Tag: Steve Hopkins

Mass. College Football: The View From Bentley University

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2013 season is just days away, and Bentley University is hoping it will end with a Northeast-10 Championship.

On Tuesday morning, Noontime Sports’ Brian Willwerth caught up with Head Coach Thom Boerman to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.

Boerman says most of his offensive skill players return from last year’s 8-2 team, whose only two losses came by a combined eight points. Once again this year, quarterback Danny Guadagnoli will be under center. Boerman says he’s looked very strong in practice. The senior captain from Framingham is coming off an outstanding year in which he completed almost 62 percent of his passes, 16 of them for touchdowns. His pass efficiency rating of 150.26 was second in the conference and 25th nationally. The Falcons’ offense averaged over 26 points per game.

Defensively, Boerman will be looking for guys to step up, now that Steve and Don Hopkins have graduated. The coach says two players to keep an eye on this season are both captains: linebacker Blaine Hopwood, who led the team in tackles in each of the last two seasons, and defensive end Matt Campo, who was named the team’s Co-Defensive Most Improved Player in 2012.

Boerman expects the NE-10 to be extremely competitive again this year, saying there’s a lot of parity in the league. The Falcons are picked to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll, behind New Haven and American International, the two teams Bentley lost to in 2012.

The Falcons will kick off the regular season on Saturday against Mercyhurst, a team that went 9-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) last year.

Mass. College Football: Bentley 38, Merrimack 21

Bentley University’s football team celebrated its Homecoming Weekend with a victory against rival Merrimack College on Saturday! (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth)

By Brian Willwerth 

WALTHAM, MA – After back-to-back losses to the top two teams in the Northeast-10 Conference, Bentley University bounced back in a big way on Saturday.

Behind an impressive defensive effort, and an outstanding performance from quarterback Danny Guadagnoli, the Falcons dominated Merrimack, 38-21, in front of a Homecoming Weekend crowd of 3,491.

The junior quarterback from Framingham did it with his arm, and his legs. He threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 76 yards and two more scores on the ground. He was the Falcons’ leading rusher on the day.

“He really showed me some maturity today,” said Bentley head coach Thom Boerman, whose team improved to 6-2 on the year. “He ran when he needed to run, and he put the ball where it needed to be put [it and] I’m very, very proud of him.”

In the first quarter, Guadagnoli capped off an 11-play, 68-yard drive with a 14-yard scamper. Guadagnoli kept that drive alive with a completion on 4th-and-5. On the ensuing Merrimack possession, the Warriors marched down the field and had 1st-and-goal at the Falcons’ 4. But Bentley’s defense stiffened, and kept Merrimack off the scoreboard.

After a field goal by Will Lockwood put the Falcons up by 10, Merrimack got on the board. Joe Clancy threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Voegeli. The 2-point conversion failed. Clancy, who broke many conference records in last week’s 81-point outburst against Saint Anselm, threw for 321 yards against Bentley, but was picked off three times.

Bentley delivered the equivalent of a knockout punch late in the first half with two touchdowns in less than a minute. Guadagnoli’s second rushing touchdown of the game made it 17-6. Then, following a Steve Hopkins interception, Bentley found the end zone again on Lorenzo Warren’s one-yard run. It was 24-6 at halftime, and the Warriors never got the deficit under double-digits the rest of the way.

Guadagnoli had two favorite targets on this day. Jeff Hill caught eight passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, while Sean Cross also broke the 100-yard plateau (107.)

Merrimack, which was coming off an 81-point performance last week, came into this game averaging 40 points a game, and led the conference in total yards per game. But the Falcons’ defense limited the Warriors to 21 points, and 370 total yards – far below the 534 Merrimack had been averaging.

“Coach Boyle [defensive coordinator Scott Boyle] did a tremendous job preparing his people,” said Boerman. “When we scored early, that forced them [Merrimack] out a little of what they wanted to do.”

Bentley travels to Southern Connecticut State next weekend, while Merrimack returns home to take on Assumption College.

Bentley’s Hopkins Named NE-10 Defensive Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Bentley University’s athletic department — here is today’s press release about Steve Hopkins being named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University senior safety Steve Hopkins (Waltham/Waltham HS) has been named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Northeast-10 Conference after his outstanding performance in Saturday night’s 38-28 win over Saint Anselm College.

Seventeen of the undefeated Falcons’ points against the Hawks followed takeaways by Hopkins, who finished with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, seven tackles, a pass break-up and his first career touchdown.

His first interception, early in the second quarter, led to the Falcons’ first score of the evening, a seven-play, 46-yard drive. Later in the quarter, he recovered a fumble in the red zone with the ensuing possession capped by a short field goal on the final play before intermission.

Five minutes into the second half, Hopkins grabbed his second INT of the night at the Saint Anselm 40 and took it the distance for his first career pick 6 and a 24-0 Bentley lead.

