By Brian Willwerth
WALTHAM, MA – This game turned into the Kevin Arduino show.
The junior quarterback for American International College ran for four touchdowns, and threw for another, as the Yellow Jackets defeated Bentley on Saturday afternoon, 42-14. With Stonehill beating New Haven, AIC moved into a three-way tie atop the Northeast-10 Conference.
AIC scored first, and would never trail. After the Yellow Jackets recovered a Bentley fumble, they drove 41-yards in seven plays. Hunter Beckmann scored from eight yards out to make it 7-0. That was the only AIC score in which Arduino was not involved.
Later in the quarter, Arduino’s first score, a one-yard run on a quarterback sneak, capped a 90-yard drive and made it 14-0. It stayed that way until the final minute of the half, when Bentley quarterback Danny Guadagnoli scored on a quarterback sneak of his own to put the Falcons on the board.
In the third quarter, Arduino provided the highlight reel play of the game. AIC had the ball on the Bentley 30. It looked like he would get sacked, but he broke a tackle, then another, and another. A few seconds later, he was running into the end zone to make it 21-7.
The Falcons answered with a 71-yard drive, capped off by Jeff Hill’s leaping grab in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to seven. That would be the last time Bentley would score on the afternoon.
From there, the Yellow Jackets broke the game wide open. Arduino scored his third rushing score of the game, this time from seven yards out, to put AIC back up by 14.
After another Bentley fumble, Arduino connected with Evan Graham on a 48-yard strike, with Graham making a superb diving catch in the end zone. Then in the fourth quarter, Arduino’s fourth touchdown on the ground, a two-yard run, accounted for the final score.
AIC came into the day leading the conference in rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets had 261 on the ground in this game, 129 of them from Arduino. He also threw for 222 yards. For Bentley, Guadagnoli was 22-of-36 for 279 yards. Hill had a nice game with nine catches for 124 yards.
Next Saturday, AIC hosts Saint Anselm, while Bentley travels to Merrimack.