WALTHAM, MA – After earning their first victory of the season, Bentley University head coach Thom Boerman explained that his team has a lot to work on, especially after just one contest.
“I’m glad we won, but none of these players should feel real good about themselves just yet,” Boerman said after his team’s 42-0 triumph against Pace University on Friday.
The Falcons offense compiled 562 yard of total offense, while their defense sacked the Setters junior signal-caller Jordan Raynor six times.
Senior Bill Kiley and sophomore Jeff Hill each caught two touchdowns, as well as combined for 217 yards, while fifth-year senior Bobby Tarr rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries and registered one score.
Tarr also became the program’s ninth all-time leading rusher after he ripped off an impressive 33-yard dash during the team’s third offensive series of the game.
Pace won the toss, but concluded their first offensive series with three unsuccessful plays, which opened the door for Bentley’s offense to earn the momentum for good, as the Falcons concluded a nine-play, 79-yard drive with a nine yard strike from junior Danny Guadagnoli to Kiley.
The Falcons would then solidify their lead with five more touchdowns, which helped them secure their first conference win.
Senior Luke Zahradka completed three of six passes for 103 yards, as well as connected with Hill and Kiley for scores, while sophomore Tyler Coppola capped off his Falcons debut with nine carries for 28 yards and one touchdown.
“We have a lot of work to do,” exclaimed Boerman. “We made a lot of mistakes.”
“I thought defensively we kind of bogged down, they marched up and down the field, they made a couple mistakes of their own [because] they’re young, but we’ve got a long way to go,” added Boerman. “West Virginia Wesleyan is going to be a very tough opponent, so we’ll watch the film, [the] coaches will make their corrections, but we’re not there yet.”
Thursday marked the first time UMass’ football team participated in a FBS game. And despite losing their first contest of the season to UConn, 37-0, the Minutemen did leave a lasting impression of their defense, as safety Darren Thellen redirected a pass from the Huskies quarterback into the hands of teammate Tom Brandt.
The pass, which was heading for the sidelines, ended up being tapped to Brandt by Thellen. Brandt then collected the tipped pass and raced up the field for a 20-yard dash before he was tackled at the UMass 37.
The Thellen-to-Brandt pass happened to the be biggest play for UMass in the first half, and we have provided the video of this particular sequence below.
The dog days of summer are officially over for Bentley University’s football team, as the Falcons will kick-off their 2012 campaign tomorrow evening under the lights against Pace University.
“It’s time to strap it up and get busy,” exclaimed head coach Thom Boerman.
The Falcons exploded out of the gates last season, winning three of their first four contests before the injury bug stung Steve Hopkins, Blaine Hopwood and Anthony “AC” Carter. The three various players, according to Boerman, battled through their individual injuries, while the team cruised to a 6-4 finish.
“Toward the tail end of the season, we had some injuries that caught up with us a little bit,” explained Boerman.
Yet, with 2011 in their rearview mirror, Boerman and his crew have officially turned the page to this season, and seem very excited, as well as optimistic about the upcoming year.
The Falcons will feature five fifth year seniors, which include running back Bobby Tarr, who led all rushers with 860 yard on 136 carries last season.
All-Northeast-10 Conference tackle Nick Halloran, who is also a fifth year senior, returns to the offensive line and will be responsible for protecting the team’s new signal caller, Danny Guadagnoli.
“[Danny’s] been here for a couple years and played behind Bryant Johnson,” said Boerman.
“He had a lot of pedigree as a high school player and a prep school player, but he sat, learned, watched and we changed the offense when I took over as the head coach to go to more with the spread [offense] and Danny is really suited for the spread offense because he runs really well,” added Boerman. “He’s got a good short, accurate arm, and understands the offense.”
Guadagnoli will certainly be asked to target various receivers through the air, but as Boerman noted earlier this week, he expects his offense to also lean on running backs Tarr, Lorenzo Warren, Emmitt Smith and Tyler Coppola.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will counter with senior John Aminti, who according to his head coach is one of the best linemen in the NE-10.
“He’s very consistent, strong, quick, and he’s improved every year,” stated Boerman.
Aminti will most likely line up next to Matt Campo and Andrew Sklar on Friday, as well as throughout the course of the season.
At linebacker, Bentley will rely on Blaine Hopwood, who according to Boerman, has had a tremendous camp and is eager to record his first tackle of the season.
Finally, the Falcons secondary should be solid once again, especially with fifth year safeties Don and Steve Hopkins leading the unit.
“I think defensively we’re pretty good,” said Boerman. “I think Scott Boyle, the defensive coordinator and Rusty McKinney,the linebackers coach, have spent a lot of time developing this unit. The thing with a complicated defense is the amount of mistakes that can occur, but I think this camp, I have been pleased that they really minimized those mistakes, so it’s not about effort because they give me a huge effort, and they’re a talented group of kids. They’re a tough bunch of kids and they’ve minimized their mistakes, so I have a lot of high expectations for our defensive unit this year.”