Hopkins, who plays alongside his twin brother Don, is second on the team with 29 tackles and he has a total of four takeaways on the season. For his career, he’s made eight interceptions and come up with four fumbles.

Bentley, just on the outside of the American Football Coaches Association Division II top 25, improved to 5-0 with the victory and stretched its winning streak to seven games, tied for the fourth longest current streak in Division II.

Three other Bentley Falcons were also recognized by the Northeast-10 with selection to the Weekly Honor Roll: senior wide receiver Sean Cross (Duxbury/Duxbury HS), junior quarterback Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) and junior linebacker Blaine Hopwood (New Bedford/New Bedford HS).

Cross had seven receptions and 129 yards, both career-bests, and a touchdown. Guadagnoli amassed 247 of his 266 yards of total offense in the first half Saturday. He ran for a career-best 75 yards on ten carries and completed half of his 24 passes for 180 yards and the TD pass to Cross while playing less than three full quarters.

Hopwood tied his career-high with 13 tackles, including seven solos, and also had a pass break-up against the Hawks.

This Saturday, Bentley will host another unbeaten, fifth-ranked New Haven, in a key Northeast-10 showdown.

Mass. College Football: Week 6 Honor Roll

By NoontimeSports.com 

Week six has officially concluded, and while we’re slowly turning the page to week seven, here is this week’s Noontime Sports Honor Roll.

Colton Chapple (Harvard): The senior quarterback not only returned to our list for the second week, but also earned some additional honors, too. Chapple was named this week’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week for the second-straight week after he completed 24-of-36 passes for 362 yards with four touchdowns, while rushing for 53 yards and one score against Cornell University.

Steve Hopkins (Bentley): Against Saint Anselm, Hopkins had three takeaways, which led to 17 points in the Falcons fifth win of the season. Hopkins had two interceptions on Saturday, which included one he returned for a 40-yard touchdown, as well as a fumble recover in the end zone that resulted in a field goal by the offense following a 14-play drive. Finally, the senior concluded the contest with seven tackles and a pass break-up.

Kevin Arduino (American International College): The sophomore quarterback led all rushers wit 100 yards, as well as completed 8-of-17 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for one touchdown in his team’s fourth win of the season.

Danny Chun (Amherst College): Despite dropping their team’s first game of the season to Middlebury, the junior linebacker finished the game with 13 tackles (10 solo) and one sack.

Justin Weaver (Tufts University): The first-year halfback tallied 91 total yards (66 yards on 18 carries, five catches for 25 yards) and one touchdown. His touchdown tied the game at 10-10 in the third quarter. However, the Jumbos dropped their third consecutive contest to the Bowdoin College, 17-10.

Brian Staub (Springfield College): The senior cornerback led the Pride’s defense against Hobart with 11 tackles (nine solo), along with one tackle for a loss, one interception and one break-up.

Chris Turner (WPI): Against Union College, the sophomore running back recorded a career-high 154 yards on the ground on 20 carries and a touchdown. He also earned Robert Pritchard Award, too.

Nick Chambers (WPI): The senior, who also earned the Robert Pritchard Award, recorded two sacks in his team’s 21-6 loss against Union. His award signified him as the Most Outstanding Lineman on Homecoming Weekend.

Rob Bambini (Curry College): Against Western New England College, Bambini caught the game-winning score with one second remaining, which clinched Curry College’s third victory of the season. The senior established a few program records on Saturday, too, which included receptions (181), receiving yards (2,537) and touchdown receptions (32). Yet, against the Golden Bears, he caught four touchdowns and led his receiving core with 14 receptions for 177 yards.

Liam Cosgrove (UMass Dartmouth): In his first collegiate start, the freshman gunslinger completed 24-of-45 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

Brad Goldsberry (MIT) – The sophomore running back recorded a career-high 121 rushing, yard in the Engineers 28-7 victory against Plymouth State. He racked up 191 all-purpose yards in the contest, which included 31 receiving yards and 44 yards on kick returns.

Matt Begley (Worcester State): Against Mass. Maritime, the junior linebacker recorded 18 tackles (16 solo), and a sack. He also had an interception in the third quarter, which provided the offense with the ball to score the game-winning score.

Justin Ehrhardt (Westfield State): The Owls senior linebacker had a game-high 11 tackles (eight solo) with three sacks, which resulted in a loss of 28 yards. He also had a forced fumble and fumble recovery, too.

Scott Drosendahl (Mount Ida College): The senior quarterback tallied six touchdowns against Anna Maria on Saturday — four through the air, two on the ground, which lifted the Mustangs to their fourth win of the season.

Bentley’s Coach Boerman: ‘It’s Time To Strap It Up And Get Busy’

By Matt Noonan 

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.”