Fighting Falcons ride 476 yards of total offense to season-opening win
Lam rushed for a career-high 118 yards and the first two TDs of his career in just his second collegiate start tonight. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
EASTON, Mass. (August 31, 2018) – Fairmont State University, receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II preseason poll, rode 476 yards of total offense to a 34-19 season-opening victory over Stonehill College in non-conference football action on Timothy J. Coughlin, '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.
Junior Takwan Crews-Naylor completed 23-of-29 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Alquawn Vickers and sophomore Khalik Hamlin each totaled over 100 yards in support. Hamlin rushed the ball 23 yards for 130 yards and two touchdowns, while Vickers had eight receptions for 120 yards. Sophomore Javon Hayes added 89 yards on seven catches with a touchdown.
Senior Jerry Iweh led a Stonehill defense that held Stonehill to just 79 yards through the air with ten tackles (five solo) and a pass breakup. Classmate Antonio Harris added nine tackles (five solo), including 1.0 for a loss of four yard, while sophomore Malachi McMillan chipped in with an interception.
Seniors James Lam and Mike Cordova each rushed for over 100 yards to pace a Stonehill offense that totaled 297 total yards. Lam was responsible for 197 total yards in his second career start at quarterback for the Skyhawks, rushing the ball 13 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns, while Cordova added 101 yards on 27 carries, finishing with 169 all-purpose yards after returning four kickoffs for 68 yards. Junior Matt Haite kicked a pair of field goals, including a 41-yarder with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.
Senior Sean Cassidy totaled a career-high 11 tackles on defense for Stonehill, including seven solo, while junior Malik Wiggins added a career-best ten tackles (five solo), with a fumble recovery and pass breakup. Sophomore Nate Bresson totaled eight tackles (three solo), including 2.0 for a loss of four yards, while junior Maurice Greene chipped in four stops, including a sack for a loss of five and a fumble recovery.
Cordova surpassed 100 rushing yards for the second time in his career tonight, totaling 169 all-purpose yards. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Fairmont State staked out a 14-point lead after Crews-Naylor connected with Hayes for a five-yard touchdown toss to cap a ten play, 60-yard drive less than four minutes into the second quarter. Stonehill responded with a quick 12-play, 73-yard drive, capped by Lam's first of two one-yard touchdown plunges, on its next possession.
Fairmont held a ten-point lead (17-7) at the intermission and then Stonehill marched down the field on the opening possession of the second half, but was held to a 30-yard Haite field goal. Hamlin's second touchdown of the night stretched Fairmont's lead back to 14 (24-10 five minutes later.
Stonehill closed the gap to five, with a chance to draw within three, after Lam's second touchdown run with 8:04 to go in the fourth quarter after Haite's 41-yard field goal. Fairmont responded with ten unanswered points to close the game out. Crews-Naylor found junior Shane Faett in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown just 2:42 after Lam's second score, capping a quick five play, 68-yard drive. Freshman Colin Harvath closed out the scoring with a 20-yard field goal with 39-seconds to go.
Stonehill (0-1, 0-0 NE10) is back in action next Saturday night, September 8, when it opens its Northeast-10 Conference schedule at Saint Anselm College for the 14th annual "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 6 p.m. Fairmont State (1-0, 0-0 MEC) hosts Urbana College next Saturday at 1 p.m.
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