Courtesy of Bentley Athletics
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Senior QB Bryant Johnson (Hopedale, Mass./Milford HS) threw for three touchdowns and freshman Lorenzo Warren (Boston, Mass./Catholic Memorial HS) rushed for 131 yards and two scores in only seven carries as Bentley University rolled to a 52-7 victory over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference football Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.
The win, in their conference opener, was the first of the season for Bentley after road losses to nationally-ranked Carson Newman and Division I Central Connecticut. Saint Anselm, which had its Homecoming spoiled, fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the NE-10.
Johnson directed the Falcon offense to 496 yards in total offense and 27 first downs, as well as the teamâ€™s highest point total since a 52-6 home win over Saint Anselm in October 2007. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 206 yards with his TD passes covering seven, seven and 13 yards, and also had 27 yards rushing.
Bentley scored on four of its five first-half drives, beginning with a nine-play, 60-yard march on the gameâ€™s opening possession. A seven-yard completion to senior John Malone (Walpole, Mass./ Walpole HS) finished a drive that saw Johnson complete all four of his pass attempts and also run 12 yards for a score.
After Saint Anselm countered with a 14-play scoring drive, Bentley quickly regained the lead, this time moving 76 yards in eight plays. There was a 29-yard rush by junior Bobby Tarr (Byfield, Mass./ Bishop Fenwick HS), a 12-yard pass to senior tight end Mike Slattery (Natick, Mass./Natick HS), a 15-yard pass to senior Kyle Tuthill (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas HS) before a Johnson-to-Slattery seven-yard scoring strike made it 14-7 nine seconds before the end of the opening quarter.
The second quarter saw Bentley put up 14 unanswered points to opening a commanding 28-7 advantage. Warren broke loose on a 51-yard scamper for his first collegiate touchdown, and Johnson teamed up with Malone for the second time in the game, this time on a 13-yard scoring pass.
Bentleyâ€™s 17-point third quarter featured senior Justin Haines (Wyoming, Del./Lake Forest Academy) returning a fumble recovery 47 yards for a touchdown, junior Paul Branco (Brockton, Mass./ Brockton HS) making a 28-yard field goal, and Warren scoring his second TD, this time on a 28-yard run. Like the first, he reached the endzone virtually untouched. It was a ten-point afternoon for Branco, who was perfect on all seven of his extra point attempts.
Bentley completed its scoring midway through the fourth on a three-yard run by junior Joshua Marsh (Brockton, Mass./Brockton HS).
In addition to Warren, Tarr had a strong day running the ball as Bentley amassed its most rushing yards since 2003. He finished with a career-best 84 yards on 10 carries. Ten different Falcons caught passes with Slatteryâ€™s six receptions for 75 yards topping the list.
Defensively, Bentley limited the Hawks to 234 yards and 15 first downs while coming up with two takeaways, the fumble recovery by Haines and an interception by senior Matt Shea (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Bros. HS). Junior Jon Wilkie (Groton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) also blocked a punt for the Falcons.
Senior linebackers Greg Oâ€™Brien (Canton, Mass./Xaverian Bros. HS) and Mark Dolan (Barrington, R.I./ Barrington HS) each had eight tackles to pace the Falcons in that category.
For Saint Anselm, sophomore Michael Pierce (Andover, Mass.) was 15 of 29 passing for 157 yards, and freshman Keith Charles (Laurel, Md.) rushed for 64 yards and the Hawksâ€™ only TD.
After three straight on the road, Bentley will finally play its home opener Friday night, taking on New Haven at 7:00 pm.