By Brian Willwerth
EASTON, MA – Talk about a game-changing play. On a day when Stonehill College defensive back Kevin Anderson had three interceptions, the last one was by far the biggest, and most memorable, too.
With his team in danger of falling behind by two scores, he picked off a Bobby Jordan pass and returned it 98 yards for the game-winning touchdown with just over six minutes remaining, as the Skyhawks rallied past Assumption College Saturday night in Northeast-10 action, 26-24.
This was a game full of big pass plays, a few trick plays, and a whopping 20 yellow flags thrown by the officials, 12 of them against the visitors from Worcester.
The Greyhounds got on the board first on their first possession. Jordan found Scott Simonson for a two-yard touchdown pass. The key play on the drive was a 51-yard reception on a flea-flicker to Adam Gruschow.
Anderson’s first pick led to a Stonehill field goal. When he picked off Jordan a second time, his team found the end zone. The Skyhawks took their first lead when Logan Meyer threw a 15-yard strike to Nate Robitaille to make it 10-7. But the Hounds regained the lead by blocking a punt, executing a fake field goal to perfection, and cashing in courtesy of Matt Tuleja’s one-yard run.
The Skyhawks cut the margin to 14-13 just before the half when Steve Grzywacz nailed his third field goal of the half, a drive that was set up by a 35-yard completion from Meyer to Josh Gomes, who led the home team with 88 receiving yards.
In the third quarter, the Hounds extended their lead to eight, thanks to the Jordan-to-Simonson connection hooking up again, this time for 42 yards. Simonson finished with six catches for 87 yards. A field goal made it 24-13.
But the Skyhawks would rally. On the final play of the quarter, Meyer found Robitaille again for a 27-yard scoring play. The score would remain at 24-20 until Anderson’s heroics.
With Assumption facing third-and-goal, Anderson stepped in front of a Jordan pass at the two-yard line, and took off down the sidelines. He broke a couple of tackles on his way to an electrifying trip to the end zone.
Stonehill missed the extra point, and an excessive celebration penalty on Anderson, allowed Assumption to start its next possession in Skyhawk territory, needing only a field goal to take the lead. But Stonehill’s defense rose to the challenge, and the Hounds never threatened the rest of the way.
Assumption outgained Stonehill 354 to 258 in total yards. But turnovers can often be the equalizer when you have that kind of disparity. Such was the case on this night. Jordan threw for 211 yards, while Meyer threw for 188.
The Skyhawks improve to 3-0 in the conference. The Greyhounds fall to 1-2.