October 10th, 2022 4:00am
It was a weekend of one-sided games.
Bentley once again looked like a great team as they easily defeated Saint Anselm 38-7 last Saturday. The Falcons are now 4-2, 2-1 NE10 on the season.
Bentley is playing well on both sides of the ball. The offense scored with ease as Mark Waid directed the offense up and down the field. He threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers and looks very comfortable running the Falcon offense right now. Nate Larkins had 100 yards on the ground.
The Bentley defense is playing at a different level. They nearly had another shutout and had a streak of nine straight quarters without allowing a touchdown. The streak started in the game against New Haven game when the defense pitched a shutout over the final two quarters of the game.
Overall, Bentley is still in the running for the NE10 title. They will need some help as they lost to New Haven, but we are only halfway through the season now.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Bentley as they travel to Assumption this weekend.
Not to be overlooked, New Haven also dominated in their 35-7 victory over Pace last Saturday afternoon. The Chargers are now 5-1, 3-0 NE10 as they stay on top of the league standings.
Connor Degenhardt was impressive again as he threw for three scores and Christopher Ais and Hunter Cobb ran through huge holes. The rushing attack finished with 180 yards, slightly ahead of their 150-yard-per-game average.
The Charger defense did an excellent job pressuring the quarterback and not allowing Pace signal caller Carlton Aiken any time to find his offensive weapons. The front line spent a lot of time in the backfield and the rest of the defense made tackles in the open field.
New Haven will take a couple of weeks off from NE10 play as they host Post this weekend for a non-conference game and then have the following weekend off for their bye-week.
There are a ton of streaks that the NE10 has seen come and go over the years. But we had a couple that extended last weekend.
Bentley has never lost to Saint Anselm on their home turf. In fact, the Hawks have only defeated the Falcons once in 22 matchups over the year. That lone victory occurred in 2014 on Saint Anselm’s home turf.
New Haven has now won 13 straight games against Pace. Their victory this past weekend kept the Chargers perfect against the Setters since they revived their football program in 2009.
With the loss this weekend, American International will be below .500 for 2022. That will be seven straight seasons without a winning record in Springfield. The Yellow Jackets were in the running for a title year and year out for so many years.
For the fifth straight season, Southern Connecticut will finish the year without a winning record. They last finished with a winning record in 2016 and were at the .500 mark in 2017. But since 2011, they have finished with a losing record in eight of those seasons.
In the past, we would circle the Southern Connecticut and American International matchup as a game that would decide the NE10 title. But we have that October 29th game circled as one of those teams might emerge from a winless season.
When it was announced that Assumption would host a game at Polar Park, it was received with a lot of attention. For a Division II game to be played at a minor league ballpark, the game was one to circle on the calendar.
Assumption didn’t disappoint the hometown crowd as they defeated Franklin Pierce 28-14 last Sunday afternoon. The attendance for the day was not announced but it seems to bring out the fans to the park to see the Greyhounds play.
And just like the previous couple of weeks, it was Assumption that dominated on both sides of the ball. The defense allowed just 50 yards and two first downs in the first three quarters of the game. And the offense was moving the ball up and down the field with ease and ending drives in the end zone.
“It all starts with our defense,” Assumption coach Andy McKenzie said. “Our defense has been playing some really good football for the majority of the season. We rely on them to take the ball away from the other team, making it very hard to run the ball and eliminate the big plays.”
Senior quarterback Jake Cady was the star of the day for the offense. He finished the day with four rushing touchdowns as he amassed 85 yards on the ground in the game. He threw for another 188 yards as he kept the Franklin Pierce defense on the run all day long.
“He made some good decisions in the run game today,” McKenzie said of his quarterback. “He threw the ball accurately most of the day which is good to see.”
It was a great atmosphere at Polar Park on Sunday for the game.
“There is a lot of unique logistics that go into this day,” McKenzie said of the experience of playing in a different venue. “We are really thankful for the opportunity from the WooSox and Polar Park and also with Franklin Pierce. They had to adjust their schedule to play on a Sunday afternoon and we are appreciative of them.”
Assumption is now 4-1, 3-0 NE10. They have a tough schedule to close out the month of October. They will host Bentley this weekend before hitting the road to American International in a couple of weeks. They will then entertain New Haven on the final weekend of the month.
The Greyhounds will have a huge factor in deciding who will the NE10 title as some of the contenders will be visiting Worcester this month. McKenzie is looking toward the next game and getting his team to do the same thing.