Bentley Holds Off Football, 30-27

Buchanan's third fourth quarter field goal answers Skyhawks comeback

Jamiel caught 14 passes for 187 yards, threw a game-tying touchdown pass and added a two-point conversion for the Skyhawks today (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (October 19, 2019) – Stonehill College fought back from a 14-point first half deficit to knot the game with three minutes to play, but ultimately fell on last second field goal to drop a 30-27 decision to rival Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference football action on Timothy J. Coughlin, '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium this afternoon.

Senior Grant Buchanan drilled three field goals in the fourth quarter overall, including the game-winning 32-yard try as time expired, to lift Bentley to the win. He finished the afternoon with 12 points, adding field goals of 19 and another 32-yarder earlier in the fourth, while converting all three extra points on the afternoon.

Junior quarterback Stephen Sturm engineered a Bentley offense that finished with 401 total yard with 274 of those yards himself. He completed 20-of-36 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another 49 yards and a score on the ground on eight carries, including two big third down runs in the second half. Senior Drew Mahoney caught ten of Sturm's passes for 114 yards, while senior Ryan McCarthy and junior Austin Ryan collected touchdown passes. Senior Jordan Artope finished with 83 yards on 14 rush attempts for Bentley.

Sophomore Jailen Branch led the Bentley defense with nine tackles (seven solo), including 1.0 sacks for a loss of seven. Senior captain Peter Thorbahn also totaled nine stops (seven solo), while classmate Nnamdi Okaka forced and recovered a fumble and added a pass breakup with one solo tackle. Senior Derek Perkins registered an interception and two solo tackles for the Falcons.

Haite kicked four field goals, scored 13 points and broke the program's career scoring mark today (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior Andrew Jamiel posted the 13th double-digit reception game and 14th 100-yard game of his career to lead a solid outing from the Stonehill receivers on the afternoon. He also added a touchdown pass and two-point conversion run that leveled the game at 27-27 with three minutes to play. Jamiel finished with season-highs of 14 receptions and 187 yards, while scoring a touchdown on the afternoon, marking the fourth-highest single game reception total and matching the sixth-best receiving yardage total in program history – the second-highest yardage total in W.B. Mason Stadium history. The touchdown catch boosts his program record total to 28 and moves him within six of the program's career mark for total touchdowns scored of 34 by Eddie Vachon, '11.

Senior Matt Haite kept Stonehill within striking distance with four field goals, including a long of 41-yards in the third quarter. He also added kicks of 39, 34 and 23 yards on the afternoon, converting his lone extra point to finish with 13 points to become the program's all-time leading scorer with 217 points. Haite broke the previous school record of 212 points by Stephen Grzywacz '16, while extending the career field goal mark he set last weekend, finishing with 38 career field goals. Haite also averaged 62.3 yards on his six kickoffs, with two touchbacks.

Junior Anton Stoneking completed a season-high 25-of-36 passes for a season-best 337 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted once and committed a fumble. Senior Zac Pungitore collected his first touchdown pass of the season (fourth career and third career against Bentley), finishing with four receptions for 23 yards, while sophomore Connor Walsh chipped in two huge receptions for 69 yards. Sophomore Justin Felder contributed 66 yards rushing on 16 carries for the Skyhawks.

Junior Sam Athy finished with a career and game-high 14 tackles (nine solo) for the Stonehill defense, including 0.5 for a loss of a yard, while classmate Nate Bresson added eight stops (four solo), including 2.0 for a loss of four yards, with 1.0 sacks for a loss of three. Junior Xavier Jones finished with a career-best six tackles (all solo).

Pungitore's touchdown catch that would end up knotting the score late in regulation was his third career touchdown against the Falcons (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Buchanan's game-winning field goal came moments after Jamiel took a handoff from Stoneking and then fired a strike to an open Pungitore in the end zone from 17 yards out with 3:14 remaining. Jamiel then knotted the score by rushing in the two-point conversion on another end around, marking the first time the Skyhawks were on even terms since the first five minutes of the game. The Falcons looked to be giving the ball back to the Skyhawks after a three and out following the tying touchdown, but freshman punter Charlie Ogletree executed a fake on fourth and three from their own 33 with a seven-yard completion to junior Marc Doran  to keep the possession going.

Stonehill, which had outscored its opponents 70-14 in the first quarter and 108-20 in the first half coming into the game, found themselves on the back foot in the first half for the first time all season this afternoon. Bentley staked out a 14-0 lead a minute into the second quarter after Sturm rushed the ball in from seven yards out at the end of the opening drive of the game and then connected with Ryan for a 14-yard touchdown pass 1:02 into the second.

Stonehill, which was held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all year, wasted little time getting back in the game as Walsh hauled in a 43-yard pass from Stoneking and then Jamiel scored on a 27-yard Stoneking pass as the Skyhawks got on the board just two plays and 44-seconds after Bentley's second touchdown.

Haite followed with his first field goal from 39-yards out to pull Stonehill back within 14-10, but Sturm delivered a 24-yard touchdown pass to McCarthy with 1:19 to play in the half that stretched Bentley's lead back to 11 points (21-10). Stonehill would pull back some of the momentum by marching 58 yards in ten plays and just 79-seconds before Haite capped the first half scoring with a 34-yard field goal as time expired.

Haite followed with two more field goals in the third quarter to pull Stonehill back within two points (21-19) heading to the fourth. His 41-yard field goal capped the Skyhawks opening drive of the second half and then connected from 23-yards with 3:43 left in the third after the offense drove to within the one yard line but couldn't push the ball in.

Buchanan was able to stretch the Bentley lead again with field goals of 19 and 32 yards over the opening nine minutes of the fourth quarter leading up to the wild finish. The Falcons took advantage of three Stonehill turnovers in the game, committing none themselves, netting 17 points off those three Skyhawk miscues. The Skyhawks finished the afternoon with 423 total yards, but held the ball for just 24:01.

Stonehill (4-2, 3-1 NE10) is back in action next Saturday, when it visits Assumption College for a first place battle in in the NE10 standings at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home, where it will play two-straight weeks, against Southern Connecticut State University at W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday, November 2, at 1 p.m. Bentley (2-4, 2-2 NE10) visits Pace University next Saturday at 1 p.m.

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