October 24th, 2022 4:00am
Defense was the name of the game this past weekend.
The Bentley defense is not happy that the calendar will soon change to a new month. They have been nothing short of outstanding during the month of October.
In four games during the month, they have allowed a grand total of 13 points. The lone touchdown that they allowed was against Saint Anselm in the fourth quarter when they were already up 38-0.
The latest gem was a 24-3 victory over Southern Connecticut. The Owls were stymied the entire day and it has become the norm for the Falcons’ defense. How good was the Bentley defense?
How about stopping all five four-down attempts for Southern Connecticut? They limited the Owls to just four conversations on 15 attempts on third down. 193 yards in the game for Southern Connecticut and no open space to run the entire day.
They also recorded 10 tackles for a loss with eight of them being sacks. To say that the Bentley defense dominated is an understatement. They were phenomenal.
On the season, the defense has been a big reason that the Falcons are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the league. The season-high right now for an opponent was Pace who scored three times and 20 points in the second game of the season. West Chester and New Haven scored two times against the defense, both in the opening half of those games.
Bentley will be off this coming weekend for their bye week and the defense is not happy that they are off. The Falcons will finish their home slate with AIC the first weekend of November and then end the regular season with a trip to Pace.
One More Year
Carlton Aiken, Jr has played a lot of football over the course of his collegiate career. If he could squeeze in one more year of eligibility, it might make sense to transfer to Franklin Pierce. He has been nearly unstoppable on two trips to Rindge, NH.
His Setters scored 43 straight points in a 50-7 victory over Franklin Pierce last Saturday afternoon. Aiken finished the day with four touchdown passes as he was once again the best player on the field for Pace.
He finished the game with 294 yards as he completed 21 of his 31 attempts. Technically, he had five touchdown passes as he threw a pick-six in the second quarter but that does not count in the box score the same way.
On his first trip to Franklin Pierce in 2019, Aiken threw for 275 yards and three scores in a 52-7 victory. That is a total of seven touchdown passes in those two games as there must be something special on the turf in Rindge for Aiken to have memorable games.
Pace is now 5-3 on the season and 3-2 in the NE10. The Setters have their first two-game winning streak of the season and will look to make it three in a row when they host Saint Anselm next weekend.
The 2022 version of the Assumption Greyhounds has been very consistent in its victories this year. They put together a solid defensive effort and the offense scored enough points to win the game.
The latest example was last Saturday afternoon as the Greyhounds defeated American International 24-7. The defense allowed just one score on the day and the offense did its job by moving the ball up and down the field.
There have been a lot of similar scores in the wins for Assumption. They seem to score 24-28 points while the defense allows 7-14 points. It has happened in the last four victories for the Greyhounds and is a big reason why they are 5-2 overall and 4-1 in NE10 play.
Assumption has a huge game this weekend as they host first-place, New Haven. The winner will be in a good position to hoist some hardware at the end of the regular season.
It has been the magic number for the Saint Anselm football program. With their 24-20 victory over Post last Saturday night, it is the fifth time since 1999 that the Hawks have five victories in a season.
It was JC King that was the offensive star for Saint Anselm. He ran for 114 yards and a score in helping the Hawks win their fifth game of the season. He also secured the final first down that clinched the game.
It is the first time since 2014 that they have won these many games in a season. And you need to go back to 2000-2002 when Saint Anselm had 5 or more victories in each of those seasons.
It has been a slow building process for head coach Joe Adam, but the results are finally showing in the win column. His staff has recruited well over the past couple of seasons and found some players that fit the style of offense and defense that he wants them to run.
Saint Anselm will look to tie their most wins in modern football history when they travel to Pace this coming weekend.
I am starting to show my age and experience in covering this league. This coming weekend, we have a major reversal of fortune for some of the matchups.
Saint Anselm and Pace play on Saturday. This game used to feature two teams that might have been looking for their first win of the season when they played. But now, both teams have five victories each and it is one of the games to watch this weekend.
Southern Connecticut and American International also play each other this weekend. It features a game that both teams have combined for one victory this year. Both teams were perennial title contenders but have struggled over the past several years.
Well, some of the top teams stay on top of the league for years, and it is good to see some of the teams become competitive week in and week out. It shows hope for teams like Franklin Pierce that good recruiting and some luck can get you from the bottom of the standings to the top.
And vice versa. Don’t be content with a good season as you will have a large target on your back the next one. This has helped the NE10 become a much more competitive league over the past five to ten years.
The right hire for a coach. The right recruit has a breakout career. It can easily help a team go from the bottom to the top of the league.
The first regional rankings will be released on October 24th, and it looks like three NE10 teams have a chance to be listed in the top ten of the region.
New Haven is 6-1 overall and should be the highest-ranked team in the league. The Chargers have won six straight after dropping an opening weekend game to Bowie State.
Assumption should also be in the top ten as they are 5-2 overall but 5-1 in Division II games. The game that they lost to Merrimack doesn’t count against them for the regional rankings.
Bentley might also crack the top ten of the region as they are 6-2 overall. They lost to West Chester in the opening weekend and to New Haven in Week Four. They have given Assumption their lone Division II loss and are currently riding a four-game winning streak.
The top of the region will feature a couple of undefeated teams. Shepherd and IUP are the clear front runners in the region and are on a collision course for the top seed. If they are both able to win out over the next couple of weeks, they will play for the PSAC title and the top seed in the region.
Ashland is the other undefeated team in the region as they are 7-0 and have played the top teams in the GMAC. They have two straight road games against teams with .500 records. If they can win out, they will have a home game in the playoffs.
After that, it is up for grabs. Slippery Rock is the other team with one loss in the region. Kutztown and Gannon both have two losses and are in the mix for the playoffs. IUP and Gannon play this weekend in a game with huge playoff implications.
In the Mountain East, you have three teams that are 6-2. Notre Dame College, Concord, and Wheeling all have the same record and are on the outside looking in right now. Notre Dame College has a quality loss to Ashland. Wheeling and Concord play each other this weekend so the loser will most likely be out of playoff contention.
As always, you need to win on the field to make the playoffs. You can’t rely on the committee to put you into the playoffs if you have a stunning loss over the final couple of weeks of the season.