BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Senior WR Ahkeen Williams (DeWitt, N.Y.) made six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown and went over 2,000 yards receiving for his career, but the Saint Anselm College football team came out on the wrong end of a 49-21 decision against Long Island University-LIU Post on Saturday at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium.
The Hawks lose their second straight game to drop to 5-2, including 4-2 in Northeast-10 play, while the Pioneers win their fifth straight to improve to 5-2, 5-1 NE-10.
Williams becomes the third Hawk ever to reach 2,000 yards receiving and now sits at 2,044 yards, just 105 behind former teammate Marc Wilson for second place all-time. Fellow senior WR Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Mass.) caught eight passes for 73 yards and a score and became the third player in program history to amass 4,000 all-purpose yards. Bernard, who owns the program record in career receiving yards, is 111 yards shy of 4,000 in that category. He also extended his program record by catching a pass in his 37th straight contest.
Junior RB Elad Covaliu (Rockville, Md.), who hit the century mark rushing for the second time this season, came up three yards short of his career high as he carried 16 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Covaliu's score gave the Hawks 18 rushing touchdowns this year, which breaks the single-season record of 17 from the 2001 campaign. Sophomore QB Yianni Gavalas (Manhasset, N.Y.) finished 21 of 34 for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 30 yards on 11 rushes.
LIU Post grabbed a 7-0 lead as it took the opening kick and went 73 yards in 10 plays, with QB Steven Laurino running it in from one yard out just 4:07 into the contest. Karsten Viste added the extra point.
Laurino doubled the Pioneers lead with his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game on their next possession. LIU recovered a fumble at its own 27 and Laurino led them the remaining 73 yards in 16 plays to make it 14-0 following Viste's PAT with 3:40 remaining in the opening quarter.
Saint Anselm finally jumped on the board 3:21 into the second half as Gavalas engineered an 11-play, 94-yard drive that he ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bernard. Junior K/P Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Fla.) added the extra point to cut it to 14-7. Bernard reached the 4,000-yard all-purpose plateau with an 8-yard grab on the play before the touchdown.
The Pioneers answered, however, as they crafted a 12-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Laurino to Sean Binckes. Viste added the kick to make it 21-7 with 7:49 to go before the half.
Laurino and Binckes hooked up again – this time from 37 yards out on a third-and-five – to polish off a seven-play, 80-yard drive that stretched the lead to 28-7 with 2:00 left in the half following the Viste extra point.
The Hawks came out in the second half and put together a nine-yard, 74-drive that lasted 2:27 and pulled Saint Anselm within 28-14. Gavalas' 23-yard toss to Williams in the back-right corner of the end zone provided the score before Grayson added the PAT.
After the teams traded punts, LIU Post re-gained momentum as they went 63 yards in seven plays with Laurino finding Mike Williams for an 8-yard touchdown pass that made it 35-14 with 7:30 left in the third after the Viste kick.
The Pioneers made it a four-score game with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter as Laurino's third rushing score of the day from three yards out widened the gap to 42-14 after the Viste PAT.
Saint Anselm answered with a nine-play, 73-yard drive that was finished off with a four-yard Covaliu run. Grayson's kick trimmed the deficit to 42-21 just 43 seconds into the fourth quarter. Williams caught a 50-yard pass on the drive to put him over 2,000.
LIU Post responded immediately, however, with a quick five-play, 65-yard drive that lasted just 1:30. Laurino connected with Kamron Palmer for a 12-yard score that pushed the lead to 49-21 with 12:47 to go following Viste's point-after.
Senior WR Brandon Gomes (Providence, R.I.) made three catches for 65 yards.
The Pioneers outgained the Hawks, 578-395, in total offense. LIU Post racked up 346 yards passing and 232 yards rushing, while Saint Anselm totaled 246 through the air and 149 on the ground. The Pioneers kept the Saint Anselm defense on the field as they were 12 of 18 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down. Conversely, the Hawks were 5-for-14 on third down and went 1-for-3 on fourth down.
The Hawks return to action Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. when they take on Assumption College under the lights at Multi-Sport Stadium in a matchup for third place in the Northeast-10 standings. The next home game for the Hawks is Saturday, Nov. 1 at noon when they play host to Stonehill College in the Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk on Senior Day at Grappone Stadium. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.