Stonehill Takes Ol’ Bronze Hawk at Saint Anselm, 41-27

Senior running back Eddie Vachon became Stonehill's all-time rushing yardage leader this afternoon as his 135 yards on a career-high 31 carries led the offense and give him 2,834 career yards. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Vachon becomes program's all-time rushing leader behind 135-yard effort for Skyhawks

MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 30, 2010) – Stonehill College overcame an early 13 point deficit to claim a 41-27 victory over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference football action at Grappone Stadium this afternoon. The win gives Stonehill possession of the Ol' Bronze Hawk trophy for the fifth-straight year.

Senior running back Eddie Vachon (Newton, Mass./Blair Academy) paced Stonehill to its fourth 400-yard performance of the season and in the process became Stonehill's all-time leader in rushing yardage in the win. He carried the ball a career-high 31 times for 135 yards (4.4 per carry), giving him 2,834 yards over his career – breaking the previous school record of 2,701 yards by Tyrone Jefferson from 1998-2000. It marks Vachon's tenth career 100-yard outing and he also finished with 156 all-purpose yards by adding two catches for 22 yards. He also moved into third place on the program's single-season rushing list with 932 yards so far this season.

Stonehill finished with 407 yards of offense, posting 219 on the ground and 188 passing. Saint Anselm finished with 394 yards of offense, with 320 through the air and 74 rushing. The Skyhawks won the possession battle by holding the ball for 35:32 and limiting the Hawks to 23:56.

Sophomore Jermetrius Troy (Mattapan, Mass./Tilton School) scored three touchdowns for Stonehill and finished with 14 carries for 63 yards. Junior Tim Morrison (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) completed 10-of-19 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Junior Oscar Alvarez (Framingham, Mass./Cushing Academy) caught three of those passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Junior safety Matthew Iannucci (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) led the Stonehill defense with nine tackles (four solo), an interception and another pass breakup. Sophomore Jonathan Poth (Nahant, Mass./Swampscott) added seven stops (five solo), including 2.0 for a loss of eight yards with a sack. Freshman Tim Bennett (Fillmore, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) registered five tackles (four solo), including 1.5 for a loss of four yards, an interception that he returned 30 yards for a score and two more breakups.

Sophomore Jermetrius Troy scored a career-best three touchdowns for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Lightchaser Photography)

Junior Stephan Neville (Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough) collected six tackles (four solo), an interception and three breakups. He also added two kick returns for 92 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter to seal the win – marking his school-record fourth touchdown return of the season (eighth career), all coming in the last five games.

Sophomore Michael Pierce (Andover, Mass./Andover) completed 31-of-62 passes for Saint Anselm for 320 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions, adding another 20 yards on the ground on nine carries and two more touchdowns. Freshman Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin) caught ten passes for 104 yards and a score, while sophomore Craig Dennis (Atlantic City, N.Y./Atlantic City) added six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Keith Charles (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) posted 46 yards on 11 carries for the Hawks, to go with five catches for 42 yards.

Sophomore Chris Bent (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) led the Saint Anselm defense with 12 tackles (seven solo), including 3.5 for a loss of 12 yards, and a forced fumble. Senior Jason Nguyen (Methuen, Mass./Central Catholic) added ten stops (five solo) and an interception, while sophomore Brendan Timmons (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) registered nine tackles (seven solo).

Saint Anselm led 13-0 ten seconds into the second quarter after Pierce connected with Dennis for a 15-yard scoring pass to cap a seven play, 54-yard drive. The Hawks opened the scoring when Pierce ran in from a yard out midway through the first quarter.

Stonehill responded by scoring on its next three possessions to take the lead, including a pair of scores off Saint Anselm turnovers. Troy scored his first of three touchdowns from two yards out to draw the Skyhawks within a score (13-6) with 9:32 left in the half. Stonehill kept the drive alive with a 15-yard rush by junior Chris Rooney (Quincy, Mass./Catholic Memorial) on a fake punt on fourth and five at the Saint Anselm 43.

Junior Stephan Neville had six tackles, an interception and three pass breakups on defense and sealed the win with his NCAA Division II leading fourth kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Stonehill tied the game after Iannucci intercepted Pierce at the Skyhawks 35 as Morrison connected with Alvarez for a six yards touchdown toss at the end of a ten play, 55-yard drive. Stonehill took its first lead 1:23 before halftime when Troy capped an eight play, 54-yard drive with another two yard rush.

Saint Anselm regained the lead (20-19) 3:14 into the third quarter when Pierce hit Bernard for a 25-yard touchdown pass two plays after freshman Trevor Jessie (Cumberland, Md./Allegany) picked off a Morrison pass at the Stonehill 46 and returned it to the 26.

Stonehill took the lead for good on its next drive as Troy carried the ball in from 14 yards out to cap a seven play, 51-yard drive. The Skyhawks converted the two point conversion with wide receiver John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) spotting freshman Paul Piccirillo (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) open in the end zone. The Skyhawks opened a 14-point cushion less than a minute and a half later as Bennett intercepted a deflected Pierce pass at the Saint Anselm 30 and raced into the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown on his fourth pickoff of the year with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

Saint Anselm closed within a touchdown (34-27) 1:02 into the fourth quarter with a 14-yard Pierce rush, but Stonehill responded right away and Neville ran the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for his NCAA Division II leading fourth kick return for a touchdown this season to lead the win.

Stonehill (4-4, 2-4 NE-10) is back in action next Saturday when it hosts Assumption College on Senior Day and Easton Appreciation Day at noon. Saint Anselm (1-7, 1-5 NE-10) travels to face the University of New Haven next Saturday at noon.

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