Football Meets Stonehill in Sixth Annual Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk

Football Meets Stonehill in Sixth Annual Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk

GAME NOTES

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team will meet Stonehill College in the sixth annual Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawks on Saturday, Nov. 5 (12 p.m.) at W.B. Mason Stadium. Links to live stats and live video are available on the football schedule page.

This will be the 13th meeting between the Hawks and Skyhawks, including the sixth time the two teams have met in the Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk. Stonehill leads the series, 7-5, and has won six straight in the series. Prior to that streak, the Hawks had won five of the first six in the series. The Skyhawks hold a slight 3-2 edge at home, narrowly winning the last meeting there Oct. 24, 2009, 31-28. In the most recent meeting Oct. 30 of last season, Stonehill captured the Ol' Bronze Hawk with a 41-27 victory at Grappone Stadium on Senior Day.

Saint Anselm got off to a quick start as the Hawks jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. After sophomore Michael Pierce scored on a quarterback keeper for the 7-0 lead, the Hawks added to that lead early in the second when Pierce found Craig Dennis across the middle for a 15-yard scoring pass. The remainder of the second quarter was all Stonehill however as the Skyhawks scored 19 unanswered points, led by a pair of scoring runs by Jemetrius Troy, for the 19-13 lead at the half.

Early in the third quarter, the Hawks regained the lead as Pierce found freshman Justin Bernard on a route to the left, with Bernard pulling the ball down at the 10-yard line and finding his way inside the pylon for the 20-19 advantage. The Skyhawks quickly regained the lead however as Troy found the end zone for a third time, followed by a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tim Bennett for the 34-20 Skyhawk edge after three quarters.

Pierce got the Hawks back to within 34-27 on a 14-yard scoring run early in the fourth, but that was quickly answered by Stonehill as Stephan Neville ran back the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for his fourth kickoff return for a touchdown this season and eighth in his career.

Pierce led the Hawks with 320 yards passing with two passing touchdowns and a pair of running scores. Bernard was the team's leading receiver with 10 catches for 104 yards, his first career 100-yard receiving game. Sophomore linebacker Chris Bent led the Hawks with 12 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. Senior Jason Nguyen also finished with 10 tackles on the afternoon.

Eddie Vachon led the Stonehill offense with a 135-yard effort as he set the Stonehill career rushing mark in the victory.

With the loss, Saint Anselm fell to 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast-10, while Stonehill evened its record at 4-4 overall and 2-4 in league play.

LAST TIME OUT
Despite a 69-yard touchdown run by senior WR Marc Wilson that gave his team a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Hawks suffered a 24-20 defeat against Assumption on Homecoming at a snowy Grappone Stadium on Oct. 29.

The Hawks fell to 1-7 on the season, including 1-5 in Northeast-10 play, while the Greyhounds evened their record at 4-4, 3-3 NE-10.

Leading 13-10 with 12:25 to play in the fourth, the Hawks widened their lead when Wilson – in at quarterback with snow beginning to blanket the Grappone Stadium turf – broke a run straight up the middle before cutting to the left sideline and racing 69 yards for the score. The extra point by junior K Shea Cerio gave Saint Anselm a 10-point lead.

Assumption responded with a six-play, 70-yard drive that lasted just 1:37, however, to make it 20-17. After Gabe Homiski hit Paul Perez for a 35-yard gain, Matt Pedone picked up 15 yards to set up Hominski to Perez again – this time for 20 yards and the touchdown. Brian Nowak's point-after was good.

Saint Anselm was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and junior QB Mike Pierce delivered a 47-yard punt that pinned the Greyhounds down at their own four-yard line. Assumption responded again, however, moving the ball 96 yards on nine plays in just 2:23. Pedone's 39-yard run up the left side gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game at 24-20 after Nowak's extra point with 4:31 to go.

