MANCHESTER, N.H. – Despite a 69-yard touchdown run by senior WR Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn.) that gave his team a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Saint Anselm College football team suffered a 24-20 defeat against Assumption College on Homecoming at a snowy Grappone Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks fall to 1-7 on the season, including 1-5 in Northeast-10 play, while the Greyhounds even their record at 4-4, 3-3 NE-10.
Leading 13-10 with 12:25 to play in the fourth, the Hawks widened their lead when Wilson – in at quarterback with snow beginning to blanket the Grappone Stadium turf – broke a run straight up the middle before cutting to the left sideline and racing 69 yards for the score. The extra point by junior K Shea Cerio (Canastota, N.Y.) gave Saint Anselm a 10-point lead.
Assumption responded with a six-play, 70-yard drive that lasted just 1:37, however, to make it 20-17. After Gabe Homiski hit Paul Perez for a 35-yard gain, Matt Pedone picked up 15 yards to set up Hominski to Perez again – this time for 20 yards and the touchdown. Brian Nowak's point-after was good.
Saint Anselm was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and junior QB Mike Pierce (Andover, Mass.) delivered a 47-yard punt that pinned the Greyhounds down at their own four-yard line. Assumption responded again, however, moving the ball 96 yards on nine plays in just 2:23. Pedone's 39-yard run up the left side gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game at 24-20 after Nowak's extra point with 4:31 to go.
After a quick three-and-out, Cerio's 52-yard punt cornered Assumption in at its own five-yard line, but the Greyhounds were able to pick up a first down and run out the clock on their come-from-behind victory.
The Hawks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after their first drive of the game in which they went 54 yards in 10 plays. Cerio capped the drive with a field goal from 25 yards out at the 10:33 mark.
The game stayed that way through most of the opening half until Saint Anselm engineered a 10-play, 74-yard drive in just 1:26 that made it 10-0 with 16 seconds on the clock before the break. Following passes to sophomore WR Eric Feehan (Bedford, N.H.) and freshman TE Brian DeAngelis (Peabody, Mass.) for 15 and 11 yards, respectively, Pierce looked for Feehan on first- and second-and-goal from four yards out, but came up empty. The third time was a charm, however, as Pierce found Feehan near the left pylon for the touchdown, which was followed by a Cerio extra point.
Following Pierce's interception on the first play of the second half, Assumption went 46 yards in nine plays, with Nowak's 22-yard field goal putting the Greyhounds on the board at 10-3 with 11:37 left in the third.
Later in the quarter, Perez brought a Cerio punt back 40 yards to the Saint Anselm 15-yard line, with Homiski's 14-yard touchdown pass to Scott Simonson on the second play of the drive pulling Assumption even at 10-10 after the extra point with 5:26 to play in the third.
After the teams swapped unsuccessful drives, Saint Anselm took advantage of a short field after a 26-yard punt. Pierce connected with Feehan on a 47-yard pass play that brought the Hawks down to the seven-yard line, but they were forced to settle for a Cerio 26-yard field goal that made it 13-10 with 1:26 to go in the third.
With Assumption driving on its next possession, junior LB Chris Bent (Dracut, Mass.) snuffed out the drive with a hit on Homiski that knocked the ball loose. Sophomore DE Cam Foster (Windham, N.H.) fell on the football at the Hawks' 20-yard line and Saint Anselm had the ball back.
Sophomore RB Greg Bell (Liverpool, N.Y.) ate up 12 yards on three rushes to start the drive before Wilson broke his second long touchdown run in as many weeks to put the Hawks up 10. Wilson also ripped off a 71-yard touchdown run in the team's 47-21 victory at Pace University on Oct. 22.
Feehan recorded his second career 100-yard receiving day as he matched a career best with nine catches and amassed 106 yards. Wilson rushed for 76 yards on five carries, while Pierce was 17-for-45 for 180 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Pierce also ran for 30 yards on 11 carries. Cerio had a solid day as he was 2-for-2 on field goals and extra points, in addition to downing three punts inside the 20. Cerio also matched his career high, which he set last week, with a 58-yard punt that is the third longest in school history.
Bent led the way defensively with 12 tackles, including two for a loss of 13 yards, and his forced fumble. Senior LB Shane O'Donnell (Dracut, Mass.) recorded 11 tackles, including one for a three-yard loss. The Hawks saw their interception streak snapped as they had intercepted at least one pass in 10 consecutive games heading into today, dating back to an Oct. 30, 2010 matchup against Stonehill College.
Pedone rushed for 155 yards and a score on 23 carries, while Adam Gruschow caught six passes for 100 yards.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Nov. 5 at noon when they travel to take on Stonehill.