Stonehill College football off to dominant start to the season – Enterprise News

  • September 11, 2022

EASTON — Fans that trickled into their seats at W.B. Mason Stadium shortly after 1 p.m. missed a show.
Not all of the show — the Skyhawks still offered plenty of highlights against Post University on Saturday — only the part when Stonehill’s first home game as a Division 1 football program was a competitive swing. In a 76-0 win, that only lasted five plays.
On Post’s second offensive snap after winning the coin toss, sophomore linebacker Marjee Mulumba snatched a deflected pass and returned it down to the 1-yard line. As the Stonehill offense took over, junior running back Jermaine Corbett (15 carries, 95 yards, 3 TD) slipped into the end zone.
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“Honestly, it was crazy. I’ve worked so hard to get a turnover and that’s what we preach in the locker room and in practice,” said Mulumba. “We want to be hawks to the ball and I did that. I wish I got to the end zone but I didn’t see the last guy coming (for the tackle). It’s all good, though. I’m just glad the offense punched one in.”
On the ensuing defensive series, senior nose tackle Matt Beekey punched the ball loose to force a fumble and junior linebacker Sam Murphy landed on it, handing possession back to the Skyhawks at the 12:51 mark. Two forced turnovers on the first five plays, the Stonehill defense recorded five takeaways in total throughout the win.
“It was awesome. We perfected (the game plan) all week and we executed it here in the game. Just a lot of film, then we came out and knew what we had to do,” said cornerback Kevin Porch, a fifth-year senior captain. “Then we see great players like Marjee make great plays to set the offense up to score. From there, we were just rolling. That helped us put up more points on the board for the rest of the game.”
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The Skyhawks’ offense matched the defense’s dominance, ending all eight first-half drives with touchdowns in a 41-point outburst through the first 30 minutes of play. 
Sophomore quarterback Ashur Carraha finished 9-for-11 passing for 186 yards and four scores. He found sophomore wide-out Chris Domercant (2 receptions, 56 yards) for a pair of touchdowns, one from 17 yards out to head into halftime and another from 39 yards to open what turned out to be a 35-point second half.
“Those guys have been working together all spring, all summer and up until this point throughout preseason. It’s just great to see them connect,” Stonehill head coach Eli Gardner said. “I thought Post did some stuff that were challenging us today, daring us to throw the football: putting six guys up on the line, playing (man blitz) coverage and our receivers and quarterback responded with some big plays.”
Receivers Chase Conrad (1 reception, 44 yards and 1 TD), Cameron Alves (1 rec. 38 yards, 1 TD), DeAaron Lawrence (1 rec. 20 yards) and Will Diamantis (1 rec. 20 yards) showed some big-play potential, joining running backs Jarel Washington (3 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD), Tom Comella (8 carries, 49 yards) and Cristian Cabral (6 carries, 30 yards) as key offensive contributors in the win.
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In addition, pass rushers David Fuller-Williams and Zack Athy recorded sacks and kicker Perry Sheltered was a perfect 10-for-10 on extra points in the win. The Skyhawks’ special teams unit also recorded a blocked punt, which was recovered in the end zone by junior Tom Comella for a touchdown in the first quarter.
“It’s always good to get a win. I thought the guys had a great week of practice and it showed today,” Gardner said. “I thought it was good because it seems, gut reaction, that we played well in all three phases. We played some big plays on offense, defense and special teams so that’s always great.”
The Skyhawks now get two weeks off before taking the field again on Oct. 1 against Duquesne at noon.
“We’re feeling great. Everyone was out here, the atmosphere was amazing,” Porch said of the home debut as an FCS D-1 program. “There’s nothing like it. I hope everyone comes out Oct. 1 when we play Duquesne.”
What a week it has been for sophomore running back Jarel Washington. 
In Stonehill’s season-opener against Bloomsberg University last Saturday, Washington scored a two-yard touchdown in double-overtime to cap an 11-point comeback effort in the second half, delivering the program its first win as a Division 1 program.
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A redshirt sophomore, it was Washington’s first collegiate football game after missing action a season ago due to a broken finger.
“It’s a great memory for me and my family, and also for my football team,” Washington said.
Recording 99 all-purpose yards in the win, Washington earned NEC Rookie of the Week. He returned with a strong performance against Post with 3 carries, 57 yards and one touchdown.
“It’s huge to have the first touchdown of your college career, and first snaps of your college career,” said Gardner. “I thought him and Jermaine (Corbett) played a great game last weekend and they really complimented each other well so that was a great win, then obviously a great week of practice and a great win here today (against Post).”

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