Assumption Edges Stonehill on Senior Day, 28-21

Senior Nate Robitaille caught nine passes for a season-high 168 yards to go over 1,000 yards for the second straight year. (PHOTO BY Jay Mello/SportsPix)

Skyhawks hit the road for Championship Weekend after fourth quarter setback

EASTON, Mass. (November 8, 2014) – Assumption College scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and took advantage of four Stonehill College turnovers to claim a 28-21 victory in Northeast-10 Conference football action at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium on Senior Day this afternoon.

Stonehill (4-6, 4-5 NE-10) finishes as the No. 6 seed in the NE-10 standings and will now hit the road next Saturday, November 15, for an NE-10 Championship Weekend matchup at Saint Anselm College (6-4, 5-4 NE-10) in Manchester, New Hampshire, at noon. The Hawks moved past the Skyhawks in the standings with their last second 37-34 victory at the University of New Haven today. Assumption (6-4, 6-3 NE-10) will host New Haven next Saturday at 5 p.m.

Assumption scored on three straight possessions between the third and fourth quarters, including its two fourth quarter scores, taking advantage of Stonehill's four turnovers and two missed field goals while adding a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after Stonehill had taken the lead in the third quarter. The Greyhounds overcame a 211 difference in total offense on the day and a nearly 12-minute difference for time of possession. Assumption finished with 196 total yards with 108 rushing and just 88 passing, while Stonehill racked up 407 total yards and held the ball for 35:50.

Assumption converted just 2-of-9 on third down, but was 2-for-2 in the red zone, compared to 3-for-5 for Stonehill. The Skyhawks posted 310 yards through the air and 97 yards rushing for the afternoon, converting on 5-of-14 third downs.

Sophomore safety Jarrod Casey (Milford, Massachusetts/Bridgton Academy) keyed the Assumption defense with six tackles (five solo) and two of the Greyhounds three interceptions on the afternoon to go with a pass breakup. His interception at the Greyhounds seven yard line in the final minute sealed the win. Senior Derrick Mann (Sharon, Massachusetts/Sharon) posted nine tackles (four solo), including 1.5 for a loss of five yards and 0.5 sacks for a loss of three yards, while junior Bakari Blunt (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina/Burke) added six tackles (four solo), including 1.0 for a loss of two, an interception and pass breakup.

Senior All-American linebacker Brian Harrington led a strong defensive effort with nine tackles. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior quarterback Sean Mayo (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston) managed the win at quarterback after starter Trevor Vasey (Cumberland, Rhode Island/St. Raphael Academy) left with an injury, completing 5-of-11 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Senior Matt Heriveaux (Everett, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic) rushed the ball 16 times for 62 yards and a score, while classmate Eddy Frazier (Worcester, Massachusetts/Burncoat) caught a touchdown pass. Freshman Ashton Grant (Manchester, Connecticut/Manchester) caught four passes for 52 yards for the Greyhounds.

Freshman quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania/Donegal) posted 366 total yards and scored all three Stonehill touchdowns on the afternoon, but was hampered by the first three interceptions of his young collegiate career. He completed 20-of-34 passes for a season-high 310 yards to go with 13 carries for a team-high 56 yards and three touchdowns – one shy of the program's single-game record.

Senior Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Massachusetts/Attleboro) caught nine of those passes for a season-high 168 yards in the final home game of his career, finishing with 173 all-purpose yards, to go over 1,000 receiving yards for the second-straight season and is the only player in program history with 1,000 yards receiving for a season in program history. Robitaille also moves into second place all-time at Stonehill with 3,529 career all-purpose yards.

Senior All-American linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Massachusetts/Rockland) led a strong defensive effort by Stonehill with nine tackles (one solo), including 0.5 for a loss of a yard, moving into sixth place on the program's career tackles list with 276 – just one shy of Brian Driscoll '91 for fifth all-time. Classmate Sterry Codrington (Freehold, New Jersey/Freehold Boro) added seven stops, including 0.5 for a loss, while sophomore Ryan Doherty (Methuen, Massachusetts/Central Catholic) posted six tackles (three solo), including 2.0 for a loss of nine yards, 1.0 sacks for a loss of six and two quarterback hurries.

