Football Meets Stonehill in 10th Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk on Saturday

Football Meets Stonehill in 10th Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk on Saturday


MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Anselm College football team will try and turn it around against a familiar foe as it takes on Stonehill College in the 10th annual "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" on Saturday, Oct. 31 (1 p.m.) at W.B. Mason Stadium. Links to live stats and video are available on the football schedule page.

This will be the 18th meeting between the two teams, with Stonehill holding a 12-5 advantage, which includes 11 straight wins in the series and 12 of the last 13. Stonehill is 5-2 at home where it has won five straight against Saint Anselm. The Skyhawks are 7-3 on the Hilltop against the Hawks and have won six straight there. The last time Saint Anselm was victorious in the series was Oct. 2, 2004 when it captured a 19-10 win at home. In the most recent meeting Nov. 15 of last season, sophomore QB Yianni Gavalas connected on 31 of 56 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown, while senior WR Ahkeen Williams made 10 catches for 164 yards in his final career game, but the Hawks came up short in their season finale against Stonehill, 19-11, in a Northeast-10 Championship Weekend tilt at Grappone Stadium.

Freshman QB Eric Fairweather completed 25 of 36 passes for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the Hawks dropped a 28-14 decision to Southern Connecticut on Oct. 24 at Grappone Stadium.

A week after throwing his first career touchdown pass, freshman QB Eric Fairweather put together the best passing game of his young career in a 28-14 loss to Southern Connecticut on Oct. 24. Fairweather set career highs in completions (25), attempts (36), completion percentage (69.4%), passing yards (213) and touchdowns (2). Fairweather also ran five times for 27 yards.

The Hawks rank highly in both the conference and the nation in a number of categories. For the list, see complete notes.

-Senior RB Elad Covaliu needs 241 rushing yards to break Marc Wilson's single-season mark of 1,134 from 2008
-Junior QB Yianni Gavalas is 1,458 passing yards shy of Michael Pierce's (2009-11) all-time school record of 7,117
-Gavalas needs 114 more completions to eclipse Pierce's career record of 639
-Gavalas is 19 passing touchdowns away from erasing Pierce's all-time program mark of 50
-Gavalas is 1,811 yards shy of taking down Pierce's career total offense record of 7,832
-Senior DB Carroll Bailey needs 30 solo tackles to break Dan Bohenek's (2006-09) program mark of 183
-Junior WR/KR Ryan Monette is 191 kick return yards away from erasing Keith Charles' (2010-12) record of 1,890
-Senior K/P Shane Grayson needs four field goals to surpass Michael Garcarcz' school mark of 24 career field goals
-Grayson is seven points shy of breaking Erol Senel's (1999-02) career record of 154 points scored by kicking
-Grayson will pass Senel's program record of 97 extra points with 13 more PATs
-Grayson can break former teammate Shea Cerio's (2009-12) all-time mark of 39 punts inside the 20 with two more

In the Hawks' 41-16 defeat at Merrimack on Oct. 17, senior RB Elad Covaliu produced his third 100-yard rushing game of the season as he carried 21 times for 146 yards. With his fifth career 100-yard rushing performance, Covaliu moved into a fourth-place tie with Keith Charles (2010-13) on the all-time list. He also tied Derek DiMartino (2002, 2004) for fourth place on the single-season 100-yard rushing games list. Covaliu, who has averaged 134.8 rushing yards per game in the six contests since the season opener, has chewed up 846 yards on the ground this year, which places him fourth all-time on the single-season rushing list.

Freshman QB Eric Fairweather threw his first career touchdown pass in the loss at Merrimack at Oct. 17 as he found junior WR Zach Bartak from seven yards out in the fourth quarter. Fairweather was no stranger to the end zone, however, as he had already rushed for five touchdowns himself, including a 61-yarder earlier in the game during the second quarter.

Following his performance in the 19-14 loss at Bentley on Oct. 10, freshman DB Issa Conteh Jr. was named the Northeast-10 Special Teams Player of the Week. Trailing 13-7 at the 10:34 mark of the third quarter, the Hawks went back on top as sophomore LB Eric Mercer blocked a punt from the Bentley 15-yard line and the ball came right down into the waiting arms of Conteh Jr. on the left side of the end zone for the touchdown. Conteh Jr.'s blocked punt return touchdown was the first in program history.

