Stonehill Sends Seniors Out On Top at Saint Anselm, 19-11

Senior Nate Morris posted a career-high 11 tackles, his tenth career interception and three pass breakups to lead the Skyhawks defense in his final game. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks finish season on winning note for first time since 2011 after first NE-10 Championship Weekend victory

MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 15, 2014) – Stonehill College sent its 15 seniors out on a winning note with a 19-11 triumph over Saint Anselm College in the No. 5 vs. 6 game of Northeast-10 Conference Championship Weekend at Grappone Stadium this afternoon.

Stonehill wraps up its season with a win for the first time since a 28-23 victory at Assumption College in 2011 and posts its first ever win in the three years of the NE-10's Championship Weekend format. The Skyhawks jumped out to a 19-0 lead after freshman Matt Foltz's (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania/Donegal) second touchdown run of the afternoon less than five minutes into the third quarter and withstood an 11-point fourth quarter by Saint Anselm to claim their 11th-straight win over the Hawks in the all-time series and complete the season sweep this fall. Stonehill wraps up its 2014 season with a 5-6 record overall, including a 4-5 clip in the NE-10, while Saint Anselm finishes at 6-5 overall and 5-4 in league play.

Foltz, who scored the last six touchdowns of the season for Stonehill, finished with 165 total yards and the two rushing touchdowns as he completed 13-of-22 passes for 124 yards to go with 41 yards on 13 carries and the two touchdowns on the ground. Junior Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, New Hampshire/Manchester Central) connected on a pair of field goals for the Skyhawks.

Freshman Dylan Brown (Tinton Falls, New Jersey/Monmouth Regional) posted his first career 100-yard rushing game in his first game as a featured back for Stonehill, carrying the ball a season-high 17 times for 118 yards. Senior Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Massachusetts/Attleboro) put the cap to a record-breaking career with eight receptions for 33 yards, finishing his career with school-record totals of 196 receptions, 2,739 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Junior Steve Grzywacz kicked a pair of field goals for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Senior Nate Morris (Bristol, Rhode Island/The Wheeler School) paced a Stonehill defense which again held one of the top offenses well under average with a career-high 11 tackles (eight solo), an interception and three additional pass breakups. The interception is the tenth of his career to finish his career tied for sixth all-time in program history. Sophomore Ryan Doherty (Methuen, Massachusetts/Central Catholic) added ten stops (five solo), including 1.5 for a loss of 11 yards, with 1.0 sacks for a loss of nine and a forced fumble. Senior Taylor Russell (Keene, New Hampshire/Keene) chipped in with four tackles (two solo), including 2.0 for a loss of three.

Stonehill finished with 320 yards of total offense, with 196 rushing and 124 passing, while Saint Anselm posted 336 total yards, with 336 passing and just seven on the ground. The Skyhawks defense forced the Hawks to go 0-for-13 on third down and 1-for-5 on fourth for the day, while scoring on all three trips inside the red zone.

Sophomore Yianni Gavalas (Manhasset, New York/Westminster School) completed 32-of-56 passes for 329 yards for Saint Anselm with one touchdown, while adding another 23 yards on eight carries for 353 total yards. Senior Ahkeen Williams (DeWitt, New York/Jamesville-DeWitt) caught ten of those passes for a game-high 164 yards.

Senior Zach Hayes (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) paced the Saint Anselm defense with a game-high 15 tackles (seven solo), including 1.0 for a loss of two yards, while sophomore Jeremy Betts (Cape Coral, Florida/Ida S. Baker) added 11 stops (four solo) and a fumble recovery. Junior Elijah Thomas (Gaithersburg, Maryland/Albert Einstein) chipped in six tackles (four solo), including a sack for a loss of ten yards.

Stonehill scored on its first two possessions to take a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. Foltz capped the opening drive of the game, which went six plays for 64 yards, with a 21-yard touchdown run 3:32 into the game. Foltz connected with senior Zaire Reiph (Norwalk, Connecticut/Saint Luke's School) for a key 37 yard pass on third and 11 from the Stonehill 35 to keep the drive moving and his touchdown run came on third and three.

Freshman Matt Foltz rushed for both Stonehill touchdowns today. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

After a Saint Anselm three and out on its first possession of the game, Stonehill drove to the Hawks four before settling for a 21-yard Grzywacz field goal with 5:43 remaining in the opening quarter. Stonehill got the ball on the Saint Anselm 19 after a bad snap on the Hawks punt attempt. Foltz extended the drive with a two yard rush up the middle on fourth and one at the Saint Anselm ten, but the Skyhawks were unable to punch the ball into the end zone.

Stonehill extended its lead to 12-0 4:29 into the second quarter when Grzywacz capped a nine play, 52 yard drive with a 32 yard field goal after a sack on third and goal from the five stalled the possession.

Stonehill forced Saint Anselm off the field after three plays on the opening drive of the second half and then drove 55 yards in six plays to extend its lead to 19-0 after a one yard touchdown plunge from Foltz 4:37 into the third quarter. Brown sparked the possession with a season-long 48 yard run on third and ten from the Skyhawks 45.

Saint Anselm broke up the shutout bid by Stonehill with a 23-yard field goal by junior Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Florida/Seabreeze) 2:23 into the fourth quarter. The Hawks took over after Stonehill turned the ball over on downs at the Hawks 23 and went 71 yards in seven plays before the field goal. Gavalas and Williams connected three times for 75 yards on the drive.

Saint Anselm closed within a possession after Gavalas hit sophomore Zach Bartak (Greenfield, Massachusetts/Greenfield) for a 12 yard touchdown pass with 7:07 still to play. Gavalas then found senior Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Suffield Academy) in the end zone for a two point conversion to draw within 19-11.

Saint Anselm drove to the Stonehill 16 on its next possession, but turned the ball over on downs on the Stonehill 16 with 3:17 remaining. The Hawks forced Stonehill to punt from its own 33, but a roughing the kicker penalty with 1:38 to go gave the Skyhawks the ball at the 46 and they were able to take a knee and run out the clock the rest of the way.

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