MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team will take on just its second Division I opponent since the 2003 season when it meets FCS-member Stony Brook University at LaValle Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
This will be the first meeting ever between Saint Anselm and Stony Brook.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite over 100 all-purpose yards from sophomore RB Keith Charles and over 300 yards of total offense from junior QB Mike Pierce, the Hawks fell to American International by a 35-21 score Oct. 8 at Ronald J. Abdow Field.
With the loss, the Hawks fell to 0-5 on the season and dropped to 0-4 in the Northeast-10. The Yellow Jackets improved to 4-2 overall and collected their third victory during conference play (3-1).
Charles rushed 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown and also caught three passes for 29 yards and another score. Pierce was 27-for-41 for 295 yards and a touchdown through the air, while picking up 31 yards and another touchdown on seven rushes.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the contest with a 58-yard drive down field that culminated with a Charles 19-yard touchdown at 13:53 of the first quarter. Senior WR Marc Wilson initiated the sequence by returning the opening kickoff 26 yards from the Saint Anselm 16-yard line, before a 17-yard Charles reception and 17-yard Charles rush pushed Saint Anselm deep into AIC territory. Another five-yard Charles rush then set up his long touchdown run. Junior Shea Cerio added the point-after to lift the Hawks to the early 7-0 lead.
American International quickly answered with a 24-yard touchdown run from Terrell Williams, who capped off a five-play, 78-yard drive to knot the score at seven apiece following a successful PAT attempt by Cesar Vaca-Hurtado at 11:57.
With 1:56 remaining in the opening quarter, Kevin Arduino scored a rushing touchdown from eight yards out to cap a 16-play, 87-yard drive, with Vaca-Hurtado adding the extra point to double up the Hawks 14-7. AIC was able to finish the drive despite sacks from junior LB Brendan Timmons and senior LB Shane O'Donnell.
Following five first-downs by the Hawks' offense, including a 17-yard pass play from Pierce to sophomore WR Eric Feehan on the first play of the drive and a pair of Charles rushes for 10-plus yards, Pierce ran the ball in from three yards out at 9:46 of the second quarter to tie the game at 14 apiece after Cerio's extra point.
On the third play of the ensuing AIC drive, Arduino was able to break several tackles and rumble 39 yards to the Saint Anselm 2-yard line, setting up a one-yard Williams rush and a Vaca-Hurtado point-after attempt that completed the go-ahead drive for the Yellow Jackets to bring the score to 21-14 with 7:14 to play in the first half.
After a Carron McCluney interception set up AIC at the Hawks' 38-yard line later in the second quarter, a 10-yard sack by junior DL Derek Brewer brought up a second-and-long for the Yellow Jackets. Arduino lofted a deep pass that was brought in by Trevor Perryman and returned down the field for a touchdown. An extra point attempt was converted by a Vaca-Hurtado following the 41-yard play, doubling up the Hawks by a 28-14 margin with 1:02 left in the second quarter.
The score stayed that way until 2:06 remained in the third quarter when Charles reeled in a four-yard pass from Pierce to bring the Hawks to within a touchdown at 28-21.
American International jumped back out to the 35-21 lead with 6:34 remaining in regulation, as Arduino rushed into the end zone from one yard out. The touchdown was the culmination of 6:34 of possession in which 15 plays were run for a total of 64 yards.
Following the touchdown, two quick passes by Pierce netted the Hawks a total of 62 yards as Wilson made an 11-yard grab and Feehan pulled in a 51-yard pass. A Charles rush for two yards inched the Hawks closer to a score and an opposing pass interference call granted Saint Anselm a new set of downs. On fourth down with six yards to go, an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs with 3:58 to play.
The Hawks, who scored three touchdowns in their four trips to the red zone, amassed a season-high 443 total yards, including 148 on the ground.
Feehan caught nine passes for 114 yards, while Wilson collected nine receptions for 66 yards.
Timmons and O'Donnell finished with 12 and nine tackles, respectively, while senior LB Kyle Hayes and freshman DL Josh Cheever each tallied eight. Redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen snatched his third interception of the year in the third quarter, giving the Hawks 12 picks on the year, which is one more than all of last season.
SETTING THE TONE
Sophomore RB Keith Charles racked up over 100 all-purpose yards at AIC on Oct. 8. Charles rushed 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown and also caught three passes for 29 yards and another score. On Saint Anselm's four-play, 58-yard opening drive, Charles came out on fire as he accounted for all 58 yards, including the 19-yard touchdown run that capped the drive.
I LIKE MIKE
Junior QB Mike Pierce put together his second 300-yard total-offense game of the season at AIC on Oct. 8. Pierce was 27-for-41 for 295 yards and a touchdown through the air, while picking up 31 yards and another score on seven rushes.
