September 21, 2014

Williams leads Dartmouth to victory

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HANOVER - Following a slow start, the Dartmouth football team found its rhythm and the end zone Saturday night in a 35-25 season-opening win under the lights of Memorial Field against visiting Central Connecticut State.

The Blue Devils (1-3) led by 12 midway through the first half, but the Big Green (1-0) responded with a surge of offense in the final two quarters that culminated in the 10-point win to give Dartmouth a season-opening victory for the fifth straight year in the program's 133rd season of play.

Quarterback Dalyn Williams began his junior campaign under center by matching a career high with three touchdown tosses while completing 14-of-24 throws for 216 yards, plus ran for another 75 yards, including a 28-yard jaunt into the end zone. Fellow junior Kyle Bramble provided the first two Dartmouth touchdowns of the evening, hauling in Williams' first scoring strike before adding one on the ground. His 89 rushing yards on 17 carries paced the Big Green, while senior Ryan McManus led the receiving corps with a career-best 117 yards on six catches, one of which put six points on the board.

"It's always nice to win your opener," Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens said. "After a sloppy first half, it was good to see us come back with a much better second. I was pleased with how we played as a team tonight. It was a good sign of maturity that no one panicked early. We showed poise and were able to gel in those final two quarters."

Bramble bookended the opening half his two touchdowns. A screen pass from Williams saw Bramble leap a defender inside the five to finish off the 18-yard score for the Big Green's first TD of the season just 4:06 into the quarter, capping a seven-play, 55-yard opening drive. His second score came with just over a minute remaining in the half with a two-yard run through the left side of the line to cut the deficit to five, 19-14, heading into the intermission.

Between Bramble's two scores, CCSU managed to find the endzone three times in a variety of ways. Aaron Beradino caught an 18-yard pass in the right corner midway through the first quarter, but the point after was blocked by senior Evan Chrustic, keeping Dartmouth ahead by one.

Darius Cohen and Tavion Pauldo each added one-yard TD scampers for the Blue Devils in the final minutes of each of the first two quarters, helping the visitors take a five-point lead into the intermission. After Cohen's score, CCSU had a two-point conversion thwarted, but Ed Groth was able to kick the PAT through the uprights following Pauldo's touchdown.

The Big Green offense came out firing on all cylinders in the third as Williams hooked up with senior Bo Pattersonand McManus on 20- and 19-yard TD passes to the back left corner of the end zone. Patterson hauled in his first touchdown of the year after the pass deflected off sophomore Blake Orvis' fingers on his only catch of the night to give Dartmouth a 21-19 lead.

It appeared that lead would not last long, however, as the Blue Devils drove into the red zone on their ensuing drive. Groth lined up to attempt a 32-yard field goal only to have senior Troy Donahue burst through the line and block the kick to preserve the Big Green advantage.

Dartmouth zipped right down the field, converting a pair of third-down plays, before McManus left an inch of green space between the white paint and his left foot for his scoring grab, finishing off the 77-yard drive on just eight plays spanning 2:22 of game time.

Despite already having thrown for three already, Dartmouth's quarterback took matters into his own hands -- and feet -- in the fourth, running up the left side for his 28-yard touchdown run. Williams capped the eight-play, 91-yard drive with what proved to be the longest rush of the game by either team and was the fourth straight score for the home team after CCSU took a 19-7 second-quarter lead.

A major part of the comeback was due to a strong team defensive effort. Donahue had a career-high 14 tackles to go along with his key block, and junior linebacker Zach Slafsky added a personal-best 13 stops. Senior Eric Wickham and junior A.J. Zuttah had nine and eight tackles, respectively, with each recording one for a loss.

Blue Devil quarterback Nick SanGiacomo finished the evening 23-of-41 for 260 yards and one touchdown, while his backup, Pauldo, completed all four of his passes for 52 yards and another score. Running back Rob Hollomon led CCSU with 75 rushing yards on 24 carries, six receptions and 144 all-purpose yards.

Dartmouth returns to action next week as it travels to its in-state rival, seventh-ranked New Hampshire. The Big Green and Wildcats square off at 6 p.m. in Durham inside Cowell Stadium.


