Tickets (Available Game Day):
The Game: Stonehill College travels to LIU Post for a key early season Northeast-10 Conference matchup which features the last two undefeated teams in the NE-10 and two teams receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll. The Skyhawks are off to a 3-0 start for the first time in eight years after a 51-13 triumph over Pace in their home opener last Saturday night, while the Pioneers have won their first three following a 24-21 win at Saint Anselm last weekend.
Media Info: This afternoon's game is being webcast live via liupostpioneers.com with links to the webcast and live stats also available at stonehillskyhawks.com. Joe Szadok (play-by-play) has the call of the action on Saturday, with Mike Nicosia (color).
Masucci a Campbell Trophy Semifinalist: Senior safety Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Conn.) has been announced as one of 135 semifinalists by the National Football Foundation for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments, as candidates for the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. The NFF will announce the 15 finalists on Oct. 29 and each will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. Masucci, who has earned a 3.59 cumulative grade point average as a finance major at Stonehill, is one of 20 semifinalists from NCAA Division II - three of which come from the Northeast-10. It marks the third straight year Stonehill has had a Campbell trophy and NFF Scholar-Athlete Award semifinalist after teammates Brian Harrington '15 and James Lanier '14. The 2015 Campbell Trophy winner will be culled from the 15 finalists and announced at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 in New York City and have his scholarship increased to $25,000.
#VoteChiocco: Fans can vote for senior defensive lineman Nick Chiocco (Mansfield, Mass.) for Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain through November 25 by going to espn.com/allstate. Fans can vote once per day per device for Chiocco, the first Stonehill football student-athlete named to the Good Works Team®. He is one of 11 out of the 22 honorees recognized from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA out of a record 197 nominees from across all levels of college football. He was the lone Northeast-10 Conference student-athlete nominated and one of just three NCAA Division II student-athletes to earn a spot on the Good Works Team®.
He's Honored: Senior running back Colin Markus (Monroe, Conn.) was named to the Northeast-10 Conference's weekly honor roll for his efforts in Saturday's 51-13 victory over Pace at W.B. Mason Stadium. Markus paced a Stonehill offense which racked up 292 rushing yards in Saturday night's 51-13 triumph over Pace University with his tenth career 100-yard game (second of the season) as he finished with 166 yards on 22 carries (7.5 yds/att) and a career-high matching three touchdowns. The three touchdowns, one shy of the program's single-game record, give him 15 for his career – good for fourth on the program's career list. Markus was also tabbed as Ace's Champions Choice Male Student-Athlete of the Week by the athletic department this week.
Votes of Confidence: Stonehill remains among teams receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll. It marks the third straight week the Skyhawks have earned votes in the national poll after returning after week one for the first time since receiving votes six weeks, including a string of five-straight weeks, during the 2013 NE-10 Championship season.
Hot Starts: Stonehill has won its first three games for the first time since a 3-0 start in head coach Robert Talley's first season at the helm in 2007. Stonehill last won its first four games in 1995 when it opened with a 7-0 record under Connie Driscoll.
Perfection: Stonehill is one of just 37 programs in Division II without a loss heading into the fourth week of the season.
DE-FENCE!: The Stonehill defense has picked up right where it left off in 2014 when it boasted the top defense in the Northeast-10 (#6 nationally). The Skyhawks currently lead the NE-10 in scoring defense (14.3 ppg), total defense (194.3 ypg), pass defense (138.0 ypg) and rush defense (56.3 ypg). Stonehill ranks fifth nationally in Division II for total defense and rush defense, while ranking13th in pass defense and 22nd for scoring defense.
The Rest of the Story: Stonehill leads the NE-10 and ranks 22nd nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game. However, of the 43 points the Skyhawks opponents have scored this season, seven came off a kickoff return, seven off a blocked punt for a touchdown and six on a one yard run after a goal line fumble by the offense. Opponents have scored just 23 points off offensive drives through three games - an average of just 7.7 points per game.
A Team Possessed: After holding onto the ball for 40:31 in Saturday night's 51-13 win over Pace, Stonehill leads all of Division II in time of possession, averaging 37:38 over the first three games of the season. The Skyhawks held the ball for 36:22 in their week one win at #11/14 Bloomsburg and 36-minutes flat in week two at Merrimack.
