By Brian Willwerth
EASTON, MA – On a night when the Stonehill College football team dedicated its 2011 season to a former teammate, the Skyhawks turned in an inspired team effort.
Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 2,400 at W.B. Mason Stadium Friday night, Stonehill blew past Curry College, 35-7, in the season opener for both teams.
The Skyhawks are dedicating this season to Henry Thevenin, who passed away during the summer after a battle with leukemia. There were plenty of “91” signs among the crowd Friday night.
Before the kickoff, the players and fans recognized Thevenin’s efforts with a moment of applause, instead of a moment of silence.
Stonehill [1-0] scored on its opening possession, capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run by Justin Willis. Willis and Demetrius Troy each rushed for over 90 yards and a score, as the Skyhawks pounded out 206 yards on the ground.
The Colonels tied the score less than a minute into the second quarter when Mark Gilson found Robert Bambini in the right corner of the endzone to tie the game, 7-7. Yet, unfortunately for Curry, that would be the lone bright spot of the evening, even though Gilson had a solid evening: 15-21 for 129 yards.
Less than four minutes later, Stonehill took the lead again for good when Jamal Johnson capped a nine-play, 62-yard drive with a 5-yard score. Then after a Curry fumble, Troy took it in from one yard out on 4th and goal to make it 21-7. Just before the half, again on 4th down, Neal Dotterer hooked up with Danny Carducci in the left corner of the endzone to make it 28-7. Dotterer was an efficient 17-30 for 116 yards. The Skyhawks were 6-for-7 on fourth down.
The 21 straight points proved to be the knockout punch. The Colonels were unable to muster much of an attack the rest of the way. Stonehill capped the scoring in the final minutes when James Hodges picked off Anthony Carnevale, and raced 38 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.
Stonehill travels to Pace next Saturday, while Curry plays its home opener next Friday night against Fitchburg State.