Williams now has exactly 900 rushing yards in his career as he marches toward becoming the first Big Green quarterback to amass 1,000 on the ground in a career ... with his 216 passing yards, Williams moved up two spots on Dartmouth's all-time list into eighth with 2,963 yards ... Patterson's touchdown catch was the 11th of his career to move into the Big Green's all-time top 10 ... McManus had just one previous 100-yard game receiving, that against Harvard in 2012 (103) ... the last time Dartmouth blocked two kicks in one game came on Oct. 8, 2011 at Yale on a PAT and a punt ... CCSU won the battle of possession, running 88 plays in 37:38 to just 60 plays in 22:22 for the Big Green ... Dartmouth scored on each of its five entries into the red zone ... the last time the Big Green had a winning streak of at least five games on opening day was from 1960-72 for a 13-game streak of success.

September 20, 2014

High School Scoreboard: Week 3


Late TD lifts UNH

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RICHMOND, Va. - Nico Steriti scored on a two-yard run with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the No. 7 University of New Hampshire football team to a 29-26 victory against No. 17 University of Richmond in Saturday afternoon's CAA opener at Robins Stadium.

UNH, with its fourth consecutive win against Richmond in the series (the last three by a combined nine points), improved to 2-1 overall while the Spiders fell to 2-2.

UNH starting quarterback Sean Goldrich was 18 of 25 for 212 yards; he also led the team with 12 rushes for 87 yards and matched his career high with three rushing touchdowns. Goldrich's top targets were R.J. Harris (8-119) and Harold Spears (4-94). Steriti finished with nine carries for 52 yards and had two catches for 10 yards.

Four Wildcats recorded double digits in tackles. Hayden Knudson led the way with 12 tackles, including one for a loss, and a forced fumble. Nick Cefalo had 11 stops, including UNH's lone sack. Shane McNeely also had 11 tackles and Akil Anderson rounded out the quartet with 10, two for a loss.

UR quarterback Michael Strauss went 27-for-35 for 344 yards. Brian Brown (12 catches, 139) and Rashad Ponder (7-109) both eclipsed 100 yards receiving. The ground game was led by Seth Fisher with 16 rushes for 60 yards and two TDs.

The team's overall offensive numbers were even with UNH's total offense at 461 yards (247 passing, 214 rushing) on 70 plays, while UR had 469 yards (348 pass, 121 rush) on 72 plays.

Richmond had regained the lead, 26-22, on Seth Fisher's 4-yard TD with 6:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Following a touchback, UNH began its game-winning drive on its 25 with backup quarterback Andy Vailas at the helm because Goldrich was injured on his one-yard TD that gave the Wildcats a 22-19 lead at 10:59 of the fourth quarter. On first down, Vailas completed his first pass attempt of the day to Harris for 6 yards. Four plays later, UNH faced third and 8 on its 37 and Vailas hit Harris on an out pattern to the right side and the wideout turned upfield for a gain of 24 yards to the Richmond 39.

On the next play, Vailas pulled the ball down in the pocket and split a pair of defenders for a nine-yard run. Steriti bulled into the line for a 3-yard gain and first down for the Wildcats. On a designed QB run, Vailas gained the corner on the right side to advance the ball to the UR 20. Back-to-back runs by Jimmy Owens set up first and 10 at the UR 16 with 1:41 to play.

Facing third and 3 at the UR 9, Vailas' pass to Spears in the end zone sailed high with 33 seconds on the clock. Vailas then pulled the ball down and ran up the middle for a 7-yard gain to give New Hampshire first and goal from the Richmond 2 with 24 seconds to go. One play later, Steriti plowed into the end zone and the Christian Breda PAT gave UNH a 29-26 lead with 19 seconds remaining.

Richmond QB Michael Strauss threw an incompletion on first and 10 from the UR 27. He then hit a four-yard completion to give the Spiders one last chance with one second on the clock. His pass was completed to Reggie Diggs for five yards, but Diggs' immediate lateral was caught by Cody Muller and he fell to the ground to end the game.