Mr. Efficiency: Sophomore quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) leads the Northeast-10 and ranks 11th nationally in Division II with his 168.08 pass efficiency rating through the first three weeks of the season. He has completed a Conference-best 68.5-percent (50-for-73) of his passes (9th nationally) with his league-high eight touchdown passes (20th) and just one interception. He saw a streak of 72 straight pass attempts without an interception snapped in the second quarter of Saturday's win over Pace. Foltz also ranked third in the NE-10 for completions, passing yards (575) and yards per game (191.7).
Get Off The Field: Stonehill leads the NE-10 and ranks fourth nationally for third down percentage defense, limiting its first three opponents to 18.9-percent conversion percentage (7-for-37) on third down. Conversely, Stonehill ranks second in the NE-10 and 20th nationally for third down conversion offense at 50% (21-for-42).
Don't Hurt Yourself: Stonehill is once again one of the more disciplined teams in the country as it leads the NE-10 and ranks eighth nationally for fewest penalties per game, having been flagged for just four per game through the first three weeks. The Skyhawks also lead the NE-10 and rank tenth nationally with only 31.7 penalty yards per game this season.
Off the Markus: Senior running back Colin Markus (Monroe, Conn.), who led the NE-10 in rushing in 2014, leads the Conference in rush attempts (68) and rushing touchdowns (4) after the first three weeks of the season, while ranking third in yards (370) and yards per game (123.3). He ranks 18th nationally in Division II for rushing yards, 20th for yards per game and 37th in rushing touchdowns. Markus also ranks second in the NE-10 for scoring with his team-high 24 points.
Spread the Wealth: Sophomore quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) has tossed his NE-10 leading eight touchdown passes (20th nationally) to six different receivers so far this season. Senior wide receiver Gordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass.) and freshman tight end Kaleb Lutton (Midddletown, Conn.) share the team lead with two touchdown receptions so far this season (5th NE-10), while nine different receivers have caught passes this season.
Skyhawks NE-10 Presidents' Cup Celebration: Stonehill captured its fifth NE-10 Presidents' Cup in 2014-15 in wire-to-wire fashion as it led the standings following the fall, winter and spring seasons, accumulating 207.5 points to win the Cup by a dominant 18.5 points over two-time defending champions Adelphi.
Academic Success: Stonehill College has been recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 96-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) as released by the NCAA last year. The ASR considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes while also giving credit for any student-athletes that transferred from the institution while in good academic standing. In addition to Stonehill's overall ASR of 96%, 12 of Stonehill's 16 athletic programs (cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field are combined by the NCAA) received perfect scores of 100%. Stonehill's 96% ASR ranks third among NE-10 institutions and ranks eighth overall in NCAA Division II. The football team has an ASR of 90% - signifigantly higher than the federal rate of 73%. Stonehill has earned the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award all four years of its existence for having an ASR of 90% or higher.
Making an IMPACT: The Stonehill College football team is proud to have Nick Claudio (Mattapoisett, Mass.) as a part of its program through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together) for his third season. Team IMPACT is a New England based non-profit that aims at improving the quality of life for kids facing life-threatening illnesses by creating unparalleled team based support systems with area college athletic teams. Nick is the latest from Team IMPACT to join the Skyhawk family as the football team joins the men's and women's basketball, field hockey and ice hockey teams to be involved with the program. Nick, 15-years old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor on his optic nerve in July, 2010, that put so much pressure on his optic nerve that it led to losing his vision. He has remained upbeat, being quoted as saying in a recent news article, "A loss of sight is never a loss of vision, you need to be able to look forward and keep moving." After losing his vision, he has adapted to life being blind by teaching himself braille, learning to ski and graduating from his elementary school at the top of his class. In July 2012, doctors found two additional tumors, one on his auditory nerve. In an effort to save his hearing, doctors opted to treat it with chemo and radiation rather than doing surgery which carries the threat of him going deaf.
Getting Social: Fans and media members of Stonehill athletics now have two 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 @SkyhawkTalk on Twitter! Stonehill football also has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts: @SCskyhawksFB.
On Deck: Stonehill returns to W.B. Mason Stadium next weekend where it will play four of its next five games. The Skyhawks host Southern Connecticut State University next Saturday, October 3, for their Purple & White Game at 6 p.m.