Senior RB Elad Covaliu rushed for 117 yards and his sixth touchdown of the season on 21 carries in the Oct. 10 loss to Bentley. 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.

Junior LB Josh Garrett amassed a career-high 13 tackles in the Oct. 10 loss at Bentley to collect his fourth double-digit tackle performance in the previous five games. Garrett's 58 tackles were the most through the first six games of the year for a Hawk since Chris Bent tallied 68 stops over the first six clashes of the 2012 season.

Sophomore LB Eric Mercer played a key role in the Hawks nearly holding off Bentley in their eventual Oct. 10 loss. Mercer 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 potential go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter.

In a 51-19 loss to Assumption on Oct. 3 that was mostly due to special teams breakdowns, freshman QB Eric Fairweather – making his first career start – ran 18 times for a career-best 105 yards and became the third player ever in program history with three rushing touchdowns. Fairweather's 70-yard touchdown run in the second quarter stands as the sixth longest run from scrimmage in program history and the second longest by a quarterback. Fairweather was also 17-for-35 for 188 yards passing and did not turn the ball over.

The Hawks rushed for 241 yards in the Oct. 3 loss to Assumption, with 266 yards coming from freshman QB Eric Fairweather (105), senior RB Elad Covaliu (98) and junior RB Joe Hayman (63). It is the first time in program history the Hawks have had two 90-yard runners and a 60-yard runner in the same game.

Senior RB Elad Covaliu narrowly missed his fourth career 100-yard rushing game with 98 yards in the Oct. 3 loss to Assumption. It is the third time this season and fourth time in his career Covaliu has broken the 90-yard plateau, but fallen short of the century mark. Only Saint Anselm's all-time leading rusher, Derek DiMartino (2002-04), who owns the program record with 10 100-yard rushing performances, has more 90-to-99-yard ground games in school history, with six.

Senior LB Joel Jorgensen was selected as the Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 28 for his role in the Hawks' historic victory at AIC two days earlier. Jorgensen had quite the hand in making it happen as he registered nine tackles (seven solo), 2.0 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

The Hawks rallied from 18 points down at the half by scoring 24 unanswered, including back-to-back touchdowns just nine seconds apart in the final 4:09 of the game, to defeat American Int'l, 26-20, Sept. 26. The victory snapped a 14-game losing streak against the Yellow Jackets and was the first win over AIC since a 13-0 blanking Oct. 11, 1941. The last time Saint Anselm had beaten AIC, gas was 19 cents per gallon, a postage stamp cost three cents, bread was eight cents a loaf, milk was 34 cents per gallon, the average cost of a new car was $925, a new house was $6,900, minimum wage was 30 cents per hour and the average annual salary was $2,050. World War II was being fought, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President of the United States, Ted Williams had just wrapped up his .406 season, Joe DiMaggio crafted his 56-game hitting streak earlier that summer and Disney would release "Dumbo" just 12 days later.

In their 26-20 come-from-behind victory against American Int'l on Sept. 26, the Hawks received a huge amount of help from their defense, which pitched a shutout in the second half. The unit matched a program record with seven takeaways, sacked the quarterback four times and held AIC to a 4-for-13 third-down conversion rate. It was the third time the takeaway record had been equaled since being set against Bentley on Oct. 25, 2008.

With the Hawks trailing American Int'l, 20-18, with just over four minutes remaining in the contest, Sept. 26, sophomore DL Devin Hemeon punched the ball loose from the hands of AIC running back Maurice Easterling and fellow sophomore DL Eddie Matovu scooped up the ball and ran it back 27 yards for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning score. Coincidentally, Matovu is also the most recent Hawk to return an interception for a touchdown – a 27-yard pick-six at Merrimack on Oct. 4, 2014.

