MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team was halted by visiting Stonehill College on Saturday by a 38-14 margin in the teams' annual Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk.
Saint Anselm remains winless on the season in three games while Stonehill moves to 2-1 on the year. The Hawks hit the road for two games, first traveling to Pace this Saturday, Sept. 28 for a high noon showdown with the Setters.
Stonehill's Justin Felder broke out for three first quarter rushing touchdowns, putting the Hawks in a hole they could not climb out of. Sophomore Christian Matthews-Byrd (Saddle Brook, N.J.) answered the three Stonehill scores with a 79-yard rushing score of his own, the fifth-longest in team history from scrimmage, to cut the Skyhawks lead to 21-6, but the guests pulled away late in the second half.
Stonehill finished with statistical edges in first downs (23-to-20), rushing yards (195-for-106) and total offense yards (383-to-308). The Hawks threw for 202 yards, beating the Skyhawks by 14 aerial yards, and also ran 80 plays. Stonehill capitalized for 14 points off Saint Anselm turnovers in the victory.
Senior Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.), who came on in relief of Hawks starter Phillip Tran (San Jose, Calif.), finished with 21 completions for 168 yards and a touchdown to move into fifth place all-time on the career leaderboard with 3,936 aerial yards to his credit. Tran was 7-for-13 through the air before departing.
Saint Anselm received the opening kickoff and fumbled the ball on its first offensive play, setting up Stonehill for the quick score by Felder only two plays and 48 seconds into regulation time. After two scoreless possessions by the Hawks, Stonehill pushed home another touchdown on its third offensive drive.
The Hawks gave the ball back to Stonehill on its next possession and the visitors quickly capitalized, using seven plays for 67 yards to create a 21-0 lead on Felder's third rushing score. Stonehill kept the Hawks off the scoreboard in the second quarter, owning the ball for over two-thirds of the stanza.
Saint Anselm scored on its first offensive drive of the third quarter as Matthews-Byrd carried the ball home 79 yards on the first play. Stonehill responded with a 51-yard pass by Anton Stoneking to Andrew Jamiel to up the Skyhawks lead to 28-6.
Late in the third quarter, the Skyhawks tacked on another touchdown, this time it was a Casey Gervais three-yard reception to create a 29-point bulge. Stonehill would thwart an 11-play, 38-yard drive by forcing a Hawks incompletion on fourth-and-11 to get the ball back early in the fourth quarter.
Stonehill added its final score of the evening on the next drive as a 51-yard field goal by Matt Haite made it a 38-6 lead for the Skyhawks.
The Hawks had a productive 17-play, 85-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown reception to junior Franklin Holgate (Easton, Mass.) and a successful two-point conversion by Fairweather.
Stonehill was led by Felder's 139 yards on 27 carries. Stoneking was 15-for-24 through the air, hooking up with Jamiel for four catches that totaled 81 yards. Casey Earle led student-athletes from both teams with 11 takedowns.