WALTHAM, Mass. – The conference champion Bentley University Falcons were well-represented on the 2019 All-Northeast-10 football team, announced by the conference Friday afternoon, with eleven players earning honors.
There were five Bentley players selected for the first team, including team captain and senior defensive back Pete Thorbahn (Norwell/Xaverian Brothers HS). He made his second straight appearance on the first team and became only the fourth four-time honoree in Falcon football history, joining wide receiver Dallas Mall '05, quarterback Marc Eddy '05 and Jeff Molesso '06.
Also selected to the first team were sophomore defensive lineman Cedric Dashiell II (Buena Park, Calif./Buena Park HS), junior linebacker Marc Doran (Ramsey, N.J./Saint Joseph Reg. HS), junior offensive lineman Jack Kennedy (Marstons Mills/ Barnstable HS) and junior quarterback Stephen Sturm (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley HS).
The second-team honorees were senior placekicker Grant Buchanan (Holliston/Holliston HS), junior offensive lineman Tim Leonard (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven HS) and senior wide receiver Drew Mahoney (West Suffield, Conn./ Suffield Academy).
Voted to the third team were senior running back Jordan Artope (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./ Hendrick Hudson HS) and sophomore defensive back Jailen Branch (Randolph/Milton Academy). Lastly, the All-Rookie team included freshman receiver Tajon Vassar (Worcester/Doherty Memorial).
Bill Kavanaugh, who has guided the Falcons since 2014, was the choice as the conference's Coach of the Year.
Thorbahn finished his career with 15 interceptions for 203 yards and three TD, as well as 246 tackles and 32 pass break-ups. A starter in every game of his career, he ranks fourth in program history, as well as fourth among active Division II players, in interceptions. His 58 tackles this season was second most on the team and he had two interceptions, including a 40-yard pick-six in his final quarter as a collegian.
Dashiell II, an All-Rookie team selection a year ago, finished the season with 13 tackles for losses and 9.5 sacks, ranking in the top three in the Northeast-10 in both categories. Bentley was 6-1 when he had a sack, including five straight wins to end the season. He also had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery during the winning streak.
Doran led the NE10 champions in tackles with 80, good for fourth most in the conference. He also had 7.5 tackles for losses and 4.5 sacks, all coming during the closing streak. In the final game of the season, he helped the Falcons to a 38-0 shutout of American International with a career-high 15 tackles, a performance that earned him NE10 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Kennedy, a first-year starter, was the top offensive lineman on a Falcon team that ranked second in the conference in scoring (32.7), total offense (411.5), third down conversions (44.2%) and fewest sacks allowed (16).
Sturm was voted to the All-Conference team after leading the NE10 in passing yards per game (222.1) and completion percentage (.622). He was also number two in the conference in completions (186), attempts (299), passing yards (2221) and total offense (251.8). Sturm threw for 14 touchdowns and surpassed both 5,000 passing yards and 5,000 yards total offense for his career.
Buchanan kicked 11 of 16 field goals, with a long of 41, and was perfect on 37 point-after attempts to finish the season with a team-leading 70 points. He scored 224 points during his four seasons, a Bentley record for a kicker and the fourth most in Bentley history.
Leonard, who received All-Rookie accolades in 2017, started every game at tackle for the second straight season. He was part of an offensive line that allowed only one sack per 20 pass plays.
Mahoney had a standout final season for the Falcons with 88 catches for 1,039 yards and five TD. He ranks third nationally in Division II for receptions per game, as well as 12th in receiving yards, and became only the tenth 1,000-yard receiver in program history. His 219 career receptions was third most in Bentley history and he finished his career with 2,280 yards, fourth most all-time by a Falcon.
Artope ran for a team-leading nine touchdowns and finished the season second on the team in rushing with 526 yards. His TD total was tied for the fourth most in the conference.
Branch led Bentley's d-backs in tackles with 49, including 33 solo stops. His season also included a sack and an interception.
Vassar, in his first collegiate season, was fourth on the team in receiving with 12 catches for 110 yards. He also gained 57 yards on the ground and returned seven kickoffs for 106 yards.
Kavanaugh, a former two-time All-Conference defensive end for Bentley, led the Falcons to a 6-2 conference record in his sixth season at the helm. The Falcons started slow at 1-4, including three losses by a total of 15 points, but turned it around over the second half of the season.