Spears eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards on his 29-yard catch in the second quarter and he now has 1,064.

Harris, with his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and 14th of his career, ascended to No. 2 on UNH's career receiving yards leaderboard. He surpassed David Gamble (1990-93; 3,072) and now has 3,154.

Goldrich entered the program's Top 10 list in career passing yards and climbed past Chris Bresnahan (1995-96; 4,085), Kevin Decker (2008-11; 4,151) and Jeff Allen (1974-77; 4,184) to No. 8 with a total of 4,203.

Continue reading Late TD lifts UNH.

Saint Anselm rallies, improves to 3-0

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MANCHESTER - Sophomore quarterback Yianni Gavalas completed 37 of 49 passes for 386 and two touchdowns, while running for two more scores, as the Saint Anselm College football team rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to foil Bentley University, 38-34, in its home opener Saturday at Grappone Stadium.

The Hawks improve to 3-0 (2-0 Northeast-10) for just the second time ever and first time since 2004 by beating Bentley for the first time in 15 tries. The Falcons drop to 1-2, 0-2 NE-10.

"Playing a team that's historically one of the better teams in the league year-in and year-out, coming off two back-to-back wins prior that were nail-biters and coming back from being down 10 in the fourth quarter against a quality team just continues to build confidence," Saint Anselm coach Patrick Murphy said.

Gavalas spread the ball around to five receivers, including senior wide receiver Justin Bernard and Brandon Gomes, who both had big games. Bernard caught 12 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, while Gomes made seven catches for 112 yards and a score. Junior running back Elad Covaliu, who pulled in four passes for 12 yards, turned in his best game in a Saint Anselm uniform thus far as he ran 20 times for 95 yards (4.8 avg) and a touchdown.

"We have a long way to go - we have eight games left, minimum," Murphy said. "There's a lot of football to be played. We're 1-0 this week and that's the thing we're preaching to the guys - it doesn't matter what the record is; none of the points carry over. We just have to play hard, smart, fast and physical football each week."

Continue reading Saint Anselm rallies, improves to 3-0.

Franklin Pierce offense sputters in opener

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ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell recorded eight sacks and limited the Franklin Pierce University sprint football team to 35 yards on the ground as the Ravens dropped their season opener at Cornell, 28-7.

Franklin Pierce quarterback Jose Melo threw for 151 yards and a touchdown in his collegiate debut, but was also intercepted twice.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce opens its third season in the Collegiate Sprint Football league at 0-1, while Cornell is 1-0. For the Big Red, the win avenges a 13-6 loss to the Ravens in last season's Allegiance Bowl.

Franklin Pierce scored its only touchdown in the first quarter. The Ravens put together a six-play, 45-yard scoring drive of their own. Melo capped the drive when he hit sophomore Andrew Jean for 27 yards and the score.

It was the longest of four catches on the day for Jean, who led the way for Franklin Pierce with 64 receiving yards. Freshman running back Demitri Moreno led the way for the Ravens on the ground, as he netted 65 yards over 16 carries.

Sophomore linebacker Jason Reid led the way defensively for Franklin Pierce with 8.5 tackles (seven solo). Senior linebacker Ben Whitney added seven tackles, while sophomore linebacker James Willette and sophomore linebacker Christopher Nee chipped in six each. Junior defensive back Connor Rogowsky (Nashua, N.H.) had Franklin Pierce's lone tackle for a loss.

The Ravens return to the field on Friday, when it travels to Army. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Shea Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

Western Connecticut handles Plymouth State

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DANBURY, Conn. - Senior quarterback Will Arndt completed 27 of 33 passes for 268 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes on Saturday afternoon as Western Connecticut State University defeated Plymouth State University, 45-7, in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) opener for both schools at The WAC.

        Arndt's TD passes came from 34, 12, six, 10, 12 and five and matched Joe DiMeglio's 2005 mark, also set against Plymouth State in a 56-7 victory.

        The 6-5 signal caller's first three touchdowns were to classmate David Plaza, the last from 6 yards away coming with 11:40 remaining before intermission.  Arndt hooked up with Alex Altermatt from 10 yards out and last week's MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week Tory Mack from a dozen yards away, to close out the first half's scoring with 2:49 remaining.  