After a quick three-and-out, Cerio's 52-yard punt cornered Assumption in at its own five-yard line, but the Greyhounds were able to pick up a first down and run out the clock on their come-from-behind victory.

The Hawks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after their first drive of the game in which they went 54 yards in 10 plays. Cerio capped the drive with a field goal from 25 yards out at the 10:33 mark.

The game stayed that way through most of the opening half until Saint Anselm engineered a 10-play, 74-yard drive in just 1:26 that made it 10-0 with 16 seconds on the clock before the break. Following passes to sophomore WR Eric Feehan and freshman TE Brian DeAngelis for 15 and 11 yards, respectively, Pierce looked for Feehan on first- and second-and-goal from four yards out, but came up empty. The third time was a charm, however, as Pierce found Feehan near the left pylon for the touchdown, which was followed by a Cerio extra point.

Following Pierce's interception on the first play of the second half, Assumption went 46 yards in nine plays, with Nowak's 22-yard field goal putting the Greyhounds on the board at 10-3 with 11:37 left in the third.

Later in the quarter, Perez brought a Cerio punt back 40 yards to the Saint Anselm 15-yard line, with Homiski's 14-yard touchdown pass to Scott Simonson on the second play of the drive pulling Assumption even at 10-10 after the extra point with 5:26 to play in the third.

After the teams swapped unsuccessful drives, Saint Anselm took advantage of a short field after a 26-yard punt. Pierce connected with Feehan on a 47-yard pass play that brought the Hawks down to the seven-yard line, but they were forced to settle for a Cerio 26-yard field goal that made it 13-10 with 1:26 to go in the third.

With Assumption driving on its next possession, junior LB Chris Bent snuffed out the drive with a hit on Homiski that knocked the ball loose. Sophomore DE Cam Foster fell on the football at the Hawks' 20-yard line and Saint Anselm had the ball back.

Sophomore RB Greg Bell ate up 12 yards on three rushes to start the drive before Wilson broke his second long touchdown run in as many weeks to put the Hawks up 10. Wilson also ripped off a 71-yard touchdown run in the team's 47-21 victory at Pace  on Oct. 22.

Feehan recorded his second career 100-yard receiving day as he matched a career best with nine catches and amassed 106 yards. Wilson rushed for 76 yards on five carries, while Pierce was 17-for-45 for 180 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Pierce also ran for 30 yards on 11 carries. Cerio had a solid day as he was 2-for-2 on field goals and extra points, in addition to downing three punts inside the 20. Cerio also matched his career high, which he set last week, with a 58-yard punt that is the third longest in school history.

Bent led the way defensively with 12 tackles, including two for a loss of 13 yards, and his forced fumble. Senior LB Shane O'Donnell recorded 11 tackles, including one for a three-yard loss. The Hawks saw their interception streak snapped as they had intercepted at least one pass in 10 consecutive games heading into today, dating back to an Oct. 30, 2010 matchup against Stonehill.

Pedone rushed for 155 yards and a score on 23 carries, while Adam Gruschow caught six passes for 100 yards.

SNAPPED
In their 24-20 loss against Assumption on Oct. 29, the Hawks saw their 10-game interception streak snapped after they failed to pick off the Greyhounds. The last time the Hawks did not record an interception in a game was back on Oct. 30, 2010 against Stonehill.

KICKIN' IT WITH CERIO
In the Hawks' 24-20 loss against Assumption on Oct. 29, junior K Shea Cerio put together a solid performance. Cerio was 2-for-2 on field goals and extra points, in addition to downing three punts inside the 20. Cerio also matched his career high, which he set the previous week, with a 58-yard punt that is the third longest in school history.

RECORD-SETTING PACE
In their 47-21 victory at Pace on Oct. 22, the Hawks broke a handful of school records. The Hawks set new program records for total offense (576), all-purpose yards (729) and average yards per play (8.0), as well as season highs for points (47) and rushing yards (305).

