MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn.) caught 11 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, but the Saint Anselm College football team dropped a 59-17 decision to seventh-ranked University of New Haven on Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium on Senior Day.
The Hawks wrap up their season at 1-9 overall, including 1-7 in Northeast-10 play, while the Chargers are champions of the Northeast-10 with a record of 10-1, 8-0.
The game was close early on as the Hawks responded to Chris Scifo's 25-yard field goal by driving 79 yards in 13 plays to tie the game on a 19-yard field goal by junior K Shea Cerio (Canastota, N.Y.).
New Haven went back on top on its next possession on a 1-yard touchdown run by QB Ryan Osiecki that made it 10-3 after Scifo's extra point with 3:39 to play in the opening quarter. The Chargers then opened it up to 17-3 just 47 seconds into the second quarter when Osiecki hit Kameel Lashley for a 54-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. Scifo's point-after was good.
The Hawks answered with a nine-play, 53-yard drive that culminated in a seven-yard touchdown stroll by sophomore RB Keith Charles (Laurel, Md.). Cerio's extra point sliced it to 17-10 with 11:07 on the clock in the opening half.
On the ensuing drive, New Haven charged 57 yards in five plays with Jason Thompson reeling in a 27-yard strike from Osiecki that made it 24-10 after Scifo's extra point. Scifo missed a 19-yard field goal with 34 seconds left in the half and New Haven kept its 14-point lead heading into the break.
After Cerio's kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback to start the second half, Osiecki aired out a deep ball to Thompson, who made the catch and raced to the end zone to complete the one-play, 80-yard drive that ate up 11 seconds of clock.
New Haven took the ball right back as Desmond Anderson intercepted junior QB Mike Pierce (Andover, Mass.) at the Saint Anselm 16-yard line and returned it three yards to the 13, where Osiecki hooked up with Chris Higgins for a touchdown on the following play. The Chargers held the ball for 18 seconds and scored two touchdowns 42 seconds apart to take a 38-10 lead.
It was 45-10 3:35 into the final quarter when Mike DeCaro capped off an 11-play, 72-yard drive with a 12-yard run. Scifo followed with the extra point.
The Hawks came back an engineered a 10-play, 85-yard drive, with Pierce hitting Wilson just inside the left pylon for a touchdown that Serio followed with an extra point to make it 45-17 with 8:20 to go.
A 24-yard pass from Osiecki to Lashley with 6:10 left finished off a five-play, 52-yard drive that made it 52-17 before the Chargers closed the scoring with a seven-play, 44-yard drive that ended in a Brian Alston five-yard touchdown run with 1:39 on the clock.
Pierce finished 28 of 49 for 256 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted three times, including once on a ball he threw up for grabs on the final play of the game. Pierce also rushed six times for 35 yards.
New Haven racked up 587 yards of total offense, including 421 yards through the air. Osiecki was 21 of 30 for 391 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Thompson caught five passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns, while Lashley made five catches for 128 yards and two scores. Ronnie Nelson rushed 10 times for 107 yards.
Defensively for the Hawks, senior LB Shane O'Donnell (Dracut, Mass.) recorded nine tackles, including three for a loss of 18 yards, two sacks for 16 yards and an interception. Junior LB Chris Bent (Dracut, Mass.) made 10 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, while senior Kyle Hayes (Merritt Island, Fla.) tallied nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss.
O'Donnell's interception gave the Hawks 18 for the season, which was one shy of tying the school record.
This marked the final game for seniors Wilson, O'Donnell, Hayes, OL Jake Smith (Fort Myers, Fla.), LB Garrett Hubert (Newport, N.H.), OL Sean Morris (Melrose, Mass.) and DL Dustin Mone (Shaftsbury, Vt.), who were all honored in a ceremony prior to the start of the game.