Coach Gardner and Kearns, Jr. outside historic Harvard Stadium this afternoon.
North Arlington, New Jersey, sophomore RB honored at New England Football Writers weekly luncheon at Harvard
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 25, 2017) – Stonehill College sophomore running back Brian Kearns, Jr., (North Arlington, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) received the New England Football Writers Weekly Gold Helmet Award for Divisions II and III, sponsored by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, at the New England Football Writers weekly luncheon at Dillon Fieldhouse on the campus of Harvard University today.
Kearns, Jr., receives the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award for the first time in his career, marking the tenth time a Stonehill student-athlete has earned the weekly recognition. He is just the third Stonehill running back to collect the award and the first since Tyrone Jefferson '01 in 2000, with Mike McLucas, '95, the first Stonehill student-athlete to earn the award in 1994 as a running back. It marks the third time over the last three years a Skyhawks sophomore has earned the honors after senior teammates Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania/The Hill School) and Donovan Phanor (Portsmouth, New Hampshire/Portsmouth) did so in 2015, with Foltz also collecting the award in 2016.
Kearns, Jr. led a Stonehill rushing attack that piled up 327 yards in Saturday night's 41-35 overtime victory against rival Bentley University, finishing with a career-high 243 yards on a career-best 34 carries, averaging 7.1 yards per attempt, and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for another 24 yards to finish the night with a career-high 267 all-purpose yards. Kearns, Jr. rushed for 99 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns in the third quarter alone as the Skyhawks erased a 28-10 deficit to knot the score heading into the fourth. He answered a Bentley touchdown on the opening drive of the second half with a 44-yard touchdown run six plays later, and then added a two-yard touchdown plunge to draw the Skyhawks within a field goal with five minutes remaining in the third. In addition to his two touchdown runs, he also had a 61-yard rush on third and 21 from the Skyhawks 14 on the opening drive of the game that set up an early field goal.
Kearns, Jr.'s first career 200-yard performance is the highest ever total for a Stonehill running back at W.B. Mason Stadium (since 2005), surpassing a 214 yard effort by Jermetrius Troy, '13 against Pace University in 2011, and the second-highest single-game total in program history overall, falling just seven yards shy of Mike McLucas, '95's 250-yard record total against Nichols College in 1994. It marks Stonehill's first 200-yard game since Colin Markus, '16 ran for 203 yards against LIU Post in 2013, and Kearns, Jr.'s 34 carries are tied for the third-highest single-game total in program and W.B. Mason Stadium history. Kearns, Jr.'s career day led a Stonehill offense that posted 545 yards of total offense – the fourth-highest total in W.B. Mason Stadium history; and the 339 yards on the ground are fourth-highest single game total in Stadium history.
Kearns, Jr. rushed for a career-high 243 yards, with two touchdowns against rival Bentley on Saturday night. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Kearns, Jr. ranks third in the NE10 with 622 yards rushing on 118 carries (3rd NE10) and second with seven rushing touchdowns. He is averaging 88.9 yards per game (3rd) and 5.3 yards per carry, adding 12 receptions for another 79 yards, averaging a team-high 100.1 all-purpose yards per game. Saturday marked his second 100-plus yard game of the season (third career), after posting 135 yards on 24 attempts with a touchdown in Stonehill's 44-28 win at Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in week one.
In 15 career games, with six starts, Kearns, Jr., has totaled 869 rushing yards on 172 carries with nine touchdowns. He has gashed Bentley for back-to-back 100-yard efforts after posting 105 yards on 18 carries, adding two receptions for another 64 yards and a touchdown in the Skyhawks 38-21 triumph in the 2015 season finale in Waltham, Massachusetts, last November.
Stonehill New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award Winners
Brian Kearns, Jr., So, RB – October 25, 2017
Matt Foltz, Jr, QB - September 28, 2016
Matt Foltz, So, QB - September 30, 2015
Donovan Phanor, So, CB - September 9, 2015
Logan Meyer, Sr, QB - September 25, 2013
Cruz Parsons, Fr, QB - October 5, 2005
Tyrone Jefferson, RB - 2000
Dan Field, QB - 1995
Tony Dello Iacono, QB - 1994
Mike McLucas, RB - 1994
Stonehill (4-3, 3-3 NE10) returns to action on Saturday, when it visits NE10 leaders Assumption College, ranked No. 12 in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll, at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks close out the season with back-to-back home games, starting Saturday, November 4, when they host Pace University on Hall of Fame Weekend at 1 p.m.
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