Stonehill opens its Northeast-10 Conference schedule tonight against Saint Anselm College for the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" at Grappone Stadium. The Skyhawks aim to bounce back from a hard-fought 34-19 setback to a Fairmont State team receiving votes in the AFCA Coaches Poll in their season-opener in Easton last Friday night, while tonight marks the season-opener for the Hawks after an opening week bye.
Live video coverage of tonight's game is presented by Saint Anselm via NE10Now. Link to the webcast can be accessed via www.stretchinternet.com/saintanselm. Ben Altsher (play-by-play) and Nick Anastos (analyst) have the call of the action. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats will also be available via stonehillskyhawks.com.
Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk
Stonehill holds a 13-0 all-time record in the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" heading into tonight's NE10 opener at Saint Anselm. The "Ol' Bronze Hawk" is given to the winner of the annual football matchup between the Skyhawks and Hawks and was unveiled in 2006. Stonehill has held possession of the valued hardware each of the 13 years so far, outscoring Saint Anselm 459-221 in that time. Stonehill has won 14-straight meetings overall between the two and is now 15-5 all-time against the Hawks.
Senior quarterback James Lam (Quincy, Mass.), junior kicker Matt Haite (Kingston, Mass.) and sophomore defensive lineman Nate Bresson (Torrington, Conn.) were all selected to the NE10's weekly honor roll for their efforts against Fairmont State on Friday night. Lam rushed the ball 13 times for 118 yards (9.1 yds/carry) and two touchdowns, while Haite delievered a pair of field goals, including a 41-yarder, and Bresson posted eight tackles (three solo), including 2.0 tackles for a loss of four yards.
Stonehill fhas been picked to finish seventh in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll by the league's ten head coaches. The Skyhawks received 36 points to sit seventh in the poll, with defending NE10 Champions Assumption picked to capture its third title in four seasons with 77 points and six of ten first place votes. The Greyhounds edged out LIU Post for the top spot in the preseason poll, with the Pioneers receiving the remaining four first place votes and 76 points overall. Bentley is picked third with 63 points, with the New Haven fourth (57 points) and Southern Connecticut State (44) rounding out the top five. Merrimack (40) holds the sixth position in the poll, one spot ahead of Stonehill, followed by Pace (24) in eighth, American International (20) in ninth and Saint Anselm (13) in tenth to round out the poll..
Mitchell Award Watch List
Junior placekicker Matt Haite (Kingston, Mass.) has been named to The Fred Mitchell Award's Season Opening "Watch List" for the second-straight year for his excellence on the football field and for his continued community service efforts over his career. Haite, named to the Northeast-10 Conference All-Rookie Team as a freshman, earns a spot on the preseason watch list for the second-straight year as he continues to work his way up Stonehill's all-time record books. He is the second Skyhawks placekicker named to the Fred Mitchell Award preseason "watch list" after Steve Grzywacz '16 earned the honor prior to the 2014 season. Haite, who was also named to the Mitchell Award September "Watch List" as a freshman, is one of 34 placekickers from NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and NJCAA named to the preseason list. He is one of 11 from NCAA Division II, including two from the NE10 and three from Super Region 1, named to the "Watch List." The Fred Mitchell Award is presented annually in December to a College Division kicker for excellence on the football field and in the community. Haite has an impressive list of community service under his belt, including volunteering for the Kingston Police Department's "Night Out" program, coaching and officiating in the NFL's Flag Football League in his hometown, while also coaching youth basketball with the Silver Lake Youth Basketball Association. He has cooked and served food at the Major John Bradford Homestead for the Jones River Historical Society in Kingston and volunteered his time at Angelo Elementary School in Brockton, Boston Higashi School for Autism and the Stonehill Farm.
Seniors James Lam (Quincy, Mass.) and Mike Cordova (Monroe, N.J.) each rushed for over 100-yards against Fairmont State on Friday night, marking the first time Stonehill has featured two 100-yard rushers since Jermetrius Troy '13 and Jamal Johnson, '14 accomplished the feat against Pace on October 15, 2011. It marked Lam's rushed the ball 13 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns, marking the first 100-yard rushing game of his career in just his second start at quarterback. Cordova rushed 27 times for 101 yards, marking the second 100-yard game of his career.
In the Zone
After leading the NE10 and ranking 11th nationally for red zone efficiency in 2017, Stonehill was 3-for-3 on red zone trips against Fairmont State in week one. The Skyhawks have now scored on 17-straight trips inside their opponents 20-yard line dating back to a missed field goal in the second quarter of their overtime win against Bentley on October 21, 2017. Stonehill scored on 33-of-35 trips (94%) in the red zone last season, scoring 28 touchdowns and adding five field goals.
Aye, Aye Captains
Seniors Mike Cordova (Oceanport, N.J.), John Ejiofor (Burlington Township, N.J.), Vandy Hall (Ewing, N.J.) and James Lam (Quincy, Mass.) have been elected captains by their teammates and the coaching staff for the 2018 season. It marks the first time Stonehill has had four captains since 2016 and the second-straight year it has had a two-year captain with Ejiofor returning as a captain for the second-straight season.