October 21st, 2019 3:00am
Two in a Row
If you looked at the final stats, it should have been a closer game. St. Anselm had 294 yards of total offense but was able to take advantage of short fields in their 50-10 victory over Franklin Pierce. The Hawks have won two games in a row and now stand at 2-5, 2-3 NE10 on the season.
Eric Fairweather was once again solid from his quarterback position. The senior tossed four touchdown passes, all in the opening half and rushed for another score. He took exactly what the Raven defense gave him, and he made them pay each time.
30 points in the opening quarter set the tone for St. Anselm. Nicholas Fiorillo caught the first two touchdowns for the Hawks, and they never looked back as they led 43-3 at the half.
The defense did not allow a touchdown on the afternoon as the lone Franklin Pierce score was on a pick-six. They held the Raven offense to just 168 yards and just four for 18 on third down.
St. Anselm hosts Southern Connecticut next weekend while Franklin Pierce travels to American International.
It is rare to see an 11 AM kickoff but that was what the schedule said, and the teams needed to play the game. Assumption jumped out quickly and defeated American International 28-14 last Saturday.
The Greyhounds made a goal-line stand two and a half minutes in the game. The offense then took the ball 99 yards over the next 17 plays to open the scoring. Khaleed Exum-Strong finished off the drive with the first of his two scores on the day.
Assumption forced another turnover late in the first half as Shawn Springs picked off a pass. On the ensuing play, Jordan McAfee found Brevin Easton who caught the ball and raced 93 yards for the score to lead 14-0 at the half.
American International would score twice in the second half but Assumption responded with scoring drives to answer quickly and keep them at bay. Joseph Kellum put the final nail in a potential Yellow Jacket comeback as he returned a kickoff 78 yards and Exum-Strong took advantage with a 10-yard score to cap off the scoring.
The Assumption defense rebounded nicely from a tough afternoon a week ago on the road. They limited the Yellow Jackets to just 299 yards.
Assumption will host Stonehill next weekend in a battle for first place.
Last Second Win
It was a back and forth game all afternoon long and it was Bentley that made the final play to win the game. Grant Buchanan drilled his third field goal of the fourth quarter as time expired and the Falcons walked away with a 30-27 victory at Stonehill.
It has not been the type of season that head coach Bill Kavanaugh envisioned but bragging rights over rival Stonehill will solve some of those problems. His team fought for 60 minutes and walked away with just their second victory of the season.
Stephen Sturm played solidly all game long. He finished with 225 yards through the air and two scores. He also added 49 yards on the ground including a score.
His favorite target was Drew Mahoney. The duo hooked up 10 times for 114 yards as they found their rhythm early and often.
For Stonehill, Andrew Jamiel had a monster game. He caught 14 passes for 187 yards and a score. He also tossed a touchdown on a trick play as he fought Zac Pungitore in the corner of the end zone. He also converted a two-point conversion to tie the game at 27 with just over three minutes to play.
But it was Bentley that executed down the stretch. They nearly converted a third and 18 but were three yards short. They sent out the punting unit but had a fake in their back pocket. Punter Charlie Ogletree faked the run on the play and then rolled out to complete the pass to Marc Doran for the first down. It was a gutsy call at that time of the game that worked perfectly.
Stonehill was flagged for a personal foul that moved the ball across midfield. Jordan Artope had a big run that set up the field possession for Buchanan to win the game as time expired.
Bentley never trailed in the game and seemed to be determined to walk out of the Stonehill campus with a victory over their long-time rivals.
Bentley will make the trip to Pace next weekend.
Elm City Trophy
The trophy will stay on the New Haven side of town as the Chargers eked out a 23-20 victory over cross-town rival Southern Connecticut. It is the 10th straight year that the trophy will reside in the Chargers’ athletic office.
Special teams played a huge role in the New Haven victory. Anthony Repollet blocked a pair of punts by the Owls and that was the difference in the game. The first block was scooped up by Josiah Shumaker and run back 13 yards for the score. The second block rolled out of the end zone and resulted in a safety.
Shamar Logan and Chris Liggio did the damage on the ground for the Chargers as they both found the end zone. Logan ended up with a team-high 121 yards on the ground.
Southern Connecticut mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter. Down 23-7, the Owls scored twice to get the deficit to 23-20 with six minutes to play. Jonmichael Bivona scored his second touchdown of the day and freshman quarterback Jackson Ostrowsky called his own number to make it a game.
Southern Connecticut forced a fumble with just over five minutes to play and had a chance to tie or win the game. They got the ball down to the New Haven 29-yard line but a field goal attempt was just short and New Haven ran out the clock to preserve the win.
For the Owls, it was the third time this year that they had a chance to tie or win the game late in the fourth quarter. Each time, they came up short and added to a frustrating season for Southern Connecticut.
New Haven has their bye this weekend while Southern Connecticut travels north to face St. Anselm.
This NE10 season has been filled with the unexpected. Some teams have exceeded expectations and others have struggled. It makes for an exciting brand of football as any team is capable of being their opponent week in and week out.
What is helping for exciting football each week is going to hurt the league in the regional rankings. Three teams have two losses overall at the moment and that is not going to bode well when the regional rankings are released. There are a lot of solid teams in the region and the NE10 might have a tough time getting a team into the crowded field.
One thing that hurt the team was their out of conference performance. Only Stonehill won a non-league game and that was against a now 2-5 Bloomsburg team. The strength of schedule is going to bite the NE10 teams when things shake out over the final four weeks of the regular season.
In the PSAC, you have two undefeated teams at the moment, two teams with one loss and another three teams with two losses. In the Mountain East, you have one undefeated team, one with one loss and another with two. And in the GMAC, you have one team with one loss and two with two losses.
The good thing is that most of those teams still need to play each other so things will shake out over the final weeks of the season. But the same is true for the NE10. If one team from the league is not able to make a run over the final weeks of the season, it might be a long shot for a playoff team this year.
Assumption and Stonehill play each other this weekend. One team will have three losses next Saturday afternoon and most likely eliminated from playoff consideration.
November has games involving teams near the top of the standings as well. And not to mention upsets that may occur along the line. It has been a solid season of competitive football for the NE10, but it might just end on November 16th and not see a playoff team for the first time since 2010.