Junior Logan Meyer passed for 296 yards and a career-best four touchdowns tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Osiecki finds Thompson twice in final 7:05, including winning score with 6-seconds to play, to avoid upset on national television
EASTON, Mass. (October 19, 2012, 2012) – Senior Jason Thompson (Indiantown, Fla.) caught two fourth quarter touchdowns to rally the University of New Haven, ranked third in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll and sixth in the D2football.com poll, to a 45-41 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference football action before a crowd of 2,400 at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium in a game televised live on CBS Sports Network tonight.
Thompson caught a pair of touchdown passes from senior quarterback Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn.) in the final 7:05 as New Haven erased a ten point fourth quarter deficit to remain unbeaten. The final score came with just six seconds to play on third and goal from the Stonehill three yard line.
Osiecki, who made his season debut after missing the first six games of the year to injury, completed 28-of-44 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. Thompson finished with seven receptions for 112 yards and three scores, while senior Demetrius Washington-Ellison (Rahway, N.J.) added six catches for 67 yards and a score.
New Haven also got 260 all-purpose yards from junior Mike DeCaro (Weston, Fla.) who rushed the ball 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown, while posting 140 yards on five kickoff returns and adding a seven yard reception and three yard punt return.
Sophomore Nate Robitaille had a career best 147 receiving yards with two touchdown grabs. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Senior Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn.) led the New Haven defense with seven tackles (six solo), including 2.5 for a loss of four yards, with 0.5 sacks for a loss of two and a quarterback hurry. Senior Kendrick Butler (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)added six stops (four solo), while classmate Tom Herd (Sparta, N.J.) chipped in with three solo tackles, including 2.0 for a loss of seven yards and 1.0 sacks for a loss of five.
New Haven finished with 550 yards of total offense with 323 passing and 227 on the ground, averaging 6.5 yards per play and controlling possession 36:26 to 23:34. Stonehill posted 347 yards of offense with 296 passing and 51 on the ground.
Junior quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) engineered the offense for Stonehill by completing 19-of-35 passes for 296 yards and a career-best four touchdowns without an interception. Sophomore Nate Robitaille(Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) caught seven passes for a career-best 147 yards and two touchdowns, while senior John Gomes (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) added a pair of touchdowns, finishing with three receptions for 34 yards. FreshmanGordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass./BC High) contributed six receptions for 76 yards.
Freshman Stephen Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) kicked a pair of field goals for Stonehill, breaking the program's single-season record for field goals. He now has ten field goals in his rookie season, surpassing the previous mark of eight accomplished three times in history. Grzywacz converted field goals from 31 and 20 yards on the night.
Senior Ryan Hunt (Yonkers, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) led the Stonehill defense with ten tackles (seven solo), including 1.0 for a loss of four yards. Classmate Jareed Gaines(Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) posted his seventh double-figure tackle performance of the year with ten stops (seven solo), while senior Ray Bass (Canton, Mass./Canton) chipped in nine tackles and a pass breakup.
Senior Ryan Hunt posted ten tackles, including 1.0 for a loss of four yards. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Stonehill opened a ten point fourth quarter lead after sophomore Brandon Weiss (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) intercepted Osiecki at the ten yard line. Meyer connected with Robitaille for a seven yard touchdown toss two plays later with 10:12 remaining.
New Haven answered on its next possession, going 75 yards on eight plays over 3:07, before Osiecki connected with Thompson for an 18 yard touchdown pass with 7:05 left. Stonehill was able to get a first down on its next drive, but couldn't string another with it, giving New Haven the ball back with 4:47 remaining.
The Chargers marched down the field and drained the clock in the process. Two Osiecki passes to senior Josh Smart (Hamden, Conn.) fell incomplete on first and goal from the three before he was able to hit Thompson on the left side of the endzone with six seconds left.
Stonehill got the ball back and was able to get one last chance at the end zone thanks to the kickoff going out of bounds and then a pass interference flag. Meyer heaved a pass to a pack in the right side of the end zone on a final untimed play that fell agonizingly incomplete.
Stonehill trailed 21-16 at halftime, but Gomes returned the opening kickoff of the half 66 yards to the New Haven 31. Grzywacz pulled the Skyhawks within 21-19 with a 20 yard field goal. New Haven responded with an 11 play, 90 yard drive over 2:39.
New Haven bumped its lead to nine points with a 27 yard touchdown catch from Thompson with 6:19 left to cap an 11 play, 90 yard scoring drive. Gomes gave Stonehill great field position with a 25 yard kickoff return and then Robitaille grabbed a 47 yard touchdown pass from Meyer with 3:53 to play in the third to pull the Skyhawks within two (28-26).
New Haven got a 28 yard field goal by senior Chris Scifo (Coral Springs, Fla.) with 36-seconds left in the third. Stonehill scored on its next drive with a 15 yard Meyer pass to Gomes with 13:01 remaining. The Skyhawks went for the two point conversion and freshman Moe Regan (West Roxbury, Mass./BC High) found Nate Robinson for a 34-31 advantage with 13:01 remaining.
Stonehill (4-4, 4-3 NE-10) has a bye next weekend before rounding out the regular season at Pace University on Saturday, November 3, at noon. The Skyhawks are currently in position to host a game on NE-10 Championship Weekend on Saturday, November 10, as well. New Haven (7-0, 6-0 NE-10) hosts crosstown rivals Southern Connecticut State University next Saturday at 1 p.m.
High School: A 2012 graduate of Archbishop Stepinac High School ... third team Class AA All-State ... played in CHSFL All-Star Game ... 25 touchbacks as a senior ... made 34 extra points and four field goals ... played three seasons of varsity soccer.
Personal: Przemyslaw Popek ... born January 2, 1994 in Krakow, Poland ... son of Grzegorz and Edyta Popek.