Stonehill College hosts Southern Connecticut State University for its first NE10 matchup and first home game of the year at Timothy J. Coughlin (COG-lin) '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight. The Skyhawks look to build off last weekend's 44-28 triumph at Bloomsburg (Pa.) University with a win to open the Conference slate, while the Owls try to bounce back from a 55-22 loss to Gannon last Saturday.
SkyhawksVision coverage of tonight's game is available via www.stonehillskyhawks.tv. Charlie Bergeron, the voice of the Skyhawks, returns for his 20th season of broadcasting the Skyhawks. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats will also be available via stonehillskyhawks.com.
Purple Out, Purple and White
The Stonehill football team will be wearing their special "Purple Out" uniform combination for tonight's "Purple & White Game" at W.B. Mason Stadium. Purple & White Games are selected to promote school spirit for each of the College's 21 athletic programs that host home events over the course of the year. The football team's new uniforms, by adidas have four different color combinations that can be worn over the course of the season.
A Moment of Remembrance
Prior to tonight's game, the College will observe a moment of remembrance forLinsey Malia '18, who passed suddenly while studying abroad in Copenhagen in May. Linsey was a member of the Stonehill athletics family as a student, serving as our mascot, Ace, at several athletic and special events on campus.
Offensive Player of the Week
Senior quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) has been selected as the Northeast-10 Conference's Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Saturday's 44-28 win at Bloomsburg. Foltz, who earns NE10 Player of the Week honors for the fourth time in his career, engineered an offense that compiled 439 yards of total offense for the afternoon. He completed 22-of-35 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, adding a fourth touchdown on the ground, as the Skyhawks jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Senior Nick Bona (Peabody, Mass.) and sophomores Matt Haite (Kingston, Mass.), Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) and Andrew Jamiel (Yarmouth, Mass.) were all named to the NE10's weekly honor roll on Monday for their efforts in Saturday's 44-28 win at Bloomsburg.
* Bona led a defense which yielded just 94 yards rushing with a team-high nine tackles (six solo), with 2.0 tackles for a loss of five yards, adding two pass breakups.
* Haite drilled three field goals and was 5-for-5 on extra point attempts to score 14 points. He also controlled field position by averaging 59.4 yards on eight kickoffs, with four touchbacks.
* Jamiel had seven receptions for 120 yards, including five catches for 100 yards in the opening quarter alone, collecting a 63-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring on the day.
* Kearns, Jr., salted the game away in the second half with 132 of his career-high 135 rushing yrds in the second half, finishing with a career-best 24 carries and a touchdown.
He's A 5,000 Man
Senior quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) became just the second player in program history to surpass 5,000 career passing yards, joining Logan Meyer '14 for the honors. His 275 yards at Bloomsburg on Saturday moved him past Stonehill Hall of Famer Tony Dello Iacono '95 (4,895) into second place on the program's all-time list with 5,117 career yards - trailing just Logan's 6,927.
Senior quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) won for the second time in three years in front of a "hometown crowd" of sorts at Bloomsburg on Saturday, having also led the Skyhawks to a 27-10 triumph in 2015.
Back to Back Hundreds
Sophomore running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) posted his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, dating back to his 105 yard effort at rival Bentley in the 2016 season finale, on Saturday. He rushed the ball a career-high 24 times for a career-best 135 yards, including 132 yards in the second half alone to help the Skyhawks seal the win over Bloomsburg.
Stonehill's features three running backs hailing from the Garden State of New Jersey, led by junior Mike Cordova (Oceanport, N.J.), senior Dylan Brown (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and sophomore Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) has chipped in with 142 yards on 36 carries and two scores. Cordova has the lone 100-yard rushing game for the Skyhawks this season with a career-high 115 yards on 20 carries against Merrimack in week five, marking his first career 100-yard game.
Mitchell Award Watch List
Sophomore placekicker Matthew Haite (Kingston, Mass.) has been named to the Fred Mitchell Award's Preseason Watch List for his excellence on the football field during the 2016 season and for his continued community service efforts. Haite, named to the NE10 All-Rookie Team last fall, is the second Stonehill placekicker named to the Fred Mitchell Award preseason "watch list" after Steve Grzywacz '16 was named prior to the 2014 season. Haite, who was also named to the Mitchell Award September "Watch List" as a freshman, is one of 36 placekickers from NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and NJCAA named to the preseason list. He is one of 12 from NCAA Division II, including two from the NE10 and three from Super Region 1, named to the "Watch List." The Fred Mitchell Award is presented annually in December to a College Division kicker for excellence on the football field and in the community.
Stonehill head coach Eli Gardner and his wife, Stephanie, are expecting their first child at any moment heading into week two of the season. Offensive Coordinator Tyler Moody would move into the head coaching role on the sideline for the Skyhawks and Special Teams and Linebackers coach Ken Goodwin would call the defense should delivery time impact Saturday night's game.
Saturday Night Fever
Since W.B. Mason Stadium opened in 2005, night football has been a regular occurance for Stonehill, adding a new wrinkle with Saturday night games starting in 2012. The Skyhawks are 10-13 all-time under the W.B. Mason Stadium lights, including a 6-3 clip on Saturday nights.
The 2017 season marks the 30th season of varsity football at Stonehill. The College will welcome back its varsity alumni for Football Alumni night on Saturday, September 23, when Stonehill hosts Saint Anselm at 6 p.m.
Hall of Fame
Stonehill's 1970 club football team will be honored for its contributions to the program as its founding members when it is inducted to the Stonehill Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, November 3.
Stonehill has been picked to finish sixth in the Northeast-10 according to the Conference's preseason coaches poll released last month. The NE10's d2football.com blogger Paul Falewicz has a much more high presaeson opinion of the Skyhawks by picking them third in his preseason NE10 poll.
Aye, Aye Captains
Seniors Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) and Nick Bona (Peabody, Mass.), as well as junior John Ejiofor (Burlington Township, N.J.) have been selected to serve as team captains for the 2017 season. Foltz returns as captain for the second straight year, while Bona and Ejiofor were also elected by their teammates and coaching staff. It marks the second straight year the Skyhawks have had a junior captain after Foltz was the first since 1999 to do so a year ago.
Fans and media members of Stonehill athletics now have three social media outlets to get updates on all 20 varsity programs. The department's Facebook page is www.facebook.com/stonehillskyhawks, and you can also follow @GoStonehill on Twitter and "StonehillSkyhawks" on Instagram. Stonehill football also has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts: @StonehillFB.
Stonehill is back on the road next Saturday, September 16, when it visits defending NE10 Champions LIU Post for another early season test in Brookville, N.Y., at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home the following Saturday, September 23, to host Saint Anselm College in the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" at W.B. Mason Stadium at 6 p.m. The College will honor its 30th season of varsity football with its annual football Alumni Game.