American International Downs Stonehill, 27-17, in Northeast-10 Football Championship

American International Downs Stonehill, 27-17, in Northeast-10 Football Championship


November 16, 2013

American International quarterback
Kevin Arduino (3 TDs) named Most Outstanding Player

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Led by junior quarterback Kevin Arduino, the top-seeded Yellow Jackets of American International College earned a 27-17 victory Saturday afternoon over second-seeded Stonehill College in the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Football Championship game at Ronald J. Abdow Field in Springfield, Mass.

Arduino (pictured, below) was named the championship's Most Outstanding Player after running for 101 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns, while through the air he was 17-of-31 for 203 yards and no interceptions.

Down 10-6 late in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets scored 21 of the next 28 points in the second and third to nail down the victory.

With the win, American Int'l now awaits a possible NCAA bid. Sunday evening's tournament selection show will air at 5:00 p.m. on

American Int'l junior Maurice Easterling carried it 15 times on the ground for 90 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Senior wide receiver Matt Brown had four catches for 73 yards and junior wideout Stephan Davis had five receptions for 62 yards.

Defensively, sophomores Darion Chappel and Mike Ford both had two interceptions apiece.

Stonehill senior quarterback Logan Meyer, who missed last week's regular-season finale due to injury, threw for 117 yards and one touchdown (two interceptions) before junior Joseph Della Vecchia came in under center in the second half, throwing for 43 yards and two interceptions.

Stonehill junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille had six catches for a game-high 84 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Colin Markus rushed 13 times for 45 yards.

Representing Stonehill on the Northeast-10 All-Championship Team was junior defensive back Sterry Codrington (10 total tackles), junior offensive lineman Tom Linden and Robitaille.

From American Int'l, Arduino, junior offensive lineman George Grosz, sophomore linebacker Andrew Justice (four tackles) and junior linebacker Jaquawne Simpkins (five tackles) were named to the All-Championship Team.

Arduino capped the opening drive of the game on Saturday with a 1-yard score for a 6-0 Yellow Jackets lead after the failed PAT, but Meyer hooked up with Robitaille on the Skyhawks' second offensive drive for a 40-yard touchdown to take the lead.

Stonehill sophomore kicker Steve Grzywacz then tacked on a 25-yarder with 3:40 left in the first to give the Skyhawks a 10-6 lead.

But a 71-yard scoring drive culminating in an Easterling 3-yard rushing score early in the second quarter gave American Int'l a lead it would not relinquish. On the drive, Arduino completed a key 27-yard pass to Davis on the first play of the second quarter to get into the redzone. The quarterback then rushed for 12 yards on a keeper to get the Yellow Jackets down to the three-yard line before Easterling found paydirt for the 13-10 lead.

Arduino then completed a 77-yard scoring drive with a 23-yard rushing touchdown to go up by 10 midway through the third. But Stonehill managed to inch closer with less than three minutes to play in the quarter on a key defensive stop, as junior Nate Morris recovered an Arduino fumble in the endzone to make it a three-point game at 20-17.

Then with 1:08 remaining in the third, Meyer was picked off by Ford at the Stonehill 40-yard line, and after a 14-yard hookup between Arduino and Easterling to get into the redzone, Arduino kept it himself and scored from 18 yards out to make it 27-17.

Stonehill, which was limited to just 173 yards offensively, was unable to get anything going in the fourth to make it a one-possession game, as the Yellow Jackets overcame 11 penalties for 190 yards in the win.

American Int'l crossed the goal line on all three of its redzone opportunities and won the time of possession battle, 37:25 to 22:35.

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.

2013 Northeast-10 Football All-Championship Team
QB Kevin Arduino, American Int'l
OL George Gros, American Int'l
LB Andrew Justice, American Int'l
LB Jaquawne Simpkins, American Int'l
DB Sterry Codrington, Stonehill
OL Tom Linden, Stonehill
WR Nate Robitaille, Stonehill

Most Outstanding Player - Kevin Arduino, AIC