Stonehill returns home for the last time for what will be nearly a month as it hosts LIU Post for a Northeast-10 Conference matchup on Timothy J. Coughlin (COG-lin), '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight. The Skyhawks are looking to build off a dramatic 57-54 overtime victory at Saint Anselm last Saturday night, while the Pioneers opened their season with a 33-8 win over American International last weekend.
SkyhawksVision coverage of tonight's game is available via portal.stretchinternet.com/stonehill. Charlie Bergeron, the voice of the Skyhawks, returns for his 21st season of broadcasting the Skyhawks. Links to the webcast, as well as live stats will also be available via stonehillskyhawks.com. The game is also being broadcast back to Long Island via WCWP 88.1 FM, with Chris Klimaszewski, and Jason Glickman calling the action.
Junior running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) as presented with the New England Football Writers Division II/III Weekly Gold Helmet Award for the second time in as many seasons at the weekly luncheon at Dillon Fieldhouse on the Harvard University campus on Wednesday. Kearns led a Skyhawks offense which piled up 517 total yards, including 318 on the ground in Saturday night's wild 57-54 triple-overtime win at Saint Anselm. Kearns, Jr. rushed the ball a school-record 44 times for 180 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, including the game-winning three-yard score in triple overtime to lift the Skyhawks to their 15th-straight win over the Hawks. He also added touchdown runs of 17 and 2 yards, the latter of which knotted the score at 45-45 with 22-seconds remaining in regulation. He also caught a pass for seven yards. Kearns also earned the Gold Helmet last October, when he led a Stonehill rushing attack that piled up 327 yards in a 45-31 overtime win against rival Bentley, finishing with a career-high 243 yards on 34 carries (7.1 yards/att) and two touchdowns. Kearns, Jr. joins former teammate Matt Foltz '18 as the lone two-time Gold Helmet winners in program history.
Stonehill New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award Winners Brian Kearns, Jr., Jr, RB - September 12, 2018 Andrew Jamiel, So, WR - November 8, 2017 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
Senior running back Mike Cordova (Oceanport, N.J.) and junior running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) were both named to the Northeast-10 Conference's weekly honor roll on Monday. The duo keyed a Skyhawks offense which piled up 318 yards rushing as part of 517 total yards in Saturday night's 57-54 triple overtime win at Saint Anselm with 16 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 15 yards and returned a kickoff 26 yards to finish the night with 136 all-purpose yards. Kearns, Jr. . rushed the ball a school-record 44 times for 180 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, including the game-winning three-yard score in triple overtime.
Ace's Athlete of the Week
Junior running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) earned Stonehill's Champion's Choice Male Student-Athlete of the Week award for his record-breaking effort at Saint Anselm Saturday night. Kearns, Jr. is the first football student-athlete this season to earn the athletic department's weekly honor, collecting the honors for the second time in his career after being named following his career-high 243-yard rushing game, with two touchdowns, against rival Bentley last season.
Welcome to the Team, Danny!
The Stonehill football team welcomed a new teammate during a Team IMPACT draft ceremony inside the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex last night. 11-year-old Danny Stephenson, the son of Lori and Scott Stephenson of Plymouth, Massachusetts, joined the team officially during the signing day ceremony. Danny was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 and continues to battle through his treatments, with the new encouragement of his Skyhawks teammates. He will serve as honorary captain of tonight's game and take part in the opening coin toss. Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.
In the Zone
After leading the NE10 and ranking 11th nationally for red zone efficiency in 2017, Stonehill is 11-for-13 on red zone trips this season after scoring on 8-of-10 red zone trips at Saint Anselm last weekend. The Skyhawks had scored on 17-straight trips inside their opponents 20-yard line heading into Saturday night's game and extended that streak to 19 before an interception into the end zone early in the third quarter. Stonehill's 11 red zone scores this season leads the NE10, while ranking fourth for red zone percentage at 85%, scoring seven touchdowns and adding four field goals, ranking sixth for TD red zone percentage (54%). The Skyhawks scored on 33-of-35 trips (94%) in the red zone last season, scoring 28 touchdowns and adding five field goals.
What a Rush
Stonehill leads the NE10 and ranks 14th nationally in Division II for rushing offense, averaging 268.0 yards per game on the ground. The Skyhawks have featured three 100-yard rushing games over the first two weeks of the season, including junior Brian Kearns, Jr.'s (North Arlington, N.J.) season-high 180 yards at Saint Anselm on Saturday. Senior Mike Cordova (Oceanport, N.J.) is averaging a team-high 97.5 yards per game, which ranks third in the NE10 and 47th nationally, while Kearns, Jr. is fourth in the NE10 with 92.0 yards per game. Kearns, Jr. is also second in the NE10 with his three rushing touchdowns, while Cordova and senior James Lam (Quincy, Mass.) are third with two rushing TDs apiece.
Getting Carried Away
Junior running back Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, N.J.) set a program record with his 44 rush attempts at Saint Anselm on Saturday night. He surpassed the previous Stonehill single-game mark of 43 by Michael McSharry '98 against Sacred Heart University in 1995, while Kearns' three touchdowns were just one shy of the single-game mark accomplished four times in program history.
Stonehill's 57 points at Saint Anselm on Saturday matched the program's single-game record set in a 57-20 win over MIT in 1994. The Skyhawks now rank third in the NE10 (second among teams who have played two games) and 23rd nationally in scoring with 38 points per game after two weeks.
Stonehill College was recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 96-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) as released by the NCAA last year. The ASR considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes while also giving credit for any student-athletes that transferred from the institution while in good academic standing. In addition to Stonehill's overall ASR of 96%, 12 of Stonehill's 16 athletic programs (cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field are combined by the NCAA) received perfect scores of 100%. Stonehill's 96% ASR ranks third among NE-10 institutions and ranks fifth overall in NCAA Division II. The football team has an ASR of 90% - signifigantly higher than the federal rate of 73%. Stonehill has earned the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award all five years of its existence for having an ASR of 90% or higher.
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 won't return to W.B. Mason Stadium for almost a month as it hits the road for the next two weeks leading up to the league bye, starting next Saturday, September 22, at Southern Connecticut State University at 6 p.m. Stonehill's next home game is its Purple & White Game against Merrimack College here at W.B. Mason Stadium at 6 p.m.