MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team will try to make it two-wins-in-a-row when it plays host to Assumption College on Homecoming at Grappone Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. Links to live stats and live video are available on the football schedule page. The first 200 students in attendance will receive a free "Hawks Bleed Blue" T-shirt at the gate closest to Davison Hall.
The Hawks and Greyhounds meet for the 13th time in the history of the two programs, with Assumption holding a slight 7-5 edge. The Greyhounds have controlled the series as of late, winning six straight overall and three-in-a-row on the Hilltop. Prior to this run of dominance by the Greyhounds, the Hawks won five of six to start the series, including four straight. In the most recent meeting Oct. 23 of last season, Assumption held off Saint Anselm, 45-40, for a Homecoming victory at Multi-Sport Stadium.
The Hawks lost despite a 340-yard, three-touchdown performance by sophomore QB Michael Pierce.
The Greyhounds jumped on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the game as Eric Schindler pulled down a 14-yard touchdown pass across the middle from Andrew Kupec for the 7-0 lead. The Hawks answered back just 17 seconds later on the first play of the drive as Pierce found All-American candidate Marc Wilson for a 77-yard touchdown to even things at 7-7 just 3:01 into the contest. Wilson's 77-yard reception was the fifth-longest reception in school history. Assumption closed out the first-quarter scoring with 1:17 left as Kupec found senior running back Herb Woodard on a screen pass, which Woodard took in from 21 yards out for the 14-7 lead.
After a 24-yard field goal by Assumption pushed the advantage to 17-7 midway thru the second quarter, Saint Anselm answered back with another big scoring play to cut the lead down to 17-14 at the half. The big play came courtesy of freshman running back Keith Charles, who scampered 58 yards up the far sideline for his first of three touchdowns on the afternoon.
The Hawks took their first lead of the contest early in the third quarter on a 25-yard scoring run by Charles for the 21-17 advantage. Setting up the touchdown was a 40-yard reception from senior Marcel Bouie. After a near Saint Anselm interception of Kupec midway thru the half on third down, the Greyhounds took advantage of the opportunity and found wide receiver David Canney on the next play for a 32-yard touchdown. Charles and the Hawks came back with a nine-play, 67-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard touchdown run. Saint Anselm missed the extra-point attempt, making it a 27-24 Hawk lead with 5:52 remaining in the third. Assumption had an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute of the quarter, but a 34-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
Assumption did retake the lead in the fourth though as Kupec found Paul Perez for a 29-yard touchdown and the 31-27 Greyhound lead. The back-and-forth contest continued just 2:02 later as Bouie pulled in a six-yard touchdown from Pierce in the right corner of the end zone for the 34-31 advantage. The score was set up by a 46-yard reception by Charles earlier in the drive.
Kupec and the Greyhounds regained the lead with a pair of unanswered scores in the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter, including a six-yard touchdown from Marcus Nichols to get the lead again at 38-34. Assumption pushed the lead into double digits with 2:46 remaining on a 60-yard scoring reception by Canney, his second TD of the game. The Hawks marched 58 yards in 11 plays on the next drive, capped by a three-yard touchdown catch by freshman Justin Bernard to get Saint Anselm within five points at 45-40. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Greyhounds recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory, now holding a 7-5 lead in the all-time series against Saint Anselm.
For the Hawks, Charles picked up 86 yards on the ground with three touchdowns, along with another 80 yards receiving. Charles is just the second freshman in Saint Anselm history to score three rushing touchdowns in a game, and just the third three-rushing touchdown performance overall. For Pierce, his 340-yard performance is the fifth 300-yard passing game in his career. Wilson led the Hawks receivers with six catches for 118 yards, his fifth career 100-yard receiving game. Wilson led the Hawks with 185 all-purpose yards, along with 166 all-purpose yards from Charles. With his six catches, Wilson now holds the Saint Anselm career record for receptions with 139 catches in just two seasons as a wide receiver.
Defensively, Saint Anselm was led by a 15-tackle showing by sophomore Chris Bent, as well as 12 tackles by sophomore Shane O'Donnell and 10 tackles from Brendan Timmons. O'Donnell had a pair of tackles for a loss of six yards.
For Assumption, Kupec threw for 402 yards and six touchdowns, while Woodard rushed for a game-high 158 yards on the ground. Canney pulled down eight receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns as well.
Saint Anselm fell to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the Northeast-10, while Assumption improved to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the league.
LAST TIME OUT
Junior QB Mike Pierce racked up 395 yards of total offense and senior WR Marc Wilson totaled 229 all-purpose yards as the Hawks earned a 47-21 victory against Pace on Oct. 22 at Pace Field.
The Hawks recorded their first win of 2011 to move to 1-6 on the season, including 1-4 in Northeast-10 play, while the Setters fell 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, the Hawks broke the deadlock 50 seconds into the second frame when sophomore RB Greg Bell 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 made it 13-0. Sophomore WR Tom Donovan made three catches on the drive for 34 yards, while fellow sophomore WR Eric Feehan 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 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 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 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.