        Western, now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the MASCAC, led 35-0 at the break and held the Panthers to minus five yards on 29 plays.

        Connor Falaguerra gathered in a game-high 11 receptions for 87 yards including a five-yards touchdown with 9:32 left in the third quarter.

        Plymouth State, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the MASCAC, got on the scoreboard when Mark Hennessy scampered in from 11 yards out with 2:32 left in the third quarter.  Hennessy finished with a team-high 66 yards on 18 carries.

        Michael Killoran capped off the Colonials scoring by booting a 33-yard field goal in the early moments of the final quarter.  He was 6-of-6 on point-after attempts for a total of nine points on the day.

        Mack led Western's ground attack with nine carries for 50 yards. Michael Nichol came on with 3:20 remaining in the third stanza under center. He completed 5-of-8 passes for 31 yards and controlled the game clock down the stretch.

        For Plymouth State, freshmen Thomas Radonich and Blair Zentek each had seven tackles.

        The Panthers play host to UMass Dartmouth on Homecoming next Saturday.  Prior to the 1 p.m. start, Plymouth State will be honoring its 1984 and 1994 football teams.

Wildcats seeking early road victory

Allen Lessels
UNH Insider

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Last year, the UNH football team lost its first three road games.

The Wildcats are hoping to avoid that kind of start to this season. They dropped their first game at Toledo three weeks and get their second road opportunity on Saturday at Colonial Athletic Association rival Richmond in a 4 p.m. game.

Much is on the line.

"It's huge," said head coach Sean McDonnell. "It's the conference opener. It's on the road. . . . It's a big barometer I think of how a team is going to be, how they play on the road."

The game matches a pair of ranked opponents with the No. 7 Wildcats and the No. 17 Spiders. UNH bounced back from the loss to Toledo with a 45-27 win over Lehigh last weekend to even its record at 1-1. Richmond is 2-1 with wins over Morehead State, 55-10, and Hampton, 42-17, sandwiched around a 45-13 loss to Virginia.

The Spiders are averaging 36.7 points per game and UNH is at 32.5.

A top priority for tackle Matt Kaplan and the Wildcat defense is slowing down Richmond senior quarterback Michael Strauss, who comes into the game with numbers similar to those of UNH junior QB Sean Goldrich.

Each quarterback has passed for six touchdowns and been intercepted twice. Strauss has completed 68.2 percent of his passes and Goldrich is at 68.4. Goldrich has a wide edge in passing yardage with his 356 yards through two games to the 247 of Strauss over three games.

"He is a very, very good quarterback, in terms of throwing the ball," said UNH defensive coordinator John Lyons of Strauss. "He's got a really good arm and he gets rid of the ball very quickly. He's very accurate and will take some chances. Sometimes, fundamentally, he'll throw the ball off the back foot, but he has a strong enough arm to do that and complete balls."

Strauss runs an offense that has piled up 530 yards a game, 176 on the ground and 354 through the air.

"I haven't seen everybody yet that we're going to play, but I would think - I hope - nobody's better than this guy," Lyons said. "I'm very impressed with him."

UNH and Richmond did not play last season. The Wildcats won a pair of shootouts in the two seasons prior to that - 44-40 in Durham in 2012 and 45-43 in Richmond in 2011.

At Richmond, the Spiders passed for 350 yards and a couple of touchdowns, but the UNH defense came up with a couple of huge plays, too.

Defensive end Randi Vines returned an interception 60 yards for a score in the second period to give the Wildcats their first lead and Matt Evans picked another for 31 yards and a TD later in the period to extend the advantage.

"The Randi Vines special," Kaplan said. "The old deflection and take it back to the house. Randi scored on a deflected ball and Matty Evans made an unreal play like he always did and we were right back in it."

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New Hampton defeats Proctor, improves to 2-0

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Running back Isaiah White ran for 226 yards and scored four touchdowns to help New Hampton defeat Proctor 54-34 Friday night.

