery for the Owls, while senior Desean Nzegwu (Staten Island, N.Y./Moore Catholic) and sophomore Malcolm Crosson (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) both collected interceptions.
After driving to the Stonehill 12 and coming away empty after a missed 29 yard field goal from sophomore Devin Silverman (Berlin, Conn./Berlin), Southern broke through on its second possession with a touchdown. Magee capped a ten play, 80 yard drive with a six yard run with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter. The Owls extended their lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by sophomore fullback Michael Johnson (Enfield, Conn./Springfield Cathedral) with 13:35 to play in the half after the Owls gained possession with a Stonehill fumble on a punt return at the Skyhawks 16.
Stonehill took advantage of a Southern Connecticut turnover to get its first points of the afternoon. Morris intercepted Jablonski in the Skyhawks end zone and then Robitaille closed out an 11 play, 80 yard drive with a ten yard touchdown catch from Meyer with 3:04 remaining in the second quarter. Meyer also connected with McLeod for a 42 yard pass during the drive as the Skyhawks converted three times on third down, including the scoring play.
Southern Connecticut regained its 14 point cushion at the half with a well-executed two-minute drill. Jablonski capped the possession with a 30-yard touchdown strike to Williams with seven seconds left on third and six. Jablonski completed 4-of-5 passes for 59 yards on the six play, 64 yard drive.
Junior Nate Robitaille racked up 210 all-purpose yards and a touchdown catch. (PHOTO BY Vaughn Winchell)
Stonehill, which rallied from three 14 point deficits on its way to a 41-38 overtime win at Assumption College in week three, held Southern on its first possession and got a career-long 38 yard field goal from sophomore Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) on its first possession of the second half.
Stonehill cut the deficit to 21-17 on its next possession when Meyer found Markus for a five yard pass at the end of a ten play, 64-yard possession with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter. Meyer and McLeod combined for a key 19 yard passing play on third and 13 from the Stonehill 48 to keep the drive alive, while Meyer also connected with Robitaille for an 18 yard passing play during the possession.
Stonehill took the lead 27-seconds into the fourth quarter after a Southern Connecticut fumble was recovered by Trudeau at the Stonehill 44 yard line. Meyer hit Piccirillo with a six yard touchdown pass to wrap up an eight play, 56 yard drive. Stonehill converted twice more on third downs on the possession, including the scoring play, and finished 10-for-18 on third down for the game, while limiting Southern Connecticut to 8-of-16, including 2-for-6 in the second half.
Stonehill's defense held firm after the Skyhawks took the lead, collecting a pair of fumbles, forcing a punt and a turnover on downs before the clock ran out on Southern on its last possession after a Ryan Handy (Howell, N.J./Howell) punt was downed at the one yard line with 12-seconds to play. The Owls were held to 70 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter, with 26 of those yards coming on the final possession with the Skyhawks in a prevent defense.
Stonehill (4-2, 4-1 NE-10) is right back in action in the Elm City next weekend when it visits the University of New Haven with first place on the line at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Connecticut Public Television channel CPTV Sports (formerly Connecticut Sports Network). The Skyhawks return home the following Saturday, October 26, to host LIU Post at noon. Southern Connecticut State (3-3, 3-2 NE-10) visits Assumption College next Saturday at 6 p.m.