MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team will go for its first road win of 2011 when it heads south to take on American International College at Abdow Field on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.
The Hawks and Yellow Jackets meet for the 15th time ever, with American International holding an 11-3 advantage. The Yellow Jackets have won the previous 10 meetings dating back to 2001, including four at home. In the most recent meeting, the Yellow Jackets captured a 27-7 victory at Grappone Stadium on Oct. 9 last season.
The Yellow Jackets got on the board just 3:01 into the first period as Rob Parent found freshman Cal Brownridge across the middle for a 34-yard score. Brownridge caught the ball on the far side of the field, then cut across to the near pylon for the score. After a Parent 65-yard scoring pass to Andre Samuels to make it 14-0 after one quarter, the Yellow Jackets extended the lead midway thru the second quarter. Trevor Perryman hauled in a 25-yard pass in the far corner of the end zone, juggling the ball and coming down with it for Parent's third scoring pass of the opening half. Parent threw for 212 yards in the opening half, completing 9-of-16 passing attempts in the half.
AIC stretched the lead to 27-0 with 4:24 left in the third quarter as Perryman caught a wide-open eight-yard touchdown pass for his second TD catch of the game. The play was set up by an 89-yard run by sophomore Courtney Stephenson down inside the 10-yard line.
Saint Anselm got on the board with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter as Keith Charles ran up the middle from two yards out for his third touchdown of the season and a 27-7 score.
Freshman Tyrae Woodson-Samuels completed 25-of-42 pass attempts for 175 yards, along with leading the team with 92 yards on the ground in his first career start. Charles also ran for 55 yards and caught seven passes for 29 yards. Junior All-American candidate Marc Wilson was the team leader with 10 receptions for 44 yards. Freshman Justin Bernard led the team with 79 yards receiving, including a 59-yard reception. Brendan Timmons led the Hawk defense with eight tackles, along with a six-tackle effort by Mark Colantonio.
AIC was led by a 139-yard day on the ground by Stephenson, as well as a 227-yard, four-touchdown afternoon by Parent. Allen Bush and Nick Abraham led the Yellow Jacket defense with 11 tackles each.
With the loss, Saint Anselm fell to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the Northeast-10, while the Yellow Jackets improved to 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the league.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior WR Marc Wilson racked up 303 all-purpose yards, but the Hawks suffered a 58-7 defeat at the hands of Merrimack on a rainy afternoon at Grappone Stadium on Oct. 1.
The Hawks fell to 0-4, including 0-3 in Northeast-10 play, while the Warriors improved to 3-1, 2-0.
Wilson caught nine passes for 124 yards, returned nine kickoffs for 168 yards and had two rushes for 11 yards.
Merrimack, which was coming off its bye week after setting a program record for points in a game in a 63-7 rout of Pace two weeks ago, put up 649 yards of total offense, including 428 on the ground.
The Warriors built a 30-0 lead midway through the second quarter on a trio of rushing touchdowns by RB Jimon Hill, a safety in which the Hawks fumbled the slippery ball out of the back of their own end zone, and a rushing score by QB James Suozzo.
Saint Anselm stopped the bleeding with 4:20 to play in the opening half when junior QB Mike Pierce found sophomore WR Eric Feehan down the left sideline for a 64-yard touchdown play that made it 30-7.
Merrimack answered back with rushing touchdowns by Suozzo and Andrew DiCarlo in the third quarter, followed by a 36-yard touchdown pass from Joe Clancy to Isaiah Voegeli and a touchdown scamper by Casey Koperniak in the fourth.
Hill ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, while Suozzo rushed for 131 yards and a pair of scores on 17 carries. Suozzo was also 13-21 for 164 yards and three interceptions. Voegeli reeled in seven passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.
Pierce passed for 257 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 31 yards, but was just 15-for-42 through the air with three interceptions.
With picks by redshirt-sophomore DB Ethan Sylvain, sophomore DB Joey Polverini and senior LB Kyle Hayes, the Hawks now have 11 interceptions on the season, which matches their total from all of last season.
With three more interceptions against Merrimack on Oct. 1, the Hawks now have 11 picks through just four games, which matches all of last season's total.