Overshadowed by the historic nature of the Hawks' 26-20 win at American Int'l on Sept. 26, as well as the deficit overcome in the second half, was the play of third-string freshman QB Eric Fairweather. With junior starter Yianni Gavalas out to begin the game and senior backup Cam McLevedge going down near the end of the first half, Fairweather was thrust into the first action of his career. The 2014 Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year entered the game just before halftime and handed the ball off twice. It was after halftime where Fairweather made an impact as he exited the locker room and engineered an eight-play, 57-yard drive that he capped with his own 5-yard run for a touchdown. Fairweather would lead two more scoring drives and finish 7-for-9 for 47 yards throwing the ball, but made a bigger difference with his legs as he rushed 11 times for 65 yards and a score.

Senior DB Carroll Bailey became the 11th player in program history to record two interceptions in a game when he sealed the Hawks' 26-20 win at American Int'l on Sept. 26 with his second pick of the afternoon at the Saint Anselm 4-yard line that he returned 74 yards with under a minute to play. Bailey matched the school record originally set by Mike Mitchell against Assumption on Oct. 2, 1999 and most recently equaled by Tyrel McDonald at Pace on Nov. 9, 2013. The 74-yard return is the second longest in program history and the 74 interception return yards in the game are the most of any of the 11 players with two picks.

Senior RB Elad Covaliu piled up exactly 200 all-purpose yards in the win at American Int'l on Sept. 26 as he ran 23 times for 92 yards and a touchdown, caught a team-best six passes for 43 yards and returned three kicks for 65 yards. Covaliu, who was coming off a game against LIU Post in which he amassed 272 all-purpose yards, is the first player with back-to-back games of 200 all-purpose yards since Keith Charles strung together four such performances from Oct. 11-Nov. 1, 2013.

Senior RB Elad Covaliu had a game to remember in a heartbreaking 24-21 loss to LIU Post on Sept. 19. Covaliu dashed and bashed his way to a school-record 259 yards rushing, including two touchdowns of 88 and 67 yards that rank as the first and eighth longest runs from scrimmage, respectively, in program history. Covaliu, who broke 27 tackles and racked up 229 yards after contact, also caught a pass for 13 yards to total up 272 all-purpose yards, which ranks sixth in the program record book. Covaliu did his ground damage on just 20 carries, adding his 12.9 yards per carry average as his third single-game record of the day. Covaliu's 259 yards on the ground broke the previous record of 241 yards, set by Luke St. Marie on Oct. 10, 2008 at Merrimack. The 88-yard jolt topped an 80-yard touchdown run by Michael Pierce on Oct. 22, 2011 at Pace and the 12.9 yards per carry bested Keith Charles' old record of 10.8, which was set at home against Pace on Oct. 13, 2012.
Covaliu, who needed 244 yards at the beginning of the day to become the sixth Saint Anselm rusher ever to reach 1,000 yards in a career, joined Derek DiMartino (2,451; 2002-04), Keith Charles (2,179; 2010-13), Jon Turner (2,009; 1999-01), Marc Wilson (1,626; 2008-11) and Kevin Ridgley (1,301; 2000-03) in just over one season of play as those to accomplish the feat. It was the third two-touchdown game of his career and first of the season for Covaliu.

The Saint Anselm defense came up big again in the 24-21 loss to LIU Post on Sept. 19 as it held the Northeast-10's top offense in scoring (40.5), total yards (521.0) and passing (311.0) well under its season averages to that point. The Pioneers managed just 389 total yards, including 227 through the air. Junior LB Kyrel Jaundoo tallied 12 tackles for the Hawks, including one of the unit's three sacks. Junior DB Shaun Callahan added 11 stops in his first career start, while senior DB Elijah Thomas and junior LB Josh Garrett were both in double figures with 10 tackles each.

Junior WR Zach Bartak had another big game for the Hawks on Sept. 19 against LIU Post as he set career highs in both receptions (9) and receiving yards (140), while reeling in a touchdown grab. It was the first 100-yard game of Bartak's career, as well as the first 100-yard receiving game of any pass-catcher on the Hawks' roster.

Senior QB Cam McLevedge had never taken a snap under center when he entered the Sept. 19 game against LIU Post after starting QB Yianni Gavalas went down. McLevedge's first career throw? A 45-yard touchdown toss down the right sideline to junior WR Zach Bartak. McLevedge finished 5-for-7 with 73 yards passing and the touchdown.

