Setting the Scene:
The Salve Regina football team is coming off a late fourth quarter 17-16 loss to Montclair State. After getting down 17-3 before the half, the Seahawks stormed back in the third and fourth quarter to pull within one point. A failed two-point conversion with four seconds on the clock handed Salve Regina its first loss of the season.
MIT comes into today's contest after two-straight wins to open the season. The Engineers shut out Becker two weeks ago, 34-0.
Both the Seahawks and Engineers enter this week's contest off a bye-week.
The Seahawks and Engineers will meet for the 20th time in program history. The Seahawks hold a 14-5 advantage in the all-time series and have won three of the last four meetings.
Last season, the Engineers defeated Salve Regina for the first time since 2008 on a late fourth quarter touchdown run to lift MIT to a 20-19 victory on its homecoming.
This Week in the NEFC
Endicott at Curry 7 p.m.
MIT at Salve Regina 1 p.m.
Maine Maritime at Western New England 1 p.m.
Nichols at Coast Guard 1:30 p.m.
Taking the Reins
Former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilmartin takes over as the fifth head coach of Salve Regina football. Before coming to the Seahawks, Gilmartin worked five seasons handling the responsibilities of offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, quarterbacks coach, running backs coach, and admissions liaison. He helped lead the team to three consecutive postseason appearances, advancing to the ECFC title game in 2009, as well as the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl in both 2010 and 2011.
Prior to Mount Ida, Gilmartin was a special teams/assistant running backs coach at Hofstra (Division I-AA) and a quarterbacks/defensive backs coach at Hamilton (Division III) for five years. Coach Gilmartin also spent two seasons at Nipmuc Regional High School where he became the school's all-time winningest head coach.
Seahawk Football History
Salve Regina added football in the fall of 1993 and is entering its 21st season on the gridiron. The Seahawks have had 11 winning seasons since its inception and boasts a 107-83 all time record over the last 20 seasons.
The Seahawks have made a trip to the post season four times; most recently winning the ECAC North-West Bowl 26-6 over Worcester St.
Home Sweet Home
The Seahawks have enjoyed two different home fields over their 21 years of football at Salve Regina and have always faired quite well in front of their home crowd. Over the years, the Seahawks are 59-35 (.628) at home and are riding a 11-game home winning streak going into Saturday's game.
Must Be Something He Said
Salve Regina has scored 39 of its 52 points this season in the first and third quarter and are out-scoring its opponents 39-14 after coming out of the locker room to open the game and after haftime. The only quarter the Seahawks are trailing in is the fourth where opponents hold a 7-6 advantage.
Stone Wall Defense
The Seahawks boast one of the strongest defenses in the conference and DIII right now. The Seahawks have allowed their opponent to get into the red zone just twice this season and have no allowed a score. Two weeks ago against Montclair State, all of the Red Hawks points came on special teams. Their red zone defense is ranked first in both the NEFC and the country.
Speaking of Defense
Not only are they first in the NEFC in 3rd down conversion and 4th down conversion defense, but they are second and first in the nation in those two categories. The Seahawk pass defense is one of the best in the nation allowing just 89.0 yards passing per game while the Seahawks are eighth in the country allowing just 201.0 yards of total offense per game.
Speaking of Defense - II
Going hand-in-hand with being about to stop the passing game is the ability to stop teams from gaining first downs. The Seahawks are ranked ninth in the country allowing teams to pick up just 17 first downs on them this season. Salve Regina allowed Montclair State to pick up just five first downs two weeks ago, one of which came on a SRU penalty.
The Boy Who Blocked the Punt
Junior Alex Hennessy (West Babylon, N.Y.) blocked three punt two weeks ago against Montclair State to tie an NCAA DIII record for blocked punts in a single game. Hennessy has blocked four punts this year and five in his career.
Have Yourself a Day, Kid
Junior Dan Buonocore had a career day two weeks ago against Bridgewater St. Buonocore ran for 62 yards on a career high 21 carries while finding the end zone three times on the ground. The junior scored his career-best fourth touchdown of the game on a 2-yard pass from junior Steven Wilken (Ringwood, N.J.).
I'll Take That
Junior Phil Terio (Trumbull, Conn.) is a proven threat to most quarterbacks in the league. Last season, Terio led the team picking seven passes out of the air and set an NCAA Division III record by returning four of them for a score. Graduated senior Maxwell Shubert was close behind Terio with six INTs and finished his career as a Seahawk with 14, second all-time at Salve Regina.
