American International Edges Stonehill, 14-12

Sophomore Jonathan Poth (42) led Stonehill with a game and career-high 14 tackles this afternoon at AIC. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr).

Extra point miss proves costly as Skyhawks suffers first loss of season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 18, 2010) – American International College opened Northeast-10 Conference action with a slim 14-12 victory over Stonehill College in football action at Ronald J. Abdow Field this afternoon.

American International finished with 381 yards of total offense, with 221 yards rushing and 160 passing, but Stonehill forced three turnovers to stay in the game and a missed extra point in the third quarter proved costly. The Skyhawks finished with 290 yards of offense, with 107 on the ground and 183 through the air, in the defensive battle.

Sophomore Markell Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) led the American International defense with 11 tackles (eight solo), including two for a loss of seven yards, one interception and two pass breakups. Classmate Darius Evans (Linden, N.J./Linden) contributed eight tackles (four solo), including 1.5 for a loss of 16 yards, while senior Terrence Holley (Bogota, N.J./Bogota) also posted eight stops, one for a loss of a yard, and a pass breakup.

Sophomore running back Courtney Stephenson (Paterson, N.J./Harmony Community) rushed the ball 20 times for 131 yards (6.6/carry). Senior quarterback Rob Parent (West Warwick, R.I./West Warwick) completed 13-of-25 passes for just 119 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Junior Andre Samuels (Linden, N.J./Linden) caught two passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore Jonathan Poth (Nahant, Mass./Swampscott) led the Stonehill defense with a game and career-high 14 tackles (seven solo), while classmate Jareed Gaines (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) added nine tackles, with 0.5 for a loss of a yard. Senior Brad White (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) chipped in with six stops, including 2.0 for a loss of two yards.

Senior running back Eddie Vachon finished with 91 yards rushing and caught two passes for 14 yards and a touchdown. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Senior running back Eddie Vachon (Newton, Mass./Blair Academy) had his streak of five-straight 100-plus yard rushing games come to an end as he was limited to 91 yards on 25 carries (3.6/rush), but caught two passes for 14 yards and a touchdown. Freshman quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) made his collegiate debut and completed 20-of-41 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Sophomore John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) caught eight of those passes for 91 yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, American International opened the scoring midway through the second after the Yellow Jackets had worked field position in their favor after Parent fumbled on the Stonehill six yard line on their previous possession to stall a long drive. AIC forced Stonehill to punt after a three and out deep in Skyhawks territory and resumed possession at the Stonehill 41. The Yellow Jackets executed a flea-flicker on first down with Parent tossing to junior tight end Trevor Perryman (Centereach, N.Y./Newfield) who fired a 41-yard strike to Samuels for the touchdown.

Stonehill answered on its first drive of the second half as senior Steven Good (Green Harbor, Mass./Marshfield) intercepted Parent at the Skyhawks 20 and returned it 16 yards for the drive to start at the 36. Meyer then engineered a 12-play, 64-yard drive by completing 6-of-8 passes for 47 yards, capped by a four-yard touchdown toss to junior Oscar Alvarez (Framingham, Mass./Cushing Academy) on third and goal. However the extra point attempt from sophomore Nicholas Salvo (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet) was wide left to maintain a one-point Yellow Jackets lead.

AIC extended its lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Parent capped a 6-play, 65-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to junior Aaron Flythe (Dorchester, Mass./Dorchester) with 14:52 to play. The Yellow Jackets got the ball after Stonehill was unable to convert a fourth and one at the AIC 30 and then rushed the ball five-straight times for 39 yards to cap the third quarter before Parent's scoring strike.

Freshman Logan Meyer tossed two touchdown passes in his collegiate debut.

AIC was driving again midway through the fourth quarter when junior Stephan Neville (Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough) intercepted Parent at the Stonehill 21 and returned it 37 yards to the Yellow Jackets 42. Meyer capped a ten-play 42-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Vachon with 1:50 left in regulation. Vachon had 23 total yards on the drive, including 21 rushing on five carries. The Skyhawks were forced to go for the two-point conversion, but a pass by Gomes was broken up in the end zone by senior Nathaniel Ricks (Clinton, Md./Gwynn Park).

American International recovered the onside kick and got an extra five yards to the Stonehill 30 when the kick didn't travel ten yards. Stonehill was able to force a punt, but Parent's kick was downed at the Skyhawks one yard line, forcing them to need to go nearly the length of the field to get into at least field goal territory with 1:16 to go.

Stonehill got new life when an AIC personal foul on third and ten at the one gave the Skyhawks a fresh set of downs at the 15. Meyer found Gomes for a 14-yard pass to the 29 and then Alvarez for six to the 35. Stonehill had a fourth and five at its own 34 with about ten seconds remaining, but Meyer's pass intended for Alvarez was incomplete with seven seconds left.

Stonehill saw its first five game winning streak, dating back to last season, since 1996 come to a close with the loss - its first of the season. Vachon's touchdown was the 25th of his career, moving him within one of Olivar's school record of 26 total touchdowns.

Stonehill (2-1, 0-1 NE-10) looks to get back on track on Friday night when it hosts Merrimack College for a Northeast-10 matchup at W.B. Mason Stadium at 7 p.m. American International (1-2, 1-0 NE-10) have a short week before visiting Southern Connecticut State University on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Stonehill Outscores Pace, 41-33
September 10, 2010 Stonehill Outscores Pace, 41-33