NATIONALLY-RANKED
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks seventh in the nation with 180.2 all-purpose yards per game, while sophomore DB Trevor Jessie and ranks 10th with .57 interceptions per game.

CRAWFORD NAMED NORTHEAST-10 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior DB Tyler Crawford was named the Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 23. Crawford helped the Hawks record a 47-21 victory at Pace on Oct. 22 as the defense held the Setters to the lowest scoring output of any Hawk opponent this season. Crawford played a big role as he recorded seven tackles – six solo stops – forced a fumble and brought his second interception of the season back 69 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown – the third longest interception return in program history – that made it 40-7 after the extra point with 12:36 remaining in the fourth.

HONOR ROLL
Junior QB Mike Pierce and senior WR Marc Wilson both made the Northeast-10's weekly honor roll that was released Oct. 24 after the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22. Pierce amassed 395 yards of total offense as he was 22 of 36 passing for 271 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 124 yards and a score on nine carries. His 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest run from scrimmage in school history. Pierce also helped Saint Anselm win the field position battle with a pair of punts that pinned Pace inside the 20. Wilson caught 10 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and ran for 81 yards and a score on four carries, while also racking up 30 kick return yards. Wilson's 71-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter is the third-longest run from scrimmage in program history.

SETTING THE PACE
After his 229-all-purpose-yard performance in the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22, senior WR Marc Wilson continues to put up big numbers against the Setters. Wilson has now racked up 817 all-purpose yards to go along with 10 touchdowns in five games (163.4 yds/game). Wilson has averaged 7.5 yards each time he has touched the ball against the Setters. Wilson has also amassed 558 yards of total offense, with 459 of those yards coming in the first two games when Wilson served as the team's quarterback.

ANSWERING THE BELL
Sophomore RB Greg Bell helped jump-start the Hawks offense in their 47-21 at Pace on Oct. 22. Bell, who finished with 37 yards on six carries, found the end zone for the first time in his career after a one-yard jaunt just 50 seconds into the opening half staked the Hawks to a 6-0 lead. After getting a taste of paydirt, Bell forced his way into the end zone again as he stretched his team's lead to 13-0 with an 11-yard scoring run with 9:42 left in the second.

EXTRA POINTS
In the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22, junior K Shea Cerio matched a school record with five extra points. Cerio had a chance for the outright record, but missed his first PAT of the afternoon and also had another point-after attempt thwarted after a botched snap that forced the Hawks into a desperation two-point conversion situation. Cerio also boomed a 58-yard punt in the first quarter that was the third-longest punt in school history.

All-NATURAL
After losing six straight to start the year – with all of the games taking place on synthetic turf playing surfaces – the Hawks grabbed their first win of the year in a 47-21 triumph at Pace's grass surface stadium, Pace Field, on Oct. 22. The Hawks had a brand new synthetic turf surface installed at Grappone Stadium this past summer after playing the previous 12 seasons on grass.

PICKED
With redshirt-sophomore Ethan Sylvain's fourth interception of the season at Pace on Oct. 22, he joined sophomore DB Trevor Jessie (4) and redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen (3) as the first three Saint Anselm defenders to ever combine for 11 picks. It is the first time two Hawks have each intercepted four passes since Pat McGuiness (4) and Justin Peledge (4) in 2000, as well as the first time three different Hawks have recorded three or more interceptions since Mark Wysocki (4), Anthony Barese (3) and Brian Sundell (3) attained the feat in 2004. The team now has 15 interceptions on the season, which is the second most all-time behind the 2004 squad that grabbed 19.

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.

CAREER DAY
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.

UNLIKELY SOURCE
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 second in the conference and fifth in the nation with 180.5 all-purpose yards per game.

WINDEX
The Hawks erased Bentley's streak of scoring in 17 consecutive quarters Sept. 23 when they held the Falcons scoreless in the opening quarter.

300
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 leads the conference with 262.7 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.

SURFACE AREA
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.