Stonehill College looks to build some momentum late in the season as it visits Assumption College, ranked No. 12 in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll, for a Northeast-10 Conference battle this afternoon. The Skyhawks are winners of three of their last four, following a 41-35 overtime triumph against rival Bentley University on Saturday night, while the Greyhounds are the lone undefeated team in the NE10, holding a two-game lead atop the Conference standings with three games to play.
Today's game is being streamed live at assumptiongreyhounds.com. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats will also be available via stonehillskyhawks.com.
Sophomore running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) has been selected as the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation's Division II/III Gold Helmet Award, as selected by the New England Football Writers this week. Kearns, Jr. led a Stonehill rushing attack that piled up 327 yards in Saturday night's 41-35 overtime triumph over rival Bentley, finishing with a career-high 243 yards on a career-best 34 carries (7.1 yards/att) and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for another 24 yards to finish the night with a career-high 267 all-purpose yards. He totaled 99 yards on 13 carries in the third quarter alone, running for touchdowns of 44 and two yards as the Skyhawks erased an 18-point third quarter deficit. Kearns, Jr. earns the tenth weekly Gold Helmet in Stonehill football history and is the third running back to be honored, the first since Tyrone Jefferson in 2000. He also joins teammates Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) and Donovan Phanor (Portsmouth, N.H.) as Gold Helmet winners.
Stonehill New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award Winners Brian Kearns, Jr., 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
Sophomore running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) and senior quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) were both named to the Northeast-10 Conference's weekly honor roll on Monday. Kearns, Jr., rushed for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns in the comeback win over rival Bentley, while Foltz was an efficient 21-of-28 through the air for 218 yards and two scores in the win.
A Night to Remember
Sophomore Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) recorded Stonehill's first 200-yard rushing performance since Colin Markus, '16 ran for 203 yards against LIU Post in 2013. His 243 rushing yards on Saturday are the most by a Skyhawk in W.B. Mason Stadium history, 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. Kearns, Jr's 34 carries are tied for the third-highest single-game total in program and W.B. Mason Stadium history.
You Don't Know Zac
Sophomore receiver Zac Pungitore (Norwood, Mass.), a true walkon as a freshman who made the team after not being invited to preseason training camp, caught a pair of touchdown passes in Saturday night's 41-35 overtime win against rival Bentley. He is tied for second on the team with three touchdowns this season, having collected the three scoring passes on nine total receptions (132 yards) in seven games.
Saturday's game marked the first overtime game in Stonehill's rivaly with Bentley as the Skyhawks won their second straight overtime game with the 41-35 triumph. Stonehill is now 2-0 in overtime under head coach Eli Gardner, having notched a 17-10 triumph at Pace University last season.
Stonehill piled up 327 rushing yards against rival Bentley on Saturday night, marking its third-highest single-game team total in W.B. Mason Stadium history and the sixth-highest single-game total overall. The Skyhawks finished with 545 total yards, marking the sixth-highest single-game total in Stadium history, the second-highest by a Skyhawks team.
Senior running back Malachi Baugh's (Stoughton, Mass.) game-winning four-yard touchdown run in overtime on Saturday night marked his third straight game with a rushing touchdown. He complimented sophomore Brian Kearns, Jr.'s (North Arlington, N.J.) career rushing night with another 65 yards on 15 carries, finishing with 131 all-purpose yards, marking his fourth straight game with 100-plus all-purpose yards.
Force the Issue
Junior linebacker Nicolau Coury (Lowell, Mass.) is one of four players in the NE10 with a league-high three forced fumbles after popping the ball loose at the goal line on Bentley's overtime possession to set the stage for the winning score on the Skyhawks' ensuing possession. The three forced fumbles ranks seventh nationally in Division II.
Senior safety Nick Bona (Peabody, Mass.) became just the 19th player in program history to surpass 200 career tackles, with his six stops at New Haven in week six. He ranks 11th among NE10 leaders with his 47 tackles this seaosn, ranking fourth with his 27 solo stops, giving him 211 career tackles overall (117 solo). Bona has also contributed two interceptions and two pass breakups.
Aye, Aye Captains
Seniors Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pa.) and Nick Bona (Peabody, Mass.), as well as junior John Ejiofor (Burlington Township, N.J.) have been selected to serve as team captains for the 2017 season. Foltz returns as captain for the second straight year, while Bona and Ejiofor were also elected by their teammates and coaching staff. It marks the second straight year the Skyhawks have had a junior captain after Foltz was the first since 1999 to do so a year ago.
Fans and media members of Stonehill athletics now have three 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 @GoStonehill on Twitter and "StonehillSkyhawks" on Instagram. Stonehill football also has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts: @StonehillFB.
Stonehill closes out its season with back to back home games, starting next Saturday, November 4, when it hosts Pace University for an NE10 matchup as part of Hall of Fame Weekend at the College at 1 p.m.