Falcons were First Full-Time NE10 Program in History to Earn NCAA Division II Playoff Berth.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – College Football celebrates its 150th anniversary in the 2019 season, as programs at all divisions of the NCAA will commemorate this milestone with game presentations all year long – celebrating their programs' history as well as the existence of the sport at the collegiate level.
The Northeast-10 Conference will celebrate this achievement throughout the season by highlighting its nine current football programs – focusing on one each week – between now and early November. This week's highlighted team is the Bentley Falcons.
The NE10 has sponsored football since 2001, but has provided football to its student-athletes since 1997 – known back then as the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.
The actual birthday of college football is November 6, 1869, as it was a matchup between Princeton and Rutgers that marked the first collegiate football game. The NE10 enters its 23rd season in 2019 and is proud to display its history as part of the #CFB150 celebration.
From its inception as a club team nearly a half century ago, Bentley University football has enjoyed a great deal success with the accomplishments including becoming the first full-time NE10 member in history to earn an NCAA Division II playoff berth, doing so in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004, and stringing together a 30-game winning streak from 1993-95, seventh longest in Division II history. There was also a run of 37 consecutive regular season victories from 1992-95.
Including the club era, there have been 11 conference championship, including Northeast-10 titles in 2003, 2004 (co) and 2010 (4-way).
Bentley entered the 2019 season with a 31-year varsity record of 209-105-1, with the .665 winning percentage fifth best in Division II history
|Grand Valley State||48||398-140-3||.738|
Peter Yetten, a former Boston University quarterback and a 2000 inductee into the Bentley Athletic Hall of Fame, led Bentley's fortunes for 30 years from 1979-2008 and finished his career with an amazing 225-81-2 record, including 154-60-2 mark in 21 varsity seasons.
Yetten led the transformation of Bentley football from the club days into varsity football at the Division III level and then into Division II with his career featuring the first two NCAA berths in Northeast-10 history in 2003 and 2004.
TEAM OF DESTINY.....
Prior to 2003, the thought of an NCAA Division II berth in football was not a realistic expectation for team from the Northeast-10 Conference.
That changed that season when the Bentley Falcons sailed through the regular season with an unblemished record, outscoring ten opponents 476-154 behind the record-setting passing tandem of Marc Eddy and Dallas Mall.
November 22, 2003 was a special date in the history of the Bentley football program. That was the day that the Falcons made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II football playoffs, hosting defending national champion Grand Valley State, and also the day that Bentley showed that it belonged with the best teams in the division, despite coming out on the short end of a 65-36 score against the powerful Lakers.
On that mild late November day, before more than 4,400 fans, the two teams staged an offensive show, combining for over 100 points and 967 yards in total offense. Led by the prolific passing duo of Marc Eddy and Dallas Mall, Bentley put 36 points on the scoreboard, the most against a GVSU team in more than three years. To put the Falcons' offensive achievement into perspective, coach Brian Kelly's Lakers did not allow another TD all season, yielding a total of nine points in their ensuing three playoff games en route to defending their championship.
Following the game, Peter Yetten, capping his 25th season as Bentley's head coach, told the team "I wouldn't trade any one of you for anybody else. Don't forget, the most important thing is you're a team. A good team. A great team. I'm proud of you. I'll never forget you."
One of the Bentley captains that season was defensive lineman Bill Kavanaugh, now the Falcons' head coach and the only former NE10 football player to serve as a head coach in the conference.
Gregg Albano, 1999-02
- Albano intercepted a school record 18 passes during his four seasons with the Falcons, most in NE10 history at the time and currently second most ever by a conference player.
- As a junior, Albano picked off an incredible 12 passes, most in Division II nationally that season and by far the most in NE10 history. No one else has ever had more than nine.
- During that 2001 season, Albano had at least one interception in a conference-record five straight games.
- Albano was a two-time All-NE10 first-team selection and a 2002 Bentley team captain.
Mackenzy Bernadeau, 2004-07
- Bernadeau was a seventh round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2008.
- Played eight seasons and 111 games in the NFL with the Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, and started 49 times, including every game for the 2012 Cowboys.
- Northeast-10 Offensive Lineman of the Year in both 2006 and 2007.
- Three-time first-team All-Northeast-10 honoree (2005, 2006, 2007).
- 2016 inductee into the Northeast-10 Hall of Fame.
Mark DeBrito, 1996-99
- As a senior in 1999, caught 101 passes for 1,637 yards, becoming the first player in New England Division II and conference history to catch 100 passes in a season.
- Was selected for AP Little All-America and Burger King Division II All-America honors that season.
- Three-time All-Eastern Football Conference and New England Football Writers Division II-III All-New England selection.
- Finished career with 238 receptions for 3,711 yards and 41 touchdowns.
- 2015 inductee into Bentley Athletic Hall of Fame who has been the head football coach at New Bedford High School since 2014.
Marc Eddy, 2001-04
- Finished his career with several NCAA Division II records, including career TD passes (121), most game with at least three TD passes (26) and most games with a TD pass (41).
- In addition to 121 TD passes (eighth in college football history) at the time, career totals included 11,035 passing yards and a 36-7 record.
- Received the 2004 Agganis Award as the top senior football player in New England, becoming only the second non-Division I player who earn the honor since it was created in 1966.
- Northeast-10 MVP in both 2003 and 2004, and also the ECAC Division II Player of the Year both those seasons.
- National Finalist for the 2004 Harlon Hill Award.
Dallas Mall, 2001-04
- Caught 78 TD passes during his four seasons in a Falcon uniform, still the most of any player in NCAA college football history.
- As a freshman, set an NCAA record (all divisions) with 24 TD catches, breaking record formerly held by Randy Moss.
- In addition to 78 TD catches, career totals include 283 receptions for 4,347 yards and 478 points (11th most in Division II history)
- Four-time first-team All-Northeast-10 who was the conference's Offensive Player of the Year in 2001 and 2004.
- Associated Press Little All-America and Daktronics Division II All-America.
|MOST TOUCHDOWN CATCHES, NCAA FOOTBALL HISTORY|
|Dallas Mall, Bentley, 2001-04||78|
|David Kircus, Grand Valley State, 1999-2002||76|
|Scott Pingel, Westminster (MO), 1996-99||75|
|Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington, 2013-16||73|
|Cecil Shorts, Mount Union, 2007-10||63|
UPCOMING FOOTBALL SCHEDULE.....
The 23rd season of NE10 football continues on Saturday, Oct. 5, as Bentley travels to play Assumption (12:00 p.m.). The rest of the Week 5 schedule is below and all games will be available on NE10 NOW:
Saturday, October 5
Franklin Pierce at Southern Connecticut - 12 p.m.
Bentley at Assumption - 12 p.m.
American International at Stonehill - 1 p.m.
Saint Anselm at Tiffin - 1 p.m.
Pace at New Haven - 1 p.m.
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 14 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 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 NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.