As for their first contest against Pace, Boerman believes his squad should not rely on their experience last year, which featured a battle against the Setters in a foot of snow or the game two years ago that was highlight by a last minute comeback.
“Everyone seems to think that Pace, [a squad] that’s had their struggles over the last few years is going to continue, I don’t buy it. I think we’re going to have our hands full,” said Boerman.
“We’re going to have to play hard, they’re going to be here to play hard and they worry me because they’re a team that could come in here and really give us trouble,” added Boerman. “We’re going to have to coach our rear ends off so that we can give them every bit of a contest that we can.”
Coach Cameron is hoping to build off last season’s success this year! (Photo Credit: MASCAC.com)
By Matt Noonan
Last year, head coach Jeremy Cameron led his Massachusetts Maritime Buccaneers to its most successful season in over a decade. And despite the team’s 5-4 record, the Buccaneers enjoyed a great deal of success on both sides of the ball.
This year, Cameron’s squad, which features 49 letter winners and 14 starters, is expected to be a competitive bunch in the New England Football Conference. The Buccaneers earned impressive victories last season against Western New England College and Maine Maritime, (their win against the Mariners marked their first Admiral’s Cup in seven seasons).
Earlier this week, Noontime Sports caught up with Coach Cameron to talk about the team’s success last year, as well as his expectations for the upcoming season.
On training camp thus far, as well as last season: “We’ve had a really good camp thus far, probably the best we’ve had since we’ve been here, and coming off last year, we have a lot of returners back, but did lose some really good players last year, such as Walter Butler, Mike Bois, [and James] Hutchinson on defense. Those were three key guys that were accounted for a lot of plays, but we feel like we’ve got some pretty good young guys, [who’re ready] to step in and take on their roles. Offensively, we really only lost a lineman and [a receiver and tailback], but again, we’ve got some pretty decent guys that can fill in and take over.”
On the team’s expectations for the upcoming season: “We have more veterans than we’ve ever had in the past and it’s just allowed us to focus a lot more on fundamentals, technique, situations and things like that instead of having to spend so much time on actual schemes and instillation. We’re doing the same thing we did last year, we’re doing the same things that we did in the spring, so it’s almost a review, so they’re doing a great job. Our younger guys obviously have to play a lot of catch up, but fortunately we hope we don’t have to rely on too many younger players this year, but there are a few positions here and there, but overall we should be an upperclassmen team.”
On things to improve from last season: “One of the things that we were disappointed with was our rushing offense last year. We averaged something like 150 yards a game or something like that, which we want [to improve this season].”
On quarterback Mike Stanton’s progress: “He looks really sharp so far, and now [we can] get a little bit more advanced with him in terms of having him take control and doing a little bit more on his own. He’s much more comfortable in his leadership role now than he was the last two years. We also have a few other quarterbacks, who’re playing really well, too. We’ve got a transfer from Salve Regina, [Brad Skeffington], who started five games for their them [last season]. He’s a really good football player, and he may find himself a little bit of time in different packages and things like that and then our backup John Trudel is having a great camp, so we feel that’s one of the best positions we have right now. We’ve got three quarterbacks we feel pretty good about.”
On the team’s strongest offensive unit: “I think our offensive line is going to be pretty good. They’ve looked pretty good in camp. We’ve got three running backs that can all play at a pretty good level and we have five receivers, so we feel like we’ve got a lot of depth and we’re pretty much going to be two-deep everywhere. We’re going to rotate a lot of guys, play a real up tempo [offense] going into [the season].”
On the leadership of Sean Carver and Eddy Ramos: “Those guys have been good. We’ve got some experience guys [on defense] and across the board. They’ve all been very helpful to the younger kids, but Eddy has taken control of the secondary with Mike Sylvia, and Evan Sheridan moves up from safety to outside linebacker, which really gives us an athletic presence at the linebacker position that we were looking for to replace Walter Butler from last year. And then on the d-line, we’re pretty deep there and we feel like we almost have eight guys that’ll get in the rotation of the four defensive line spots.”
On the final year of MASCAC teams being apart of the New England Football Conference: “It is [bittersweet]. I thought the league was unique in the fact that you have a conference championship game. It’s the largest Division III conference in the country, so I thought it gave us an identity. I like having teams in there like MIT and the Coast Guard Academy, so you could [literally] recruit up and down the east coast and say names like that and it was name recognition, so I am disappointed for that, but our kids would be any bit excited to play in the conference championship. I am disappointed to see it end. I wish it hadn’t, but we have no control over it and now we’ll do the best we can after this year going into the MASCAC.”
On three goals for a successful season: “We want to get better every week. We will work as hard as we can, it makes no difference, and we want to stick together as a team. We’ve had some differences in the past with the offensive and defensive guys getting on each other, and I think we’re at the point now where the culture is these guys truly care about Massachusetts Maritime football and they’re together. So, play hard every week, get better and stick together.”