Senior preseason All-American John Gomes finished with a game high 223 all-purpose yards, including six receptions for a game-high 126 yards. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Huskies take advantage of big plays, seven turnovers to hold back Skyhawks
EASTON, Mass. (August 31, 2012) – Bloomsburg University, ranked No. 21 in the D2football.com preseason poll and 25th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II preseason rankings, took advantage of big running plays and forced seven turnovers to key a season-opening 44-28 victory over Stonehill College in non-conference football action before a sellout crowd of 2,400 at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.
Bloomsburg racked up 566 yards of total offense, including 369 on the ground, scoring three times on plays of 40 or more yards. The Huskies took full advantage of seven Stonehill turnovers by turning them into 24 points at the other end, including a 28 yard interception return for a score.
Junior Franklyn Quiteh (Tobyhanna, Pa.) led the Bloomsburg rushing attack with 27 carries for 218 yards and a score. Classmate Eddie Mateo (Bethlehem, Pa.) added 14 carries for 114 yards and two scores. Redshirt freshman quarterback Tim Kelley (Camp Hill, Pa.) finished 16-for-26 through the air for 197 yards and a touchdown without an interception in his collegiate debut. Senior Matt Marchioni (Wilmington, Del.) was his top receiver with five catches for 67 yards and a score.
Junior Dan Fisher (Liverpool, Pa.) chipped in with three field goals, including a pair in the fourth quarter, to seal the win and turn back Stonehill's comeback effort.
Senior Dan Haverstock (York, Pa.) led the Bloomsburg defense with eight tackles (seven solo) and an interception. Sophomore DJ Robinson (Sinking Spring, Pa.) added seven stop (six solo) and an interception that he returned 28 yards for a score. Sophomore Justin Shirk (Harrisburg, Pa.) chipped in with five solo tackles, including 1.0 for a loss of two yards.
Junior Logan Meyer finished with a school record 370 yards passing on the night. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Junior quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) set a school record with 370 passing yards as he completed 24-of-45 attempts with three touchdowns, but was intercepted five times. He broke his own record of 315 yards set at Pace University on September 10, 2011, and posted the second-highest passing total, and most by a Stonehill player, in W.B. Mason Stadium history.
Senior preseason All-America wide receiver John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) caught six passes for 126 yards. He also returned three kickoffs for 72 yards and three punts for 25 to finish with a game-high 223 all-purpose yards on the night.
Freshman Gordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass./BC High) added five receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut, while sophomore Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) contributed six receptions for 52 yards and a score.
Senior Kevin Anderson (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet) returned six kickoffs for 214 yards, including the opening kickoff for a 92 yard touchdown. He also chipped in with seven tackles (five solo) on defense with a pass breakup.
Senior preseason All-America defensive back Jareed Gaines (Lumberton, Mass./Rancocas Valley) led the Stonehill defense with a game-high 11 tackles (eight solo), including 1.0 for a loss of two yards, a forced fumble and pass breakup. Sophomore Michael Hogan (Westborough, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) added ten stops (six solo), including 0.5 for a loss of a yard, while senior James Hodges (Wethersfield, Conn./Cushing Academy) finished with nine tackles (five solo), including 0.5 for a loss of two yards.
After Bloomsburg deferred the opening kickoff, Stonehill fired the game's first salvo as Anderson took a handoff from Gomes on the opening kickoff and raced 92 yards for his first career touchdown return to open the scoring just 12-seconds into the contest. It marks Stonehill's 11th kickoff return for a touchdown over the last five seasons after former All-American and current assistant coach Stephan Neville finished his career with a Division II record ten before graduating last spring.
Freshman Gordon McLeod had five receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut.
Bloomsburg got on the board with Fisher's first field goal of the night from 27 yards out after both teams had punted on their next possessions to cap a ten play, 61 yard drive with 7:48 left in the opening quarter. Mateo put the Huskies up for good after he scored his first touchdown from seven yards out with 3:48 left in the first after the Skyhawks first turnover of the night. BU added another first quarter score after Meyer was intercepted as Kelly hit Marchioni for a 46 yard touchdown pass with 1:19 remaining.
Bloomsburg added a pair of second quarter scores to carry a 31-7 lead into halftime. Robinson picked off Meyer and ran it in from 28 yards out with 2:37 left in the half and then Mateo added his second score of the half with a 47 yard scamper with 49-seconds before the intermission.
Stonehill forced Bloomsburg to go three and out on the opening possession of the second half and then Meyer connected on three straight passes, capped by a 32 yard scoring strike to McLeod, to zip the Skyhawks 75 yards down the field 1:59 into the half.
Bloomsburg struck with another big play after Stonehill missed on a 41 yard field goal attempt as Quiteh reeled off a 60 yard touchdown run to put the Huskies up 38-24 with 5:33 to play in the third. Stonehill wouldn't go quietly as Meyer connected with McLeod again, this time for a 31-yard touchdown pass, on fourth and eight with 4:16 left in the quarter, after Anderson gave the Skyhawks great field position with a 59 yard kickoff return to the Bloomsburg 33.
Stonehill closed within ten points (38-28) as Robitaille caught a seven yard touchdown pass from Meyer to cap a nine play, 80-yard scoring drive, with 10:38 to play. Bloomsburg answered as Fisher closed out a ten play, 42 yard drive that took 4:59 off the clock with a 38 yard field goal with 5:31 remaining.
Meyer was intercepted on Stonehill's next offensive play and then Fisher added a clinching 21 yard field goal with 1:39 left. The Skyhawks drove to the Bloomsburg 12 on their final drive but Meyer was picked off for the fifth time in the end zone to close the game out with 30-seconds to go.
Stonehill (0-1, 0-0 NE-10) is back in action next Saturday when it opens its Northeast-10 schedule by hosting Southern Connecticut State University, among teams receiving votes in the AFCA preseason poll, at 1 p.m. Bloomsburg (1-0, 0-0 PSAC) opens its Conference slate at home against Edinboro University next Saturday at 1 p.m.
||Coach Talley Postgame Interview