Stonehill took the opening possession and drove 41 yards on six plays for a quick 7-0 lead 3:19 into the game after Foltz took the ball on a draw up the middle for a nine yard touchdown run. Senior Zaire Reiph (Norwalk, Connecticut/Saint Luke's School) put the Skyhawks in great field position when he took the opening kickoff 48 yards to the Assumption 41. Foltz then converted a key fourth and three at the 34 with a seven yard pass to Robitalle and then junior Colin Markus (Monroe, Connecticut/Masuk) rushed for 18 yards to the Greyhounds nine to set up the score.

Freshman Matt Foltz posted 366 total yards and three touchdowns today. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Assumption took advantage of a wild snap on third and nine near midfield as senior Zach Triner (Marshfield, Massachusetts/Marshfield) recovered the fumble at the Stonehill 32. Senior Kevin Ihlefeld (Norfolk, Massachusetts/Xaverian) scored seven plays later with a one yard plunge with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter, with a pass interference penalty extending the drive after Heriveaux six times for 30 yards on the possession.

The game held at 7-7 until Stonehill scored on its first possession of the second half after forcing Assumption off the field on three plays on its opening drive of the half. Foltz pushed the ball in from a yard out to cap an eight play, 67-yard drive 6:14 into the third quarter. Stonehill extended the drive when junior Ryan Hollis (Hawthorne, New Jersey/Hawthorne) took a direct snap on fourth and three at the 50 yard line and ran the fake punt six yards for a first down. Foltz then found Robitaille for a juggling catch at the one for a 43 yard catch before punching in his second touchdown of the day.

Stonehill missed the extra point and the Skyhawks lead was short-lived as senior De'Ontray Johnson (San Diego, California/Hoover) took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown for a 14-13 lead after the PAT. The Skyhawks drove to the Assumption 20 on its next possession, but junior Steve Grzywacz's (Manchester, New Hampshire/Manchester Central) 37 yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Assumption followed with a 13 play, 82-yard scoring drive over the next 4:27 to extend its lead to 21-13 after a one yard touchdown run from Heriveaux with 10:33 to play. The drive was again extended with a pass interference penalty on third and three at the Assumption 37 that put the ball at midfield and then Mayo connected with Grant for a 15 yard reception on third and 11 from the 49. Junior James Ward (New Haven, Connecticut/Wilbur Cross) chipped in with a key 17 yard run and posted 30 yards on three carries on the drive in all.

Stonehill bounced back on its next possession with a nine play, 68-yard drive, capped by Foltz's third score of the day on a six yard rush. The Skyhawks converted twice on third down on the drive with Foltz completing a 12 yard pass to junior Corey White (Bergenfield, New Jersey/Bergenfield) on third and seven from their own 35 and then finding White again for a 23 yard passing play on third and ten at the Stonehill 47. Foltz was 4-for-6 passing for 51 yards on the possession in all, while adding a pair of carries for 14 yards. He also connected with Robitaille for a two-point conversion to knot the score at 21-21.

Assumption got good field position on the ensuing kickoff with a 15 yard penalty tacked on to the return as the Greyhounds started at their own 46. Assumption regained the lead just three plays later with Mayo hitting Frazier for a 32-yards touchdown pass with 5:16 to play.

Stonehill had one last chance to pull even with less than three minutes to play, driving to the Assumption 28, but Foltz was picked off by Casey for the second time today at the seven to seal the win for the Greyhounds.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

Highlights and Postgame Interview
Stonehill Senior Day Ceremony
Stonehill Stops Bentley, 24-17
September 12, 2014 Stonehill Stops Bentley, 24-17