Stonehill Stops Saint Anselm, 23-16

Senior Nate Robitaille broke the program's career reception and receiving yardage marks in leading the Skyhawks past Saint Anselm this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks keep "Ol' Bronze Hawk" firmly in grasp with tenth-straight series win

MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 1, 2014) – Stonehill College scored 23 straight points around halftime to secure its tenth-straight win over Saint Anselm College, 23-16, in Northeast-10 Conference football action for the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" at Grappone Stadium this afternoon.

Stonehill, which has never lost an "Ol' Bronze Hawk" game in the trophy's nine year history, held a Saint Anselm offense which was averaging over 450 yards of total offense and 30 points per game to just 205 total yards and two touchdowns, both of which came on short field situations, as the Hawks managed just 30 yards rushing and 175 passing yards for the day. The Skyhawks claimed a balanced 366 total yards with 191 rushing and 175 through the air for the afternoon.

Senior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Massachusetts/Attleboro) further etched his name into the Stonehill record books with seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown, breaking the program's career records for receptions and receiving yards, while the touchdown added to his career record (25) and moved him into a tie for second all-time for total touchdowns with 26. Robitaille has now posted 179 career receptions for 2,543 yards, surpassing the previous program marks of 173 catches for 2,442 yards by former teammate John Gomes '13. Robitaille's 3,356 career all-purpose yards are now only 35 behind Gomes for second all-time.

Freshman Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania/Donegal) was impressive in his collegiate debut with 199 total yards on 13-of-16 passing for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another 24 yards on ten carries and another score. Junior Deontae Ramey-Doe (Dorchester, Massachusetts/BC High) posted his first career 100-yard rushing performance with 139 yards on a career-best 29 carries, while senior Zaire Reiph (Norwalk, Connecticut/Saint Luke's School) chipped in with a touchdown catch.

Freshman Matt Foltz shined in his collegiate debut at QB.

Senior Sterry Codrington (Freehold, New Jersey/Freehold Boro) led the dominant defensive effort with 11 tackles (five solo), including 3.0 tackles for a loss of eight yards, while senior All-American Brian Harrington (Rockland, Massachusetts/Rockland) added nine stops (five solo), including 1.5 for a loss of 12, and 1.0 sacks for a loss of eight. Classmate Nate Morris (Bristol, Rhode Island/The Wheeler School) contributed eight tackles (five solo), a forced fumble and pass breakup, while sophomore Ryan Doherty (Methuen, Massachusetts/Central Catholic) registered seven tackles (three solo) and 1.0 sacks for a loss of 12. Senior Taylor Russell (Keene, New Hampshire/Keene) chipped in with five stops (two solo), including 2.0 tackles for a loss of ten yards, with 1.0 sacks for a loss of five, a pass breakup and blocked kick as the Skyhawks defense posted four sacks on the afternoon.

Sophomore Yianni Gavalas (Manhasset, New York/Westminster School) completed 26-of-42 passes for 175 yards and no touchdowns, but was intercepted once and sacked four times. He rushed for a touchdown as part of his nine yards on 12 carries for the day. Senior Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Suffield Academy) caught seven passes for 42 yards, while classmate Ahkeen Williams (DeWitt, New York/Jamesville-DeWitt) added six catches for 58 yards and a four yard touchdown rush for the Hawks.

Senior Andrew Lebowitz (Andover, Massachusetts/New Hampton Prep) led three Saint Anselm defenders in double-figures with 11 tackles (one solo), including 0.5 sacks for a loss of two yards, and a blocked kick. Senior Justin Waltzer (Danbury, Connecticut/Immaculate) added ten stops (one solo), while classmate Zach Hayes (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) chipped in ten tackle assists.

Stonehill scored 16 points in the second quarter to erase an early Saint Anselm field goal as part of 23 straight points before holding off a late Hawks comeback to even its NE-10 record. Junior Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Florida/Seabreeze) capped the Hawks second possession of the day with a 33-yard field goal with 4:21 remaining in the first quarter at the end of a 12-play, 51 yard drive over 4:32. Gavalas completed all six of his pass attempts on the drive for 26 yards to go with a three yard rush.

Senior Sterry Codrington led a strong defensive effort by the Skyhawks today. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill answered on its next possession with a 25 yard field goal from junior Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, New Hampshire/Manchester Central) 2:15 into the second quarter. The Skyhawks went 57 yards in 11 plays on the drive that took 6:29, keyed by a 16 yard rush by Foltz and a 14 yard pass to sophomore tight end Colin Smith (Ipswich, Massachusetts/The Governor's Academy).

Stonehill took the lead when Foltz connected with Robitaille for a 28 yard touchdown pass on third and 15 with 4:54 remaining in the half. Robitaille broke the Skyhawks career reception record with his eight yard catch on first and ten from the Saint Anselm 39 earlier in the drive and his yardage on the touchdown grab pushed him past Gomes for the career yardage mark. Ramey-Doe sparked the drive with a career-long 33 yard run down the left side on second and three at the Skyhawks 28.

Stonehill capped the 16-point second quarter surge with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Foltz to Reiph with 1:07 left in the half. Foltz also connected with Robitaille for a key 36 yard catch and run on third and ten from the Skyhawks 34 as part of the five play, 66-yard drive. Stonehill stretched the lead to 20 points when Foltz capped a six play, 72-yard drive by punching the ball into the end zone from a yard out with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter. He also hit Robitaille for a 48 yard pass down the right side on third and six from the Stonehill 32, while Ramey-Doe added a 15 and four yard run to place the ball on the goal line.

Saint Anselm took advantage of good field position after a blocked punt and punt out of bounds for two quick touchdowns in a three minute span to close within a score in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Shane Jackson (Monticello, New York/Monticello) got a hand to a Ryan Handy (Howell, New Jersey/Howell) punt that gave Saint Anselm the ball at the Skyhawks 20 and then Williams scored three plays later with a four yard run with 8:27 to play, with the extra point blocked by Russell.

Saint Anselm got the ball at the Stonehill 40 to start its next drive after a Handy punt went out of bounds after just 21 yards. Gavalas found the end zone with a 23 yard keeper with 5:27 still to play that cut the Hawks deficit to seven points after the extra point. The Hawks took just three plays to cover the 40 yards with Gavalas connecting with senior Brandon Gomes (Providence, Rhode Island/LaSalle Academy) for a 25 yard pass after Harrington sacked Gavalas for a loss of eight after a bad snap on the first play.

Saint Anselm got the ball back with 3:20 remaining, but was unable to get a first down. Stonehill regained the ball at the Hawks 47 and got the first down it needed to run out the clock and secure the win.

Stonehill (4-5, 4-4 NE-10) closes out the regular season next Saturday when it hosts Assumption College for Senior Day at W.B. Mason Stadium at noon. Saint Anselm (5-4, 4-4 NE-10) visits the University of New Haven next Saturday at noon.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.