NE10 Week Three Thoughts

September 19th, 2022 3:00am

NE10 Week Three Thoughts

Three weeks in the books.

 

Tune-Up

Bentley took care of business last Friday night as they dominated Post 49-6.  The Falcons once again used their defense to completely shut down their opponent.

Post was held to just 154 yards on the night and never half of them came on their final drive once the game was decided.  The Bentley front four spent a lot of time in the backfield and allowed zero net yards of rushing.

The offense was once again paced by quarterback Mark Waid.  He handed the ball off to Nate Larkins for a couple of scores and found Noah Neville for a couple more.  Bentley had over 500 yards of offense and averaged over nine yards per play. 

The Falcons will finish up their three-game homestand with a huge game under the lights Friday night as they welcome New Haven.

Tune-Up # 2

New Haven overcame a sluggish first half to defeat American International 54-26.  The Chargers were very consistent as they put up 27 points in each half, but it was the defense that stepped up in the second half.

Despite missing several key players, the New Haven defense allowed just six points in the second half and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.  They gave up a mere three rushing yards on the afternoon to the Yellow Jackets.

As American International made it a one-score game late in the third quarter, Terrell Ford took the ensuing kickoff back to the house for an 81-yard touchdown and the momentum was clearly on the side of the Chargers.

Connor Degenhardt was once again the master of the Charger offense.  He threw five touchdown passes to four different players and had a strong rushing attack to put up big numbers.

The Chargers will make the trip north on Friday night to play Bentley under the lights.

Rebound

Pace struggled on the road two weeks ago at Bentley.  But the Setters rebounded nicely with a 27-7 victory over Southern Connecticut last Friday night. 

It was the defense that dominated the night for Pace.  They allowed just 172 yards in the game as they put the Bentley loss behind them.  Nasier Givens was the defensive star as he was credited with nine tackles, five of them for loss with two of them for sacks.  To top off his incredible night, he also forced two fumbles. 

As a defensive unit, Pace had eight tackles for a loss with three of them going for a sack.  They also recovered a couple of those fumbles, and it was a game that showed how good they could play.

Carlton Aiken did the job on the offensive side as he spread the ball around to his weapons and was credited with two scores, one passing, and one rushing.  The Setters had 220 yards on the ground and easily controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Pace will return home this weekend when they host Assumption Saturday afternoon.

Undefeated

For the first time since 2014, Saint Anselm has won their first three games of the season.  The latest victim was in-state rival, Franklin Pierce.  The Hawks overcame some early offensive struggles to defeat the Ravens 27-0 last Saturday night.

Drew Willoughby and his offensive weapons were not as explosive as two weeks ago against American International, but they put together enough drives to win the game on the road.

The story again for Saint Anselm was their defense.  They pitched their first shutout of the season and now have allowed just 17 points in the first three games. 

The Hawks were able to bottle up the running attack of Franklin Pierce and force a lot of three-and-out situations throughout the evening.  The defensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage and just never let the Raven offense gain any momentum. 

Saint Anselm will look to extend their winning streak as they host Southern Connecticut this Saturday.

First Time

It has been a tough opening month for American International.  They have played three straight road games for the second straight year but have been on the wrong side of the scoreboard in all three of those games in 2022 after going 3-0 in 2021.

But the last two games have been extremely tough for the Yellow Jackets.  They have given up 50-plus points in both losses for potentially the first time in school history.  Looking back at their history, I have seen three other times that they have given up over 50 points in a game.  Most recently in 2018 when they lost to Assumption 54-9.  It appears that the school record in 70 points when they lost to LIU Post in October 2017. 

American International has always been known for having strong defenses but 2022 has been a different story in the opening weeks of the season.  They still have plenty of time to turn things around but playing two of the top teams in the league early has not helped.

The Yellow Jackets will host Franklin Pierce this Saturday in their home opener.

Streak Breaker

We have an early season matchup of note as New Haven travels to Bentley this Friday night.  The teams have been at the top of the league the past couple of seasons and the winner of this game has gone on to win the league in the past two seasons.

In 2019, Bentley defeated New Haven 31-14 under the Friday night lights.  That game was the difference in November when the teams finished tied in the league standings and the Falcons were awarded the NE10 hardware.

Last year, the teams played twice in November, and it was all New Haven.  The Chargers returned the favor with a 31-14 victory that decided the NE10 title for 2021.  The teams met again two weeks later in the playoffs as New Haven won again 38-13.

There is no love lost between these two schools as they have had some epic battles over the years.  New Haven leads the overall series 10-3.

But something will have to give on Friday night.  New Haven has won 14 straight league games.  Bentley has won nine straight home games.  So, one of the streaks will end under the lights on Friday.