RUNNING WITH A PURPOSE
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks first in the conference and second in the nation with 201 all-purpose yards per game. That number was helped two weeks ago when Wilson returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 118 yards against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17. Last week against Merrimack on Oct. 1, Wilson caught Wilson caught nine passes for 124 yards, returned nine kickoffs for 168 yards and had two rushes for 11 yards.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL...AND THE QUARTERBACK
The Hawks rank second in the Northeast-10 in sacks allowed per game (1.50) and fourth in turnover differential (0.25). The Saint Anselm defense has played a big role in the turnover differential department, forcing 13 turnovers through the first four games. Sophomore DB Trevor Jesse's four interceptions are third in the nation, while his 1.0 INT per game puts him second.
Senior WR Marc Wilson and sophomore WR Justin Bernard have provided a 1-2 – or if you go by their league ranking in receiving yards, a 3-4 – punch at the receiver position. Wilson, who is second in the country with 201 all-purpose yards per game, is averaging 91.5 ypg, while Bernard, who leads the nation with 10 receptions per game, is putting up 90.0 yards per game, The two combined for nine receptions, 125 yards and a touchdown Sept. 23 at Bentley, one week after totaling 21 catches, 225 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17.
The Hawks erased Bentley's streak of scoring in 17 consecutive quarters Sept. 23 when they held the Falcons scoreless in the opening quarter.
Junior QB Mike Pierce recorded his seventh career 300-yard passing game with 315 yards against Southern Connecticut State on Sept. 17, going 33-for-57 with four TDs. Pierce is second in the conference with 267.0 yards of total offense per game.
RUNNING WITH A PURPOSE
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks third in the conference and 19th in the nation with 167. all-purpose yards per game. That number was helped two weeks ago when Wilson returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 118 yards against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17.
TURNING IT OVER
The Saint Anselm defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, against Southern Connecticut on Sept. 17. The four interceptions are the most for the Hawks since they recorded four against Bentley on Oct. 25, 2008, while the five turnovers are the most since forcing five last season against Stonehill on Oct. 30.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
Sophomore RB Keith Charles put together his best game in a Saint Anselm uniform against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Charles ran for 100 yards on 15 carries (6.7 average) and scored three times, including a 54-yard jaunt in the third quarter - the second longest rush of his career.
PIERCE GETTING IT DONE IN TOTAL
Junior QB Mike Pierce racked up over 300 yards of total offense against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Pierce was 28-for-52 passing for 264 yards and a touchdown to go along with his 51 yards on the ground.
LUCKY NO. 13
Sophomore WR Justin Bernard reeled in 13 catches against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3. Bernard was one reception shy of matching his career high of 14, which he set in a 35-26 win at New Haven last season Nov. 6.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
The Hawks amassed 438 yards of total offense against 20th-ranked Kutztown on Sept. 3, including 174 on the ground, which marked the first time since their 2008 meeting that the Hawks ran for 100-plus yards against the Golden Bears.
JORGENSEN NAMED ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen was named the Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week on Sept. 4 after he intercepted two passes, including one that set up Saint Anselm's first touchdown and brought the Hawks within seven points early on in their Sept. 3 meeting with 20th-ranked Kutztown. Jorgensen also recorded five tackles in the contest, including one for a six-yard loss.
PREDICTING THE FUTURE
The Hawks were picked to finish eighth in the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released last week. New Haven was chosen as the favorite to win the conference after collecting six-first place votes and point total of 59 to narrowly edge Southern Connecticut, which earned two first-place votes and 58 total points. Merrimack, which received the other first-place vote, came in third with 47 points. With 43 points, Bentley edged AIC (42) for the fourth-place slot. Assumption (28) and Stonehill (23) checked in at the sixth and seventh spots, with Saint Anselm (16) and Pace (8) rounding out the poll.
Grappone Stadium, the home of the Hawks, received a major face lift over the summer as the old grass surface was replaced with a new synthetic Field Turf and lights were added, making night football on the Hilltop a future possibility.
LIVE VIDEO STREAMING
Saint Anselm Athletics and Pack Network will once again team up for the 2011-12 season to offer an industry-leading streaming video solution. The service will feature live event productions that include multiple cameras, an on-screen scoreboard and graphics so that fans can still be part of the action even when they can't make it to the game. This season, all football, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's hockey games will be streamed live at SaintAnselmHawks.tv. The Hawks All-Access Pass, available for $49.95, gives fans the opportunity to watch not only all the live coverage of various Saint Anselm home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes an in-depth archive section of all video available. Single-event subscriptions for all live events will be available throughout the season for $5.95.