Junior LB Brendan Timmons and senior LB Shane O'Donnell led the way with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
In their 47-21 victory at Pace on Oct. 22, the Hawks broke a handful of school records. The Hawks set new program records for total offense (576), all-purpose yards (729) and average yards per play (8.0), as as season highs for points (47) and rushing yards (305).
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks seventh in the nation with 187.4 all-purpose yards per game and 15th with 6.9 receptions per game, while sophomore DBs Trevor Jessie and Ethan Sylvain rank seventh and 12th, respectively, with .67 and .57 interceptions per game and junior QB Mike Pierce is 19th with 281.6 yards of total offense per game.
CRAWFORD NAMED NORTHEAST-10 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior DB Tyler Crawford was named the Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 23, the conference announced this past Monday. Crawford helped the Hawks record a 47-21 victory at Pace on Oct. 22 as the defense held the Setters to the lowest scoring output of any Hawk opponent this season. Crawford played a big role as he recorded seven tackles – six solo stops – forced a fumble and brought his second interception of the season back 69 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown – the third longest interception return in program history – that made it 40-7 after the extra point with 12:36 remaining in the fourth.
Junior QB Mike Pierce and senior WR Marc Wilson both made the Northeast-10's weekly honor roll that was released this past Monday after the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22. Pierce amassed 395 yards of total offense as he was 22 of 36 passing for 271 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 124 yards and a score on nine carries. His 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest run from scrimmage in school history. Pierce also helped Saint Anselm win the field position battle with a pair of punts that pinned Pace inside the 20. Wilson caught 10 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and ran for 81 yards and a score on four carries, while also racking up 30 kick return yards. Wilson's 71-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter is the third-longest run from scrimmage in program history.
SETTING THE PACE
After his 229-all-purpose-yard performance in the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22, senior WR Marc Wilson continues to put up big numbers against the Setters. Wilson has now racked up 817 all-purpose yards to go along with 10 touchdowns in five games (163.4 yds/game). Wilson has averaged 7.5 yards each time he has touched the ball against the Setters. Wilson has also amassed 558 yards of total offense, with 459 of those yards coming in the first two games when Wilson served as the team's quarterback.
ANSWERING THE BELL
Sophomore RB Greg Bell helped jump-start the Hawks offense in their 47-21 at Pace on Oct. 22. Bell, who finished with 37 yards on six carries, found the end zone for the first time in his career after a one-yard jaunt just 50 seconds into the opening half staked the Hawks to a 6-0 lead. After getting a taste of paydirt, Bell forced his way into the end zone again as he stretched his team's lead to 13-0 with an 11-yard scoring run with 9:42 left in the second.
In the Hawks' 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22, junior K Shea Cerio matched a school record with five extra points. Cerio had a chance for the outright record, but missed his first PAT of the afternoon and also had another point-after attempt thwarted after a botched snap that forced the Hawks into a desperation two-point conversion situation. Cerio also boomed a 58-yard punt in the first quarter that was the third-longest punt in school history.
After losing six straight to start the year – with all of the games taking place on synthetic turf playing surfaces – the Hawks grabbed their first win of the year in a 47-21 triumph at Pace's grass surface stadium, Pace Field, on Oct. 22. The Hawks had a brand new synthetic turf surface installed at Grappone Stadium this past summer after playing the previous 12 seasons on grass.
With redshirt-sophomore Ethan Sylvain's fourth interception of the season at Pace on Oct. 22, he joined sophomore DB Trevor Jessie (4) and redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen (3) as the first three Saint Anselm defenders to ever combine for 11 picks. It is the first time two Hawks have each intercepted four passes since Pat McGuiness (4) and Justin Peledge (4) in 2000, as well as the first time three different Hawks have recorded three or more interceptions since Mark Wysocki (4), Anthony Barese (3) and Brian Sundell (3) attained the feat in 2004. The team now has 15 interceptions on the season, which is the second most all-time behind the 2004 squad that grabbed 19.
SETTING THE TONE
Sophomore RB Keith Charles racked up over 100 all-purpose yards at AIC on Oct. 8. Charles rushed 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown and also caught three passes for 29 yards and another score. On Saint Anselm's four-play, 58-yard opening drive, Charles came out on fire as he accounted for all 58 yards, including the 19-yard touchdown run that capped the drive.
I LIKE MIKE
Junior QB Mike Pierce put together his second 300-yard total-offense game of the season at AIC on Oct. 8. Pierce was 27-for-41 for 295 yards and a touchdown through the air, while picking up 31 yards and another score on seven rushes.
Sophomore WR Eric Feehan collected the first 100-yard receiving game of his career when he totaled 114 yards at AIC on Oct. 8. Feehan also set a career high with nine receptions and his 51-yard catch in the fourth quarter was the second longest of his career.
With his interception at AIC on Oct. 8, redshirt-freshman Isaac Jorgensen became the first Saint Anselm linebacker to intercept three passes in a season since senior Anthony Barese picked off three passes in 2004. Jorgensen is the first freshman to amass three INTs since teammate Ethan Sylvain tallied four in 2009.
RUNNING WITH A PURPOSE
Senior WR Marc Wilson ranks second in the conference and fifth in the nation with 180.5 all-purpose yards per game.
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 leads the conference with 262.7 yards of total offense per game.
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.