Proctor was within six points, 26-20, after it scored on the second-half kickoff, but New Hampton began to pull away when White scored on a 80-yard run. He picked up 180 yards in the second half.

New Hampton, which improved its record to 2-0, led 47-26 after three quarters.

The Huskies received two TD passes from quarterback Adam Enxing. Anthony Gaines and Carter Dillon had the TD receptions.

Dillon led the New Hampton defense with 5.5 tackles and a blocked PAT attempt. Gaines had an interception and a blocked punt, and Seamus Tully also blocked a point-after kick.

New Hampton also received 211 all-purpose yards and a late TD from Jordan Collier, who also recorded three tackles and forced a fumble.

It was the season-opener for Proctor.

September 19, 2014

Saint Anselm looks to remain unbeaten


Franklin Pierce vs. Cornell

When and where: Saturday (noon) at Schoelkopf Field, Ithaca, N.Y..

Team records: This is the Collegiate Sprint Football League opener for each team.

Noteworthy: Franklin Pierce is entering its third season. The Ravens were 5-2 and finished third in the CSFL last season. ... Cornell finished with a 2-5 record last season. One of the losses was a 13-6 setback against Franklin Pierce. ... Franklin Pierce quarterback Ryan O'Kelly passed for 860 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, when he also ran for 202 yards and three TDs.

Saint Anselm vs. Bentley

When and where: Saturday (1 p.m.) at Grappone Stadium, Manchester.

Team records: Saint Anselm is 2-0 overall (1-1 Northeast-10); Bentley is 1-1 overall (0-1 Northeast-10).

Noteworthy: Saint Anselm is seeking its second 3-0 start in the program's history. The Hawks are the only unbeaten team in the Northeast-10. ... Saint Anselm wide receiver Justin Bernard needs 26 catches to become the all-time reception leader in Division II. ... Bentley is coming off last weekend's 24-17 loss to Stonehill. Bentley opened its season by beating Mercyhurst 27-21.

Plymouth State vs. Western Connecticut State

When and where: Saturday (3 p.m.) at Westside Athletic Complex, Danbury, Conn.

Team records: Plymouth State is 1-1 overall (0-0 MASCAC); Western Connecticut State is 1-1 overall (0-0 MASCAC).

Noteworthy: This is the MASCAC opener for each team. ... Plymouth State linebacker Kyle Wilson was named the MASCAC and ECAC Northeast Rookie of the Week after he made eight tackles (two sacks) in last weekend's 30-24 triumph over Mount Ida. Wilson played at Dover High School. ... Western Connecticut State running back Tory Mack was named the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week after he rushed for 252 yards and four touchdowns in last weekend's 58-0 victory over Nichols.

UNH vs. Richmond

When and where: Saturday (4 p.m.) at Robins Stadium, Richmond, Va.

Team records: UNH is 1-1 overall (0-0 CAA); Richmond is 2-1 overall (0-0 CAA).

Noteworthy: This game is the CAA opener for UNH and features two of the top offenses in the FCS. Richmond leads the nation in third-down-conversion percentage (66 percent), ranks third in passing offense (354 yards per game) and No. 2 in total offense (530.0). UNH is No. 2 in passing offense (380.0), No. 3 in total offense (510.5) and fourth in third-down-conversion rate (60 percent). ... The game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet. Newmarket's Eric Frede will be doing the play by play. ... UNH coach Sean McDonnell said senior offensive lineman Alexander Morrill will likely play Saturday. Morrill, who played at Lebanon High School, has missed UNH's two games with a shoulder injury.

Dartmouth vs. Central Connecticut State

When and where: Saturday (7 p.m.) at Memorial Field, Hanover.

Team records: This is Dartmouth's first game; Central Connecticut State is 2-1 overall (0-0 Northeast Conference).

Noteworthy: Dartmouth will be the last Division I team (FCS or FBS) to open the 2014 season. ... The Big Green was picked to finish third in the Ivy League Preseason Poll. ... Central Connecticut State opened its season with a 31-27 victory over Towson -- a team that lost in the FCS championship game last season -- but has been held to seven points in its last two games, losses to Albany (19-0) and Holy Cross (20-7).