By Thomas G. Farrell
On Nov. 8, Stonehill football honored 15 seniors who had a huge impact in turning the program around. Skyhawk Nation would like to thank Corey Bacigalupo, Dante Brito, Jr., captain Lucas Brum, Sterry Codrington, Joe Della Vecchia, Ryan Handy, captain Brian Harrington, Mike Hogan, Tom Linden, Nate Morris, Zaire Reiph, Nate Robitaille, Eric Schneider, and Brandon Weiss.
These seniors amassed 21 wins during their tenure and a share of the Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season Championship.
Unfortunately, their last home game was a loss to Assumption 28-21. However, freshman quarterback Matt Foltz led the Stonehill offense with 407 total yards and three touchdowns. Senior Nate Robitaille caught 9 passes for a season-high 168 yards. With that, Robitaille had his second season with 1,000+ yards.
Senior captain Brian Harrington didn’t let his last game at W.B. Mason go unnoticed. The All-American led the defense with 9 tackles.
After Assumption went up 21-13 in the 4th quarter, Stonehill put together a 9 play, 68-yard drive with a 6 yard rushing touchdown for Foltz. He then connected with Robitaille on a 2-point conversion to tie the game at 21.
The Greyhounds took advantage of good field position at their own 46-yard line. It only took 3 plays for Assumption to score with 5 minutes left in the game, which was enough for the victory.
The NE-10 Championship weekend featured Stonehill at Saint Anselm on Nov. 15. The Skyhawks sent their 15 seniors out on a high note with a 19-11 win on Saturday afternoon in Manchester, NH.
Stonehill was leading 19-0 at one point when freshman quarterback Matt Foltz had his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. Foltz, who has scored the last six touchdowns for the Skyhawks finished with 165 total yards, two touchdowns, and 13-for-22 passing.
Foltz wasn’t the only freshman that showed up to play. Running back Dylan Brown took advantage of his opportunity during the game. He carried the ball 17 times for 118 yards. Brown’s first carry was a 48-yard run to the Hawks 7-yard line.
Senior defensive back Nate Morris led the triumphant Stonehill defense with 11 tackles, one interception, and three pass break-ups. Senior defensive tackle Taylor Russell added four tackles, including two for a loss.
Saint Anselm showed some life when they brought it to one possession with 7 minutes to play. After the touchdown, the Hawks converted the two point conversion to make it 19-11.
After a huge defensive stop in the red zone on fourth down with 3 minutes left to play, Stonehill couldn’t move the ball offensively and set to punt. Senior punter Ryan Handy was hit as he kicked the ball, resulting in a roughing the kicker penalty. Stonehill got the ball back with less than 2 minutes left to play, which was enough to win the game. The Stonehill Skyhawks finished 5-6 (5-5 NE-10).
The Stonehill defense finished 1st in the NE-10 in the categories of yards per game (284.0), passing yards allowed (189.3), and rushing yards allowed (94.7).
Senior Nate Robitaille led the receiving core finishing with 1,035 yards and 4 touchdowns, while senior punter Ryan Handy finished with 41.4 punt average and 16 punts inside the 20.
Defensively, senior captain Brian Harrington finished with 105 total tackles. Sophomore linebacker Ryan Doherty finished with 4.5 sacks on the season, while senior Sterry Codrington led the team with 5 blocked kicks. Senior Nate Morris ended his season with 5 interceptions.
The Stonehill football team has high hopes for next season and looks to prepare relentlessly during winter training and spring football.
*NOTE: A version of this story appearing in our Nov. 19 print edition incorrectly stated that Stonehill lost its last home game and referred to defensive tackle Taylor Russell as a defensive back.