Setting the Scene
Salve Regina enters Saturday's contest off a dramatic 29-21 come-from-behind win over MIT last week. After falling behind 21-16 at the half, the Seahawks used a pair of touchdowns from seniors Richie Edwards (Trumbull, Conn.) and Paul Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the 4th quarter to defeat MIT on Homecoming and Alumni Weekend.
Nichols welcomes the Seahawks to Vendetti Field for its Homecoming game. The Bison are coming off two-straight losses, including a 37-20 loss to Coast Guard to open New England Football Conference action.
The Seahawks and Bison meet for the 21st time in program history as Salve Regina holds a slight 11-9 lead over Nichols in the all-time series. Salve Regina has won four of the last five meetings, including three-straight victories heading into Saturday's contest.
This Week in the NEFC
Maine Maritime at Endicott 12 p.m.
Curry at MIT 1 p.m.
Salve Regina at Nichols 1 p.m.
Western New England 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 108-84 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.
Salve Regina has played some of its best football in the month of October. The Seahawks boast a 53-33 all-time record in October and have won eight of their last 10 contests in the 10th month, dating back to a 30-14 win over Plymouth St. on Oct. 30, 2010.
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 60-35 (.632) at home and are currently have a 12-game winning streak on their home field.
Must Be Something He Said
Salve Regina has scored 48 of its 81 points this season in the first and third quarter and are out-scoring its opponents 48-28 after coming out of the locker room to open the game and after halftime. Salve Regina has not allowed a point in the third quarter through the first three games of the season.
Taking it All the Way
Junior Phil Terio (Trumbull, Conn.) displayed his speed last Saturday as he took MIT's first punt of the game 61 yards into the end zone to give Salve Regina a quick 6-0 lead without an offensive series in the game. It was his second punt return TD of his career. The junior is just one of 20 players in DIII to return a punt for a touchdown this season.
Among the Elite
Sophomore Hayden Stanton (Wallingford, Conn.) leads the NEFC with a forced fumble and 3.0 sacks on the year. Stanton is ranked 29th nationally as well in sacks. Junior Dan Buonocore (Mahwah, N.J.) leads the league averaging 10.0 points a game while he is 36th in the country. Junior Phil Terio's punt return touchdown is the only one in the NEFC and he is second in the league and 47th in DIII with two INTs.
Stone Wall Defense
The Seahawks boast one of the strongest defenses in the conference and DIII right now. Salve Regina has the fifth-best red zone defense in the country, allowing just two scores on five chances this season.
Speaking of Defense
Not only are they first in the NEFC in 3rd down conversion and 4th down conversion defense, but they are fourth and first in the nation in those two categories. The Seahawk pass defense is one of the best in the nation allowing just 130.7 yards passing per game while the Seahawks are 13th in the country allowing just 245.7 yards of total offense per game.
Speaking of Defense - II
Not only are the Seahawks defenders troublesome for the quarterbacks and receivers, but Salve Regina has a way with stopping its opponents from gaining first downs. The Seahawks are ranked sixth in the country allowing teams to earn 31 first downs on them this season. Salve Regina allowed five Montclair State first downs three weeks ago, one of which came on a SRU penalty.
Welcome Back, Richie
Senior Richie Edwards (Trumbull, Conn.) returned to the starting line up last Saturday for the Seahawks for the first time since suffering an injury last season and led the team to a 29-21 victory over MIT. Edwards led all players with 120 rushing yards and scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown to open the fourth quarter.
The Boy Who Blocked the Punt
Junior Alex Hennessy (West Babylon, N.Y.) blocked three punts three 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.
Speaking of Blocked Kicks ...
Sophomore Hayden Stanton (Wallingford, Conn.) joined the blocked kicks group the Seahawks have formed with a blocked field goal in the third quarter against MIT. Along with Stanton, Hennessy and senior Joshua Burnett (Whitman, Mass.) have all blocked a kick for Salve Regina this season as the Seahawks have six on the year.
Have Yourself a Day, Kid
Junior Dan Buonocore had a career day to open the season 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. Terio put the game away for Salve Regina last week as he picked off MIT's quarter back for his 11th INT of his career late in the fourth quarter to end the Engineers final drive of the game.
Juniors Matt Conroy (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Frank Musco (Montvale, N.J.) each had a pick against MIT last week. Conroy ended MIT's opening dive of the second half and Musco kept six points off the board as he picked off MIT in the end zone in the third quarter.
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
Leading the Seahawks on and off the field this season will be a trio of senior captains, Joshua Burnett (Whitman, Mass.) and Richie Edwards (Trumbull, Conn.) and Floyd Shaffer (Conshohocken, Pa.).
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 three 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 (404) - needs 195 to overtake 3rd
Pass Completions - 4th (218) - needs 18 to overtake 3rd
Passing Yards - 4th (2,807) - needs 904 to overtake 3rd
Passing TDs - 4th (25) - needs 9 to over take 3rd
Benjamin Barrett - Punter
Punt Yards - 1st (4,591)
Punt Attempts - 2nd (120) - needs 3 to overtake 1st
Phil Terio - Cornerback/Return Specialist
Punt Return Yards - 7th (191) - needs 5 to over take 6th
Punt Returns - 6th (22) - needs 3 to over take 5th
Punt Return TDs - 5th (2) - needs 1 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 (11) - needs 1 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, but the Seahawks found the end zone once they were 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. Salve Regina scored converted three of its five chances in the red zone against MIT. This season the Seahawks are 11-of-14 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 109-84
- Give the Seahawks back-to-back wins for the first time this season
- Hand Nichols its third straight loss
- Give the Seahawks their fourth-straight win over the Bison