PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Junior QB Mike Pierce (Andover, Mass.) racked up 395 yards of total offense and senior WR Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn.) totaled 229 all-purpose yards as the Saint Anselm College football team earned a 47-21 victory against Pace University on Saturday afternoon at Pace Field.
The Hawks record their first win of 2011 to move to 1-6 on the season, including 1-4 in Northeast-10 play, while the Setters fall to 1-6, 0-5.
Saint Anselm set school records for total offense (576), all-purpose yards (729) and average yards per play (8.0), as well as season highs for points (47) and rushing yards (305). Pierce was 22 of 36 for 271 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 124 yards and a score on nine carries. Wilson caught 10 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and ran for 81 yards and a score on four carries.
After a scoreless opening quarter that featured the fourth interception of the season by redshirt-sophomore DB Ethan Sylvain (E. Montpelier, Vt.), the Hawks broke the deadlock 50 seconds into the second frame when sophomore RB Greg Bell (Liverpool, N.Y.) capped a nine-play, 53-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good and Saint Anselm led, 6-0.
The Hawks added to their lead with 9:42 to play in the opening half after a drive that went 80 yards in nine plays before being finished off with an 11-yard touchdown run by Bell. The extra point by junior K Shea Cerio (Canastota, N.Y.) made it 13-0. Sophomore WR Tom Donovan (Holliston, Mass.) made three catches on the drive for 34 yards, while fellow sophomore WR Eric Feehan (Bedford, N.H.) reeled in a 19-yard reception.
The Setters answered by grinding out a 13-play, 76-yard drive that ended on a two-yard touchdown stroll by Eric Santos with 2:37 on the clock. Ali Mourtada's extra point pulled Pace to within 13-7.
Saint Anselm worked quickly out of the no-huddle as it went 68 yards on six plays in just 1:06 to go up, 20-7, with 1:25 to play before the break. Feehan made three catches for 22 yards on the drive, while Pierce hit Wilson for a 23-yard TD strike to finish it off.
The Hawks widened their lead to start the third quarter as they went 67 yards in five plays. After a pair of three-yard runs by Bell, Feehan followed with a 30-yard catch-and-run that pushed the Hawks into Pace territory. After a six-yard reception by Wilson, Pierce hit junior WR Craig Dennis (Atlantic City, N.J.) over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown. After a bad snap on the extra point, the desperation conversion try was intercepted and the Hawks led, 26-7, just 1:37 into the second half.
On the ensuing Pace drive, sophomore LB Cam Foster (Windham, N.H.) hit Pace QB Jordan Raynor, forcing and then recovering the fumble at the Setters' 33-yard line. The Hawks' drive ended, however, with a Pierce interception on fourth-and-six.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, Pierce atoned by running 80 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown on the first play of the drive. Cerio's extra point put the Hawks up, 33-7, with 9:48 to go in the third. It was the longest run from scrimmage in program history.
Pace's eight play, 49-yard drive was abruptly halted after 3:49 when junior DB Tyler Crawford (Lamoine, Maine) intercepted Rayner and raced 69 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown – the third longest interception return in program history – that made it 40-7 after Cerio's extra point with 12:36 remaining in the fourth.
The Setters answered with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard sneak by Raymer. The Mourtada point-after brought Pace to within 40-14 with 7:17 on the clock.
Saint Anselm did not let up, however, going 82 yards in just four plays, with a 71-yard touchdown run down the left sideline by Wilson capping the drive. The extra point by Cerio tied the school record for extra points in a game and put Saint Anselm in control at 47-14 with 5:36 to play. Cerio also had a 58-yard punt in the game that was the third-longest in school history.
The back-and-forth continued as Pace marched 67 yards in 10 plays, with Patrick Lupfer reeling in a 19-yard touchdown catch. Mourtada's extra point made it 47-21 with 1:52 left.
Feehan made seven catches for 86 yards, while Bell tallied 37 yards on six carries.
Raymer was 14-for-25 for 162 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Santos picked up 74 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. when they play host to Assumption College on Homecoming at Grappone Stadium.