WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior RB Elad Covaliu (Rockville, Md.) ran for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown, but the Saint Anselm College football team absorbed a crushing 19-14 defeat as Bentley University found the end zone in the final minute of play on Saturday afternoon at Bentley Stadium.
- Covaliu rushed for 115 yards and the score on 21 carries.
- Freshman QB Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.) ran 14 times for 81 yards, while also completing 10 of 18 passes for 45 yards.
- Junior LB Josh Garrett (Riviera Beach, Fla.) racked up a game-high 13 tackles.
- Sophomore LB Eric Mercer (Melrose, Mass.) tallied six tackles, including a sack, while blocking a punt that was returned for a touchdown and making a huge stop on fourth-and-1 with Bentley driving for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter.
For the foes…
- QB Matt Montalto was 18-for-28 for 227 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing 14 times for 91 yards.
- RB George Craan carried 19 times for 69 yards and the game-winning score.
- WR Chris Walsh made seven catches for 86 yards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Anselm received the opening kick and blazed 75 yards down the field in eight plays before Covaliu pranced into the end zone from three yards out to make it 7-0 just 2:56 into the contest. Covaliu highlighted the drive with a 48-yard run in the middle of the series.
- Michael Baron's 34-yard field goal pulled Bentley within 7-3 with 2:09 remaining in the opening quarter.
- Following Fairweather's second career interception that gave Bentley the ball at the Saint Anselm 17-yard line, Montalto found Alex Farkes from 11 yards out to put the Falcons into the lead for the first time at 10-7 with 11:25 to go in the second quarter.
- Bentley added to its lead with 12 seconds left in the half on a 29-yard field goal from Baron. Junior Eric Wilson (Dover, N.H.) batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage on third-and-10 at the 12-yard line to force the field goal try.
- Saint Anselm went back on top, 14-13, at the 10:34 mark of the third quarter as Mercer blocked a punt from the Bentley 15-yard line and the ball came right down into the waiting arms of freshman DB Issa Conteh Jr. (Bowie, Md.) on the left side of the end zone.
- Bentley looked like it would regain the lead with 4:56 left in the third when Baron set up for a 27-yard field goal try, but the snap wasn't handled and the Falcons turned it over on downs.
- The Falcons were again driving just past midway through the fourth quarter and went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Saint Anselm 25-yard line, but Mercer came up with a big stop that gave the Hawks the ball on downs with 4:08 on the clock.
- The ensuing Saint Anselm drive stalled out at its own 46-yard line, but a 45-yard punt from senior K/P Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Fla.) pinned the Falcons at their own 9-yard line with 2:24 to go.
- Bentley responded by going 91 yards in just six plays, with the drive being highlighted by Chris Calvanese's 65-yard catch down the left sideline that set the Falcons up at the Saint Anselm 6-yard line. Craan waltzed into the end zone from two yards out just three plays later to give Bentley its first points of the second half and a 19-14 lead with 44 ticks on the clock. The Falcons would miss the two-point conversion.
- The Hawks began the ensuing drive at their own 25-yard line and, following a nine-yard Fairweather run, the second Bentley interception of the game would seal the win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Bentley outgained Saint Anselm in total yardage, 455-271, including 227-45 through the air and narrowly on the ground, 228-226.
- The Saint Anselm defense was able to hold Bentley to just 3 of 15 on third down and sacked Montalto twice. The Hawks were 4-for-14 on third-down conversions themselves.
- The Falcons were 4-for-5 on scoring chances in the red zone, while the Hawks scored the only time they visited the red area.
- On his 48-yard run in the first quarter, Covaliu became the ninth player in program history to reach 2,000 all-purpose yards for a career.
- It is the fourth 100-yard rushing game of Covaliu's career – ranking him fifth all-time in school history – and his second of the season.
- Conteh's blocked punt return touchdown was the first in program history.
- Had Saint Anselm held on, it would have been the first time Bentley lost to the Hawks at home in nine matchups.
- The Hawks return to action Saturday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. when they take on Merrimack College.
- Saint Anselm is back home Saturday, Oct. 24 at noon when they play host to Southern Connecticut State University at Grappone Stadium.