Northeast-10 Football Championship Preview: Stonehill at American International

Northeast-10 Football Championship Preview: Stonehill at American International


November 15, 2013

Saturday's kickoff set for 2:00 p.m.
at Ronald J. Abdow Field in Springfield, Mass.

SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – The 2013 Northeast-10 Football Championship Weekend gets underway Saturday afternoon, highlighted by the conference title game between second-seeded Stonehill College and top-seeded American International College at 2:00 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.

WATCH LIVE: A live broadcast of Saturday's Northeast-10 title game will be available online at no cost at Roei Biberstain will have the call from the booth at Ronald J. Abdow Field. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter (@TheNortheast10) and include #NE10 to join the conversation.

THE MATCHUP: Stonehill (8-2, 8-1 NE-10) and American Int'l (8-2, 8-1 NE-10) both won a share of the Northeast-10 regular-season title with matching 8-1 league records. American Int'l claimed home field advantage for the title game with its head-to-head win over Stonehill back on October 5.

THE NUMBERS: Offensively, American Int'l is averaging 35.8 points per game to Stonehill's 30.4. Defensively, the Yellow Jackets are first in the conference in points allowed per game (21.7), while the Skyhawks are second (24.0) in that category. American Int'l is also first in the Northeast-10 in rushing yards per game (245.8), a mark that is nearly 40 more than the next highest team rushing average. Stonehill, which averages just over 370 total yards per contest, is tops in the conference in red zone efficiency, scoring 25 touchdowns and converting six field goals in 35 trips (89 percent) inside the 20-yard line.

THE COACHES: American Int'l head coach Art Wilkins (127-78) is in his 20th season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets, while seventh-year head coach Robert Talley has a career 36-35 mark with Stonehill.

THE SKYHAWKS: Stonehill, which is receiving votes in the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II national poll, will be making its first appearance in the Northeast-10 Championship on Saturday. The Skyhawks' only conference loss came at the hands of American Int'l in Week 4, but they have won five in a row since, including a key 29-26 road victory at the University of New Haven on Oct. 19.

Senior quarterback Logan Meyer has thrown for 2,144 yards through the air this season, while his 25 touchdown passes rank third among conference leaders and tied for 18th in the nation. The Ventura, Calif. native has also topped the 300-yard mark twice this season and has thrown just eight interceptions in nine games.

On the ground, sophomore running back Colin Markus is averaging 5.6 yards a carry and has five touchdowns on the ground, while his 82.2 rush yards per game is good for fifth in the Northeast-10.

Among conference leaders, junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille is first with 1,140 receiving yards, a mark that is good for 14th in the country. Robitaille is also 11th in the nation with 12 receiving touchdowns and has gone over the 100-yard threshold seven times in 10 games this season.

Meanwhile sophomore wide receivers Gordon McLeod and Corey White have combined for 886 receiving yards this year, with six of White's 24 receptions going for touchdowns.

Defensively, junior linebacker Brian Harrington has been among the nation's best tacklers this fall, ranking third in the country with 13.4 total tackles per game. A four-time Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Week this season, his 134 total tackles lead the Northeast-10.

Junior defensive back Sterry Codrington is second on the Skyhawks in both total tackles (74) and interceptions (3), while his 8.5 tackles-for-loss leads the team. Fellow junior defensive back Nate Morris leads the Skyhawks with five interceptions.

THE YELLOW JACKETS: American Int'l, which is also receiving votes in the latest AFCA Division II poll, will be making its second straight appearance in the Northeast-10 Football Championship, as New Haven earned a 37-12 victory last November in the inaugural title game. The Yellow Jackets' only loss in conference-play this season came at home against Assumption College on September 27, although they have since reeled off six straight, including a 43-34 victory over New Haven two weeks ago.

Junior quarterback Kevin Arduino is tops in the conference and tied for eighth in the nation with 17 rushing touchdowns, and is also fourth in the Northeast-10 with 84.1 rush yards per game. Through the air, he has thrown for 2,171 yards and 13 touchdowns (10 interceptions), and ranks among the top-25 in the country in total offense (301.2 yards per game). And while he ranks just seventh in the conference in passing yards per game (217.1), he is seventh in all of Division II in yards per completion (16.2).

Junior Maurice Easterling is a force on the ground for American Int'l, totaling 52.5 rush yards per game this season to go along with seven touchdowns.

Junior wide receiver Stephan Davis and senior wide receiver Matt Brown are Arduino's top two targets in the passing game, as Davis has 537 receiving yards on just 23 catches (23.3 per catch) and four touchdowns, while Brown has 39 catches for 505 yards and two scores.

Defensively, junior linebacker Jaquawne Simpkins ranks fifth among conference leaders and leads American Int'l with 89 total tackles (56 solo) to go along with three sacks. Sophomore defensive back Darion Chappel has three interceptions in the secondary, while sophomore linebacker Andrew Justice leads the team with 5.5 sacks.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: The winner of Saturday's championship contest will hope to hear its name called during Sunday's online selection show to the NCAA Division II Football Championship field, which will air on at 5:00 p.m.

AROUND THE NE-10: The Northeast-10 Conference office will announce its football yearly major awards and All-Conference Teams on Wednesday, November 20…In other Championship Weekend action, third-seeded New Haven (7-3, 7-2 NE-10) will host fourth-seeded Assumption College (6-4, 6-3 NE-10) at DellaCamera Stadium at noon…Fifth-seeded Merrimack College (6-4, 5-4 NE-10) will host eighth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University (3-7, 3-6 NE-10) at 1:00 p.m. at Martone-Mejail Field…Ninth-seeded Saint Anselm College (1-9, 1-8 NE-10) will travel to sixth-seeded Bentley University (5-5, 4-5 NE-10) for a 12:00 p.m. matchup…Seventh-seeded LIU Post (4-6, 3-6 NE-10) will host 10th-seeded Pace University (0-10, 0-9 NE-10, also at noon, at Hickox Field…Merrimack senior quarterback Joe Clancy was one of 28 student-athletes named as a finalist for the 2013 Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded annually to recognize the Division II Football Player of the Year. Clancy is either first or second in the country in multiple offensive categories, including completions per game (36.3), passing touchdowns (44), passing yards (3856), points responsible for (282) and total offense (395.6)…Merrimack senior Matt Tripicchio and New Haven senior Matthew Fallico both recently received Capital One Academic All-District honors.

PRESS CLIPPINGS: "Championship Week in the NE-10 Brockton Enterprise: "California's Logan Meyer Finds Home at Stonehill" Brockton Enterprise: "Stonehill Football Heads in Right Direction Under Talley" "AIC football secures home field for Northeast-10 Championship game" | "Wilkins to begin 20th season with Yellow Jackets" (from June)

NORTHEAST-10 STORE: Your 2013 Northeast-10 Football Championship gear and other items are available for purchase at

The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,000 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.