PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Graduate student Bryant Johnson (Hopedale, Mass./Milford HS) threw three first-half touchdown passes and senior Bobby Tarr (Byfield, Mass./Bishop Fenwick HS) ran for 101 yards as Bentley University plowed through the snow for a 28-0 win over Pace University in Northeast-10 Conference football at Pace Field Saturday afternoon.
With heavy snow falling throughout the game, all the scoring came during the opening half of play, with the Falcons outgaining the Setters 326-51 before intermission.
After the Falcon defense forced a three-and-out on the game's opening possession, it took Johnson and his teammates only three plays to get on the scoreboard. Following a pair of eight-yard runs by Tarr and Johnson, the Falcon QB went deep to a wide-open Bill Kiley (Quincy, Mass./Boston College HS) for a 56-yard TD pass.
Pace's second possession of the afternoon ended on downs, and this time, Bentley used an eight-play, 44-yard drive to extend its lead to 14-0. Johnson again accounted for the score, teaming up with Wade Critides (Wayland, Mass./Wayland HS) for a 16-yard scoring strike.
Bentley, which scored on each of its first four possessions, matched its 14-point first quarter with another 14 in the second.
An eight-yard pass from Johnson to Critides, the 63rd TD pass of his illustrious career, finished a 17-play march that ate up nearly nine minutes of clock time, and a 10-yard run by junior running back Jack Pizzotti (Melrose, Mass./Melrose HS) with 1:59 left on the second-quarter clock completed a 97-yard drive. Johnson ran the ball in for the two-point conversion, completing the game's scoring.
At the halftime break, Johnson was 7-for-9 for 156 yards, the Falcons had run for 170 yards and the Falcon D had yielded only two first downs.
Neither team was able to do much offensively in the second half, with Johnson only playing the first possession and reserves in the game for the most part.
Tarr used 17 carries to top the century mark and Pizzotti also had a solid effort on the ground, finishing with 10 rushes for 52 yards. Critides was the only Falcon to catch multiple passes, with three for 35 yards.
While the Falcon offense amassed 22 first downs, 393 yards of total offense and nearly 38 minutes of clock time, the Bentley defense and the snow put the clamps on Pace. The Setters moved the chains only five times on their 10 possessions and finished with only 82 yards of total offense.
Sophomore linebacker Taylor Tavarozzi (Kensington, Conn./Berlin HS), who made his first career start, led Bentley with five tackles. Pace (1-7, 0-6 NE-10) received 10 stops apiece from d-back David Lopez (Ozone Park, N.Y.) and linebackers Vince Romano (Davenport, N.Y.) and Ryan Cuffe (Staten Island, N.Y.).
Senior Eric Santos (Huntington, N.Y.) rushed for 37 yards on 15 carries for Pace, and Setter QB Jordan Raymor (Browns Mills, N.J.) managed only six completions in 15 attempts for 46 yards.
Bentley, which snapped a three-game slide to improve to 5-4 overall and 4-3 NE-10, closes out the 2011 campaign next Saturday afternoon at home against Assumption College.