Mason, Griffith Combine For 183 Yards And Pair Of Scores, DeBye Returns Interception 100 Yards For Touchdown As Football Opens 2005 Season With 28-21 Northeast-10 Victory At Assumption

September 4, 2005


Sunday, September 4, 2005

Alumni Field, Worcester, Mass.


1 2 3 4 Total

Stonehill (1-0, 1-0 Northeast-10) 7 14 7 0 - 28

Assumption (0-1, 0-1 Northeast-10) 0 0 7 14 - 21


STO: Mike DeBye 100 yd interception return (Sean Donahue kick) 6:18 1st

STO: Cliff Mason II 1 yd run (Donahue kick) 9:28 2nd

STO: Ryan Griffith 2 yd run (Donahue kick) 0:52 2nd

STO: Mike Plichta 12 yd pass from Greg Borsari (Donahue kick) 10:09 3rd

ASM: Austin Davis 9 yd run (Mike Tobin kick) 5:25 3rd

ASM: Davis 5 yd run (Tobin kick) 7:57 4th

ASM: Shawn Cerretani 40 yd pass from Jon Breuer (Tobin kick) 3:16 4th

Attendance: 1,526


WORCESTER, Mass.-- Junior Cliff Mason II (Santa Ana, Calif.) rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown as Stonehill withstood a furious fourth quarter comeback to post a 28-21 Northeast-10 Conference football victory over Assumption Sunday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Alumni Field.

A game of big plays saw the visiting Skyhawks (1-0, 1-0 Northeast-10) come up with the most in the first three quarters of play, as after the host Greyhounds (0-1, 0-1 Northeast-10) drove 68 yards down to the Stonehill 1-yard line midway through the opening quarter, Skyhawk sophomore Mike DeBye (Burlington, Mass.) intercepted a pass by Assumption freshman quarterback Jon Breuer (Lake Oswego, Ore.) at the goal line and returned it 100 yards for a score and a 7-0 Stonehill lead. DeBye’s pick matched the school record for longest interception return, as Matt Walsh also turned the trick in 1999 against Assumption.

The Skyhawks controlled the clock for nearly 11 minutes in the second quarter in extending their lead to 21-0 at the break, as Mason capped a 9-play, 71-yard drive with a one-yard scoring plunge for a 14-0 Stonehill lead and senior Ryan Griffith (Hanson, Mass.) added a two-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds remaining in the half, capping a 13-play, 64-yard drive. Assumption had a chance to get on the board late in the half when Breuer connected with freshman Anthony Davy (Snellville, Ga.) on a 45-yard completion to the Stonehill 5-yard line with 17 seconds remaining, but the Skyhawk defense held, with freshman Jeff Cuqua (Walpole, Mass.) knocking away a Breuer pass attempt in the end zone on the last play of the half.

Stonehill extended its lead to 28-0 on the opening possession of the third quarter, as sophomore quarterback Greg Borsari (Kingston, Mass.) hooked up with senior Mike Plichta (Milford, Mass.) on a 12-yard touchdown pass that completed yet another long Skyhawk drive (11 plays, 64 yards), but the Greyhounds answered back with an 11-play, 80-yard drive of their own that was capped by a nine-yard scoring run by freshman Austin Davis (Lakeland, Fla.) that cut Assumption’s deficit to 28-7 heading into the final stanza.

Davis’s second touchdown run of the afternoon, a five-yard scamper that capped a 10-play drive, enabled the Greyhounds to close to within 28-14 with just under eight minutes remaining, and Assumption’s special teams then came up with a big play answer, as freshman Luvins Saint-Fort (Naples, Fla.) blocked a Stonehill punt, setting up a Breuer 40-yard touchdown pass to senior Shawn Cerretani (Melrose, Mass.) on the next play to make it a seven point contest. The Greyhounds had a chance to get the ball back for one final possession with a minute remaining, but a running-into-the-penalty on a Skyhawk punt attempt on 4th-and-5 gave Stonehill an automatic first down, and the visitors ran out the clock to claim the triumph.

Griffith added 79 yards on the ground on 21 carries to combine with Mason for 183 of Stonehill’s 201 rushing yards on the afternoon, as the Skyhawks outgained Assumption on the ground by a 201-87 margin. Borsari completed 13-of-24 passing attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown, as Plichta hauled in seven receptions for 87 yards to go with his score. Stonehill also converted 11 of 19 attempts on third down compared to just a 2-for-13 effort in similar situations for Assumption, as the Skyhawks claimed their 13th win in 18 series meetings with the Greyhounds.

Breuer finished the day 19-for-37 for 33 yards and a touchdown for Assumption, as he was sacked four times on the afternoon. Davy set a Greyhound single game record with eight receptions for 212 yards, while Davis rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries to go with his two scores for the hosts, as the two teams combined for 741 yards of offense.

DeBye added eight total tackles (six solo) to go with his 100-yard interception return to pace Stonehill defensively, while Cuqua and sophomore Sean Donahue (Plymouth, N.H.) each added six stops for the Skyhawks. Senior Chris Grogan (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made 15 total tackles on the day for Assumption, including eight solo.

Stonehill hosts Pace in a Northeast-10 outing next Saturday afternoon at W.B. Mason Stadium beginning at 1:00 p.m., while Assumption heads to Manchester, N.H. to take on Saint Anselm in a Northeast-10 match-up that also begins at 1:00 p.m.

SKYHAWK TALK: Stonehill has now won consecutive season openers for the first time since 1996 and 1997, as the Skyhawks also bested Assumption in those particular years as well. Stonehill claimed a 23-6 win over the Greyhounds in the 2004 season opener in Easton…DeBye’s interception return marked the fifth time in Northeast-10 history that an individual had turned the trick…Sophomore J.J. Niamkey (Quincy, Mass.) also recorded an interception for the Skyhawks, his fourth career pick…In addition to his duties on defense, Donahue averaged 39.3 yards on four punts and kicked all four Stonehill extra points…Next Saturday’s game will be preceded by ceremonies marking the official dedication of W.B. Mason Stadium and Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field.