Terio picked up right where he left off in Salve Regina's 36-7 victory over Bridgewater St. to open the season. The cornerback picked off an early second quarter pass for his 10th of his career.
Senior Joshua Burnett (Whitman, Mass.) picked up his second INT of his career late in the second quarter that set up a touchdown drive for the Seahawks.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Senior center Floyd Shaffer (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Junior Phil Terio (Trumbull, Conn.) have brought a lot of national attention to the Seahawks prior to the 2013 season as pair have combined for 12 preseason All-America selections with Terio earning a pair of spots on three different lists. Terio also was featured by Josh Buchanan as one of the top-10 Division III players heading into the season.
Senior Joshua Burnett (Whitman, Mass.) was honored by the NEFC on two weeks ago as the conference Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Bridgewater St. Burnett totaled 12 tackled (7-5) and one interception. Burnett blocked a punt and had 0.5 TFL.
Junior Dan Buonocore (Mahwah, N.J.) was named to the NEFC honor roll for his four touchdown performance.
Where They Rank
Several juniors have made quite the impact on Salve Regina's record book already and look to re-write the records as they continue their career in the Blue & Green.
Steven Wilken - Quarterback
Pass Attempts - 4th (376) - needs 223 to overtake 3rd
Pass Completions - 4th (202) - needs 34 to overtake 3rd
Passing Yards - 4th (2,626) - needs 1,085 to overtake 3rd
Passing TDs - 4th (23) - needs 11 to over take 3rd
Benjamin Barrett - Punter
Punt Yards - 1st (4,435)
Punt Attempts - 2nd (116) - needs 7 to overtake 1st
Phil Terio - Cornerback/Return Specialist
Punt Return Yards - 7th (145) - needs 51 to over take 6th
Punt Returns - T-6th (18) - needs 7 to over take 5th
Punt Return TDs - T-5th (1) - needs 2 to over take 2nd, 4 to over take 1st
Kick Return Yards - 3rd (675) - needs 435 to over take 2nd
Kick Returns - T-4th (25) - needs 7 to over take 3rd
Interceptions - 4th (10) - needs 2 to overtake 3rd
A Whole New World
2013 will bring a new look to the New England Football Conference with the Massachusetts state schools leaving the conference to form its own, the former Boyd Division with the addition of Maine Maritime and Coast Guard and the loss of Plymouth St. and UMass. Dartmouth comprise the new-look New England Football Conference. The NEFC retains its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament without the need for a championship game at the end of the season.
Red Zone Offense
Salve Regina made it a habit of marching down the field to get into the red zone last season. Not only did they get inside the 20, the Seahawks found the end zone once there. Salve Regina converted 35 of 44 chances with 29 touchdowns.
The Seahawks picked up right where they left off a season ago and found their way into the end zone all five times they worked their way into the red zone against Bridgewater State. Against Montclair State, the Seahawks found themselves in the end zone four times and three of those times they scored. This season the Seahawks are 8-of-9 in the red zone.
One score you don't see all the time on the scoreboard at a football game is two points but the Seahawks did what four professional teams this past week and converted a safety in their season-opener. Salve Regina's safety came off a blocked punt by junior Alex Hennessey (West Babylon, N.Y.) midway through the third quarter. Hennessy recovered the football outside of the end zone to put up two points for Salve Regina.
The Seahawks have converted a blocked punt of a safety before, last time was against Endicott on Oct. 10, 2003. Salve Regina lost 27-20 in overtime.
After successful playing careers with the Seahawks, Gregory Gosselin and Daniel Kehew turn in their pads for whistles to help lead the Seahawks this season. New to Salve Regina, Nick Lynch is reunited with Gilmartin, his former coach at Mount Ida, to help guide Salve Regina.
Also joining the staff in the off season was Casey Goff, coming to Salve Regina after a successful three-year career with King's (Pa.). Goff had a connection to the Seahawks prior to arriving to Newport, R.I. as he coached with linebackers/special team coordinator Michael Weick.
A Win for Salve Regina Would ...
- Lift the Seahawks to 108-84
- Extend the Seahawks' home winning streak to 12 games
- Hand MIT its first loss of the year