SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore quarterback Stephen Sturm (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley HS) threw for a season-high 301 yards and two TDs, and senior wide receiver Jordan Zlogar (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa HS) had the sixth most prolific receiving day in program history, as Bentley University closed out the season with a 28-20 win over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference football at Abdow Field Saturday afternoon.
Zlogar, who played a role in three of the Falcons' four scoring drives, finished with 12 catches for 213 yards in his final career game.
Impressive first-half performances by Sturm and Zlogar sent Bentley into the halftime break on the positive side of a 21-6 score. Sturm, during the first 30 minutes, was 14 of 19 for 225 yards and two TDs, and Zlogar was his main target with nine catches for 144 yards, including a 50-yard TD reception.
Junior running back Jordan Artope (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson HS), on a one-yard run, gave Bentley a 7-0 lead with 4:24 left in the opening stanza. Zlogar accounted for 45 of the 57 yards on the nine-play drive with catches of 20, 13 and 12 yards.
After AIC got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter but had the point after attempt blocked, Bentley quickly answered. Just 24 seconds later, Sturm went deep to Zlogar, who hauled it in in stride for a career-long 50-yard TD and a 14-6 lead.
Later in the second, with 1:50 left, Sturm went long again, this time to freshman Noah Neville (Boston/ Newton North HS) for a 49-yard TD pass.
Zlogar also was a factor on Bentley's fourth touchdown of the afternoon as he shook a defender and broke loose for a 51-yard reception to the Yellow Jacket 16. On the very next play, sophomore Andrew Brazicki (Franklin Park, N.J./Bishop Ahr HS) went outside and took it into the end zone. Brazicki, during the game, eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for his career.
Two AIC touchdowns, 61 seconds apart, got the home team back in the game early in the fourth. Freshman QB Prince Olubakinda (Newark, N.J.) scored on a one-yard keeper after a 70-yard run by sophomore Samad Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), and after a three-and-out and a short punt, a two-yard TD run by Davila cut the Bentley advantage to eight, 28-20, with 11 minutes still to play.
Following a Falcon fumble, AIC tooki possession at the Falcon 34 with 5:35 left. The Yellow Jackets moved to the 20 before an interception in the end zone by Bentley junior corner Pete Thorbahn (Norwell/Xaverian Bros. HS) with 3:40 left ended the threat. It was his sixth pick of the season and the 13th of his career, tied for sixth most among active Division II players.
Senior linebacker Andrew Carmichael (Wayland/Wayland HS) put the finishing touches on the win and his career when he picked off a Hail Mary in the end zone on game's final play.
Sturm achieved his first 300-yard game of the season by completing 24 of 41 passes. In addition to Zlogar's contributions, Neville finished with three catches for 66 yards and junior Ryan McCarthy (Holden/Wachusett Reg. HS) caught five for 33 yards.
Thorbahn led the Falcons with ten tackles, all unassisted.
Bentley outgained the home team, 420-331, and controlled the ball for more than 37 minutes.
The win was the third in the last four games for the Falcons, who finished the year with a 4-6 record, including 4-5 NE10. AIC dropped to 1-8, both overall and conference.