WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College football team saw its three game winning streak snapped with a 41-35 loss to the host Falcons from Bentley University on Saturday.
Saint Anselm falls to 3-6 on the year, evening its Northeast-10 Conference record at 3-3. Bentley has now won three consecutive contests, moving to 4-4 on the season and to 4-2 against league foes. The Hawks head to American International on Saturday, Nov. 9 for a 12 p.m. showdown at Abdow Field.
Senior quarterback Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.) logged three rushing touchdowns for Saint Anselm, doing so for the fourth time in his career. He becomes only the fourth student-athlete in team history with double-digit rushing scores in one season and sits only four off the all-time single season program record of 14 (Keith Charles '14, 2013).
Fairweather finished the day with 202 yards through the air, completing 16-of-32 passes, while throwing one touchdown to senior Shawn Donovan (Abington, Mass.). Donovan now has six touchdown receptions in 2019, the most in a season since Kyle Hill '18 recorded 11 in 2016.
Sophomore Damien Williams (Oxon Hill, Md.) led Saint Anselm with a career-high 11 tackles, nine of the solo variety, while adding two takedowns for a combined loss of nine yards. Three Hawks logged interceptions on the day, including seniors CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.), Rob Green (Malden, Mass.), and Seamus Oeser (Brookfield, Conn.) – Green's return of 45 yards was the longest by Saint Anselm on the year.
Down by a 41-21 margin heading into the fourth quarter, the Hawks posted 14 points down the stretch to cut the hosts lead to only six points. Fairweather connected with Donovan for a 16-yard touchdown score with 12:14 to go before sophomore Chance Clency (High Point, N.C.) blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt. Freshman Ryan Raybuck (Flower Mound, Texas) retrieved the loose ball, bringing it back 69 yards for the score.
With the score at 41-35 in favor of Bentley following Raybuck's return, the Saint Anselm defense stood tall and forced a punt with around 4:30 left to go in regulation time, giving the Hawks the ball in the game's final minutes. Bentley was able to stop Saint Anselm on fourth-and-18 and the Falcons ran out the clock to secure the victory.
The Falcons opened up a 13-0 lead before Fairweather's first rushing score, a five-yard sprint, put Saint Anselm on the board with the help of a point-after by junior Joey Cody (Cinnaminson, N.J.). Bentley countered with a passing touchdown and an interception return for a score, creating a 27-7 lead with 11:52 to go in the first half.
The Hawks rattled off the game's next scores with one-yard and four-yard rushing touchdowns by Fairweather bringing Saint Anselm back to within six, 27-21, with 7:42 to go in the second quarter. Bentley closed the first half with an 84-yard catch and run by Austin Ryan, giving the Falcons a 34-21 lead at the break.
The Falcons recorded the only touchdown of the third quarter as Nathaniel Larkins had a 33-yard rushing score to up its lead to 20 points, 41-21. The Hawks opened the second half with four consecutive punts before posting touchdowns on back-to-back offensive drives – the day's final drive for Saint Anselm ended on downs with 1:37 to go in regulation time.
Bentley limited the Hawks to only 13 first downs on the day. The hosts' defense also stopped Saint Anselm on 10 of its 12 third downs and Bentley's offense piled up 509 total yards of offense on the afternoon.
Stephen Sturm led Bentley with three passing touchdowns, totaling 346 yards through the air on 24-of-33 passing. Drew Mahoney and Ryan each finished with over 100 receiving yards for the Falcons with the former reeling in two catches and the latter tallying the other touchdown score. Manny Resto led Bentley with eight tackles, including three for a combined loss of 27 yards.