Three second-half touchdowns were all Bentley University needed to defeat American International College in Saturday’s battle of unbeaten squads in the Northeast-10 Conference.
The Falcons, who rallied to tie the game at the break, secured a hard-fought 35-27 victory over the Yellow Jackets to secure the top spot in the conference, along with its fourth consecutive victory.
Halfback Nathaniel Larkins rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns with his second score providing the visitors with their first and only lead of the game, which grew to a two-score advantage with 5:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bentley quarterback Stephen Sturm completed 8 of 18 passes for 76 yards and one touchdown while adding 103 rushing yards on 14 carries.
AIC, which concluded the contest with 405 yards of total offense, was led by quarterback Jayson DeMild, who accounted for 298 yards of total offense, including 265 passing yards and three touchdowns. DeMild tossed two scores in the opening frame to Tommy Smith and Jaxon Ramsay before connecting with Jaheim McGuire in the fourth quarter to bring his team within one score (28-21) with 9:19 remaining.
Bentley’s Cole McCubrey intercepted DeMild on his team’s ensuing possession for a 45-yard touchdown return to provide the Falcons with a 35-21 lead with 5:17 remaining.
McCubrey concluded the game with a team-high eight total tackles, including three solo stops ad one forced fumble.
With the win, Bentley has now beaten AIC in six of their last seven meetings to bump their all-time series advantage to 15-12.
Bentley will look to continue its early-season momentum next Saturday, October 2 when they visit Saint Anselm College for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
AIC, which was competing at home for the first time since November 9, 2019, will look to bounce back next Friday, October 1 when they travel to Southern Connecticut State University for a 7 p.m. kickoff.