Bentley Heads to Saint Anselm for Saturday Night Encounter

Stephen Sturm
Stephen Sturm

WALTHAM, Mass. – After excelling on both sides of the ball in a 38-10 win over Stonehill College, the Bentley University Falcons will look to make it two in a row when they travel to Manchester, N.H. to take on Saint Anselm College under the Saturday night lights.  Kickoff at Grappone Stadium is 6 pm.

Saint Anselm is a team that Bentley has enjoyed significant success against with 17 wins in 18 previous meetings. Since the lone blemish (38-34 in 2014), the Falcons have won three straight, including 50-14 last season.

Both teams have found wins elusive this season. Saturday's victory over Stonehill was the second for the Falcons while Saint Anselm earned its only W to date Sept. 22 against American International.

Against Stonehill on Saturday, coach Bill Kavanaugh's team established a number of offensive season-bests while limiting the Skyhawks to 220 yards total offense, a season-low for a Falcon opponent. Eighty of those came on the opening drive with the visitors managing only three points and 140 yards on their final nine possessions.

The defense, which was on the field for only 12:43 over the game's final three quarters, came up with multiple takeaways for the third straight game and boosted its season total to 13, third most in the conference. Junior corner Pete Thorbahn (Norwell/Xaverian Bros. HD) recorded his fourth interception of the season after having three last year and four as a rookie in 2016.

Thorbahn is second on the team in tackles with 48, five less than senior linebacker Andrew Carmichael (Wayland/Wayland HS).

Five different Falcons scored touchdowns against the Skyhawks, including sophomore running back Andrew Brazicki (Franklin Park, N.J./Bishop Ahr HS) and freshman wide receiver Noah Neville (Boston/Newton North HS) on the receiving end of passes from sophomore Stephen Sturm (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley HS). Sturm, who threw two TD passes for the third time this season, had a season-best passing efficiency of 165.28.

Bentley's 516 yards of total offense included 289 on the ground, a high water mark for the Falcons since week six in 2013. Junior Jordan Artope (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson HS) and sophomore Tommy Wilson (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) each had the first 100-yard rushing performance of their careers with Wilson accomplishing his in only five carries.

Brazicki leads the team in rushing with 326 yards while Artope is up to 289, including 250 over the last four games.

Saint Anselm (1-5) is last in the conference in time of possession (less than 25 minutes per game) but that doesn't stop the Hawks from putting the ball in the air. They average 56.6 passes a game, and to put that into perspective, no other NE10 team attempts as many as 40.

Senior Eric Fairweather completes half of his passes and has thrown for 1,480 yards and 10 scores while getting picked off 13 times. He's also the Hawks' top rusher with 60 carries for 254 yards and three TDs. Kyle Hill is his primary target with 37 catches for 375 yards.

Defensively, Saint Anselm is fourth in the NE10 in sacks with 16 but has only forced eight turnovers, the fewest in the conference. Three of those have been fumble recoveries by junior linebacker C.J. Miller.

In last year's game, Mack Lowrie threw four TD passes and ran for another score to power the Falcons to the lopsided victory.

Next Saturday, Bentley will celebrate Senior Day and complete the home schedule with an encounter against Assumption.

BENTLEY BRIEFS: For both teams, the kicker is their leading scorer. Junior Grant Buchanan (Holliston/Holliston HS) has made six of eight field goals for Bentley and has 31 total points. For the Hawks, Daniel Parisi is eight of nine on field goals and has a total of 35 points … junior corner Derek Perkins (Milton/Milton HS) has 141 interception return yards, 17 shy of Sean Smith's school record. Perkins, who had an 100-yard interception return against Pace, is the only player in program history with two pick-sixes in a season … Bentley was six-for-seven on fourth-down conversions against Stonehill and is 15 of 23 in that category for the season. Among Division II teams, only Emporia State (19) has converted more this season … Bentley ranks third in Division II in fewest penalty yards and fourth in fewest penalties. The Falcons average 3.9 flags for a loss of 34.9 yards.