November 11th, 2019 4:00am
Ground and Pound
Bentley defeated Franklin Pierce 70-0 last Saturday afternoon. The Falcons are now tied for first place in the NE10.
The story of the game was their rushing attack. The Falcons gained 485 yards on the ground and were able to use their size in the trenches to dominate the line of scrimmage.
Andrew Brazicki and Anthony Doung both cracked the 100-yard mark for Bentley. Brazicki made three trips to the end zone as all of the Falcons’ points came on the ground.
Bentley was also strong on the defensive side as they limited Franklin Pierce to just 162 yards of total offense.
Bentley closes out their season next weekend with a visit from American International.
Ground and Pound, Part II
Justin Felder has gone where no NE10 player ever did before. As part of Stonehill’s 34-22 victory over Pace, Felder rushed for 311 yards and three scores.
He is the first player in league history to rush for 300 yards in consecutive games. The previous weekend against Southern Connecticut, he set a program record with 314 yards in the victory.
He now has over 1,300 yards on the season and is getting better and better each week. And did I mention a receiving touchdown so that was four trips to the end zone in the afternoon?
Pace jumped out to an early 10-0 advantage before the Skyhawks took control of the game. They put the ball in the hands of Felder and he did the rest.
It has been quite the season for Stonehill. Nobody except in their own locker room thought that they would be in the mix for the league title. They are 5-2 in the NE10 and the lone school in the league to record an out of conference victory.
Stonehill closes out the season next weekend in New Haven.
Ground and Pound, Part III
American International had two runners break the century mark in their 39-19 victory over St. Anselm. It is the most wins for the Yellow Jackets in a season since 2016.
Chase Speller and Samad Davila combined for 255 yards rushing and three trips into the end zone for American International. The duo has been carving up opposing defenses in the past several weeks.
The Yellow Jackets got on the board first and withstood a St. Anselm rally in the second quarter. But their offense put up 524 yards in the victory. Davila scored a 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
For the Yellow Jackets, it is a step in the right direction after a couple of down years. They are starting to recruit talent that will compete in the league.
American International travels to Bentley next weekend looking to sweep the season series.
Fourth Quarter Heroics
New Haven has struggled to close games this year but all was forgotten last Saturday. They scored 20 points in the fourth quarter including the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds remaining to defeat Assumption 34-33.
This rivalry has lived up the hype over the years and this chapter will be remembered for a while. The Chargers trailed at the half before mounting the comeback.
Christian Lupoli was solid a quarterback for New Haven as he threw for 319 yards and five touchdowns. His favorite target was Ju’An Williams as the duo hooked up six times and two of them ended up in the end zone.
The big play for New Haven was AJ Greene’s 87-yard touchdown catch to get them within striking distance. Two drives later, Zhyaire Fernandes caught the winning score in the back of the end zone to cap off the dramatic comeback for the Chargers.
New Haven looks to close out the season in style with a visit from Stonehill.
This NE10 season has been nuts. You have four teams tied for first place right now and it looks like a tiebreaker scenario will occur next weekend to determine the outright champ.
Assumption was in the driver’s seat to win the league but New Haven had other plans with their last-second victory. For the Greyhounds, it is the second time this year that they gave up a score in the final minute to lose a game and their shot at the outright title. It now leaves four teams at 5-2 in the league.
With Stonehill and New Haven facing off, it will leave at most three teams in the tiebreaker scenario. If Bentley defeats American International and Assumption rebounds over St. Anselm along with the New Haven/Stonehill winner, three teams could finish 6-2 in the league.
So the next step is the record against the other teams in the tiebreaker. And the New Haven/Stonehill game will have a huge impact. If Assumption is in a three-way tie, they will be pulling for Stonehill as it will make them 2-0 against the other potential three teams and then give them the title.
If New Haven wins, they will be 1-1 against the teams. And it is different for Bentley. They defeated both New Haven and Stonehill but lost to Assumption. So they would be 1-1 in the scenario.
New Haven would also be 1-1 by beating Assumption but losing to Bentley. Stonehill would be 0-2 in the pool as they lost Bentley and Assumption.
If two teams end up tied, then the tiebreaker is head to head.
With all of the parity in the league this year, the NE10 will not have a representative in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. No team was listed in the top 10 of the region, the past two weeks and expect more of the same on Monday.
It shows that the league is balanced but that is not a good thing on the national level. Because of the weak out of conference record, the NE10 is on the outside looking in and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Stonehill was the only team to win outside of the league in Week 1. Franklin Pierce did beat Curry in Week 2 but for playoff purposes, it is not factored into the strength of schedule calculation.
Going forward, the league needs to win games against other conferences. I have discussed this before and it will not change. They have to defeat teams from the PSAC or MEC or GMAC if they are going to make the playoffs. Each year that an NE10 team played in the playoffs, they defeated schools outside of the conference and it showed that they are ready to compete at the regional level.
For 2019, the season will end next weekend but it was not from a lack of excitement. Games inside of the NE10 were competitive and many of them came down to the final play of the game. But that is not good enough at the regional level.