Senior K/P Shane Grayson missed  a pair of field goals in the Hawks' loss to LIU Post on Sept. 19. How accurate had Grayson been in the field goal department coming into the game? His 67.9 percent (19-28) career mark was tops among all Saint Anselm kickers and it was the first time Grayson had ever missed two field goals in a game. In fact, Grayson had only missed consecutive field goal tries one other time in his career (Oct. 19-26, 2013). Going back to Sept. 13 of last season, Grayson had made 12 straight field goals without missing one that wasn't blocked.

Saint Anselm won its eighth consecutive game against Pace in the all-time series, which the Hawks now lead, 12-6, with a 31-14 road victory Sept. 12. The defense shined as it held the Setters to just one offensive score, limited them to 82 passing yards, stopped Pace on fourth down on all four conversion attempts, forced five punts and allowed the Setters only one score in three red zone trips.

Senior RB Elad Covaliu and junior RB Joe Hayman combined for 182 rushing yards in a 31-14 win at Pace on Sept. 12 as Covaliu ran 16 times for 97 and a touchdown and Hayman carried 13 times for 85 yards and a score. It is the most combined rushing yardage in a single game by any two Saint Anselm rushers since Oct. 13, 2012 when Keith Charles (119) and Greg Bell (90) rolled up 209 yards on the ground in a 48-21 home victory against Pace. The 215 overall rushing yards were the most for the team since it racked up 257 in a 52-26 win against Pace on Sept. 27 of last season.

Senior K/P Shane Grayson bombed a school-record 75-yard punt in the fourth quarter of the Sept. 12 win at Pace. The punt, which fell one yard shy of matching the Northeast-10 record of 76 that has stood since 1998, pinned the Setters at their own 1-yard line and set up a defensive stop that led to a game-sealing touchdown for the offense on the ensuing possession.

The Hawks' linebackers could not be contained in the victory at Pace on Sept. 12. Senior LB Joel Jorgensen and junior LB Josh Garrett each recorded 11 tackles, with Jorgensen getting to the quarterback for a pair of sacks. Junior LB Kyrel Jaundoo, while only totaling three tackles, recorded a sack, forced a fumble and came up with a pair of fumble recoveries, including one on Pace's final drive of the first half.

While no coach likes to earn a moral victory, there were plent of bright spots for the Hawks in their season-opening 43-19 loss at Division I FCS foe Sacred Heart on Sept. 5. Saint Anselm won the turnover battle as it only gave the ball away one time and forced a pair of Sacred Heart mistakes. The Hawks were also 2-for-3 on fourth-down conversions, in addition to stopping the Pioneers on their only attempt, and were 4-for-5 in red zone opportunities. Despite a narrowly-missed opportunity to go ahead early, a pair of safeties, a blocked extra point returned for two and a blocked field goal, Saint Anselm only found itself down 10 with the ball in the fourth quarter – plenty to build on as the team enters conference play.

Freshman WR Kyle Hill had a pretty good game for himself in his first collegiate contest at Sacred Heart on Sept. 5 as he matched the team high with seven catches for a team-best 89 yards. It is the most receiving yardage ever for a Saint Anselm freshman on the season's opening day and the fourth best receiving performance for any Hawk in an opener.

The Hawks were picked to finish fifth in the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Aug. 21. LIU Post was selected atop the poll with 74 points after finishing in a tie with AIC, but edging out the Yellow Jackets in first-place votes, 4-2. With two first-place votes, Assumption (65 points) narrowly beat out New Haven (62 points, 2 first-place votes) for third place. Following a Saint Anselm/Stonehill (41) tie for fifth place, Bentley (38), Merrimack (29), Southern Connecticut (20) and Pace (10) rounded out the remainder of the poll.

Saint Anselm Athletics and Pack Network will once again team up for the 2015-16 season to offer an industry-leading streaming video solution. The service will feature live event productions that include multiple cameras, an on-screen scoreboard and graphics so that fans can still be part of the action even when they can't make it to the game. Fans can stream games live on their ipad or iphone and starting this season, all events will be streamed in High Definition. This season, all football, volleyball, field hockey, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey and men's and women's lacrosse games will be streamed live at free of charge.