Sophomore WR Eric Feehan collected the first 100-yard receiving game of his career when he totaled 114 yards at AIC on Oct. 8. Feehan also set a career high with nine receptions and his 51-yard catch in the fourth quarter was the second longest of his career.
With redshirt-freshman Isaac Jorgensen's third interception of the season at AIC on Oct. 8, the Hawks now have 12 picks through just five games, which is two more than they had all of last season. The last time Saint Anselm tallied 12 interceptions in a season was 2004 when they recorded 19.
With his interception at AIC on Oct. 8, redshirt-freshman Isaac Jorgensen became the first Saint Anselm linebacker to intercept three passes in a season since senior Anthony Barese picked off three passes in 2004. Jorgensen is the first freshman to amass three INTs since teammate Ethan Sylvain tallied four in 2009.
RUNNING WITH A PURPOSE
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks first in the conference and fourth in the nation with 187.4 all-purpose yards per game. That number was helped three weeks ago when Wilson returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 118 yards against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17. Two weeks ago against Merrimack on Oct. 1, Wilson caught Wilson caught nine passes for 124 yards, returned nine kickoffs for 168 yards and had two rushes for 11 yards.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL...AND THE QUARTERBACK
The Hawks rank second in the Northeast-10 in sacks allowed per game (1.40) and fourth in turnover differential (0.2). The Saint Anselm defense has played a big role in the turnover differential department, forcing 14 turnovers through the first five games. Sophomore DB Trevor Jesse's four interceptions are third in the nation, while his 1.0 INT per game puts him in a first-place tie.
The Hawks erased Bentley's streak of scoring in 17 consecutive quarters Sept. 23 when they held the Falcons scoreless in the opening quarter.
Junior QB Mike Pierce recorded his seventh career 300-yard passing game with 315 yards against Southern Connecticut State on Sept. 17, going 33-for-57 with four TDs. Pierce is second in the conference with 267.0 yards of total offense per game.
TURNING IT OVER
The Saint Anselm defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17. The four interceptions are the most for the Hawks since they recorded four against Bentley on Oct. 25, 2008, while the five turnovers are the most since forcing five last season against Stonehill on Oct. 30.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
Sophomore RB Keith Charles put together his best game in a Saint Anselm uniform against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Charles ran for 100 yards on 15 carries (6.7 average) and scored three times, including a 54-yard jaunt in the third quarter - the second longest rush of his career.
PIERCE GETTING IT DONE IN TOTAL
Junior QB Mike Pierce racked up over 300 yards of total offense against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Pierce was 28-for-52 passing for 264 yards and a touchdown to go along with his 51 yards on the ground.
LUCKY NO. 13
Sophomore WR Justin Bernard reeled in 13 catches against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Bernard was one reception shy of matching his career high of 14, which he set in a 35-26 win at New Haven last season Nov. 6.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
The Hawks amassed 438 yards of total offense against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3, including 174 on the ground, which marked the first time since their 2008 meeting that the Hawks ran for 100-plus yards against the Golden Bears.
JORGENSEN NAMED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen was named the Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week on Sept. 4 after he intercepted two passes, including one that set up Saint Anselm's first touchdown and brought the Hawks within seven points early on in their Sept. 3 meeting with 20th-ranked Kutztown. Jorgensen also recorded five tackles in the contest, including one for a six-yard loss.
PREDICTING THE FUTURE
The Hawks were picked to finish eighth in the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released last week. New Haven was chosen as the favorite to win the conference after collecting six-first place votes and point total of 59 to narrowly edge Southern Connecticut, which earned two first-place votes and 58 total points. Merrimack, which received the other first-place vote, came in third with 47 points. With 43 points, Bentley edged AIC (42) for the fourth-place slot. Assumption (28) and Stonehill (23) checked in at the sixth and seventh spots, with Saint Anselm (16) and Pace (8) rounding out the poll.
Grappone Stadium, the home of the Hawks, received a major face lift over the summer as the old grass surface was replaced with a new synthetic Field Turf and lights were added, making night football on the Hilltop a future possibility.
LIVE VIDEO STREAMING
Saint Anselm Athletics and Pack Network will once again team up for the 2011-12 season to offer an industry-leading streaming video solution. The service will feature live event productions that include multiple cameras, an on-screen scoreboard and graphics so that fans can still be part of the action even when they can't make it to the game. This season, all football, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's hockey games will be streamed live at SaintAnselmHawks.tv. The Hawks All-Access Pass, available for $49.95, gives fans the opportunity to watch not only all the live coverage of various Saint Anselm home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes an in-depth archive section of all video available. Single-event subscriptions for all live events will be available throughout the season for $5.95.