Undefeated Bentley Shuts Down Stonehill, 17-7, for 6th Consecutive Win

Blaine Hopwood
Blaine Hopwood

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Lorenzo Warren (Boston/Catholic Memorial HS) and senior Jack Pizzotti (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) each ran for a touchdown, and junior linebacker Blaine Hopwood (New Bedford/New Bedford HS) led a strong defensive effort, as Bentley University stayed undefeated with a rain-soaked 17-7 win over visiting Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference football Friday night.

The win kept Bentley perfect on the season, 4-0 overall and 3-0 NE-10, and gave the Falcons their first six-game winning streak since 2004. Stonehill, which had won three straight coming in, fell to 3-2 overall and 3-1 conference.

The only scoring of the opening quarter was a 39-yard field goal by Bentley senior Will Lockwood (Menlo Park, Calif./Sacred Heart Prep) with 6:23 left. That capped a 12-play drive after an interception by senior safety Don Hopkins (Waltham/Waltham HS) gave the Falcons the ball at about midfield.

Stonehill, in its first four games, converted five of six fourth downs and Skyhawk coach Robert Talley decided to go for it on a fourth-and-one from the Bentley 43 late in the first quarter. Senior tailback Jermetrius Troy (Mattapan) was denied by the Falcon D, with senior end Matt Campo (Dedham/Dedham HS) and junior linebacker Kyle Young (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial HS) credited with the tackle.

Bentley made it hurt, with the offense putting together an eight-play drive that was capped by a 10-yard run up the middle by Warren. That was the fourth gain of at least 10 yards on the drive as senior Bobby Tarr (Byfield/Bishop Fenwick HS) got it started with an 11-yard burst and junior QB Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) completed passes of 16 yards to senior Sean Cross (Duxbury/Duxbury HS) and 10 to senior Bill Kiley (Quincy/BC High).

Stonehill answered right back with its only scoring drive of the evening with junior Justin Willis (East Haven, Conn.) ending a 10-play, 65-yard march with a six-yard run.

Bentley had a chance to add to its 10-7 lead in the second quarter with the Falcons twice taking possession inside the Stonehill 35 in the final 6:05 after a pair of Skyhawk special team mistakes. A shanked punt gave the Falcons the ball on the 33 and junior linebacker Nick Romaine (Walpole/ Walpole HS) recovered a fumble by the punter later in the half.

However, the Falcons gave the ball back both times without achieving even a first down, with Stonehill senior Mickey Miela (Foothill Ranch, Calif.) coming up with both takeaways (an interception and a fumble recovery).

Early in the fourth, with the score still at 10-7 Falcons, Hopwood forced a fumble and senior safety Steve Hopkins (Waltham/Waltham HS) recovered three yards shy of midfield. That launched a drive that consumed more than five minutes and was finished by a nice five-yard TD run by Pizzotti. He hit the line, found no openings before rolling left and into the end zone for the score, making it a 10-point game with 8:48 to play.

Stonehill had the ball three more times, but only one of those saw the Skyhawks able to move the ball at all. That one, which started at its own 20, ended at the Bentley 28 with a fourth-down incompletion and 3:41 left.

 Bentley entered the game ranked third in Division II in fewest points allowed and seventh in total defense, and coach Thom Boerman's club did nothing to hurt those rankings. The Skyhawks, limited to 230 total yards, had only 74 net rushing yards and were just 12 of 35 through the air.

The Falcons, who had 253 total yards, amassed 144 yards on the ground and 109 through the air with Guadagnoli 10 of 18 with two interceptions. Warren (14 for 57) and Tarr (17 for 48) led the rushing attack.

Hopwood powered the defense with 10 tackles, two more than Steve Hopkins, and Campo had two hurries to go along with his five tackles.

Next Saturday, Bentley will take its unblemished record to Saint Anselm for a 7 pm Saturday night encounter.