Kearns, Jr., posted 169 all-purpose yards, including his first career 100-yard rushing game, while adding a touchdown catch. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Lam records four touchdowns in first career start, while Cordova & Kearns, Jr., rush for over 100 yards
WALTHAM, Mass. (November 12, 2016) – Stonehill College started fast and finished strong in closing out its 2016 season with a 38-21 triumph over rival Bentley University in the No. 5 vs. 6 seed game as part of the Northeast-10 Conference's Football Championship Weekend at Bentley Field this afternoon.
Stonehill finishes its first season under head coach Eli Gardner with a 5-6 record overall, including 4-5 in the Northeast-10, having won its last two games and five of eight to close out the season. The Skyhawks senior class also wraps up their four years with a 4-1 record against its rivals from Bentley, marking the first class in program history to defeat the Falcons four times, while posting an overall record of 25-19 over their careers – the fourth-highest four year total in program history. Bentley sees its season come to a close at 5-6 overall and 5-4 in the NE-10.
Sophomore Mike Cordova (Monroe, New Jersey/Red Bank Catholic) and freshman Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) both rushed for over 100 yards to lead a Stonehill offense which posted 384 yards of total offense, with 246 rushing and 138 through the air. Cordova went over 100 yards for the second time this season (second career) with 19 carries for 110 yards, while Kearns, Jr., racked up a season-high 169 all-purpose yards by rushing the ball 18 times for 105 yards for his first career 100-yard performance, to go with two receptions for another 64 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore James Lam (Quincy, Massachusetts/Quincy) made his first career start at quarterback for Stonehill and had a hand in four touchdowns. He completed 14-of-22 passes for 138 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, while adding eight carries for another 36 yards and a score to finish with 174 total yards. Freshman Andrew Jamiel (West Yarmouth, Massachusetts/Dennis-Yarmouth) collected five receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown, finishing his rookie season with a program-record matching 91 receptions – just two shy of the NCAA Division II record. Jamiel matches the record total set by Nate Robitaille '15 in 2013 and his 9.1 receptions per game are on pace to lead Division II for the season.
Lam posted four touchdowns, passing for three and rushing for another, to lead the Skyhawks in his first career start. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Freshman Matthew Haite (Kingston, Massachusetts/Silver Lake Regional) delivered three field goals and converted all three extra point attempts, while averaging 56.5 yards on his eight kickoffs with a touchback.
Senior safety Justin Kaffenberger (Monroe, New York/Monroe-Woodbury) led a Stonehill defense which yielded just 226 total yards, including 62 rushing and 164 passing, with nine tackles (seven solo). Senior Anthony Leggio (Commack, New York/Saint Anthony's) added six tackles (three solo) and a fumble recovery, while classmate Mark Trudeau (Duxbury, Massachusetts/Duxbury) recorded two solo tackles for loss, including a sack for a loss of eight yards. Junior Nick Bona (Peabody, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) chipped in with six tackles and an interception, while senior Andrew Kibarian (Lynnfield, Massachusetts/Lynnfield) capped his career with five tackles (three solo) and two pass breakups.
Junior Mack Lowrie (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Roxbury Latin) completed 17-of-36 passes for 164 yards for Bentley with three touchdowns. Sophomore Drew Mahoney (West Suffield, Connecticut/Suffield Academy) caught eight of those passes for 80 yards, while classmate Michael Correia (Fall River, Massachusetts/Durfee) added three receptions for 27 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Eric Sugarman (Fuquay Varina, North Carolina/Fuquay Varina) caught a 16 yard touchdown toss to go with 11 carries for 20 yards on the ground.
Senior Brian Hardy (Barnstable, Massachusetts/Barnstable) posted a game-high 11 tackles (two solo) to lead the Bentley defense, while junior Rogers Boylan (Dover, Massachusetts/Dover-Sherborn) added eight stops, including 1.0 for a loss of three yards. Senior Keith Ducharme (Quinebaug, Connecticut/Pomfret School) contributed seven tackles (six solo), with 2.0 for a loss of four and a sack.
Stonehill scored the first 24 points of the game, including 17 in the first quarter, to take quick control of the game. Haite capped the Skyhawks opening drive with a 35-yard field goal, with Kearns, Jr., setting up the score with a 37-yard run. Bentley took its first possession of the game down the to the Skyhawks 20, but a 37 yard field goal attempt by freshman Grant Buchanan (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston) missed wide left.
Cordova also surpassed 100 rushing yards, marking the second time of his career, for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Stonehill followed by marching 80-yards on just six plays, culminating with a 56-yard catch and run by Kearns, Jr., from Lam for a touchdown for a 10-0 lead with 1:59 remaining in the opening quarter. Freshman Ryan Shuts (Mount Laurel, New Jersey/Lenape Regional) forced a Bentley fumble on the ensuing kickoff return, which was recovered by Leggio, and then the Skyhawks scored two plays later when Lam connected with Jamiel for a 24-yard score with 1:07 left for a 17-0 advantage.
Stonehill's lead reached 24-0 after a six yard touchdown toss from Lam to junior Kevin Dick (Tewksbury, Massachusetts/Tewksbury Memorial) with 6:33 remaining in the second quarter. Bentley got on the scoreboard with 36-seconds left in the half, taking advantage of a short field after a 15-yard Skyhawks penalty after a punt, with a five yard touchdown toss from Lowrie to Corriea.
Bentley pulled within 24-21 with two third quarter touchdowns, starting with a 16-yard Lowrie touchdown pass to Sugarman on the Falcons opening drive of the second half. Lowrie added a three yard scoring pass to Correia at the end of a ten-play, 63 yard drive, with 2:54 left in the quarter.
Stonehill sealed the win with 14 points in the fourth quarter, starting with a pair of Haite field goals of 35 and 25 yards surrounding a Bona interception of Lowrie midway through the frame. The Skyhawks capped the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run by Lam with 1:39 remaining to seal the win after the defense turned Bentley over on downs, adding a two-point conversion pass by senior Hank Rudden (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) to classmate Ryan Doherty (Methuen, Massachusetts/Central Catholic).
For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.