MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team will play its final home game of the 2012 season when it hosts American International College on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. under the lights at Grappone Stadium on Senior Night. Links to live stats and live video are available on the football schedule page.
The game will be streamed live at SaintAnselmHawks.tv, with Ben Altsher handling play-by-play duties and Nick Anastos providing the color analysis.
Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for seniors, teens and non-Saint Anselm students with a valid ID, while admission is free for children 12-and-under, as well as Saint Anselm students, faculty and staff that have a valid ID. Saint Anselm faculty and staff with a valid ID can also admit ONE guest free of charge.
In addition to the Hawks honoring their seven-member senior class, the game's festivities will include the Night of Stars to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Stars will be sold for $1 at the game, as well as Wednesday through Friday at lunch and dinner at Davison Hall. The stars will be hung up along the fence surrounding the field during the game, with 100 percent of all proceeds going directly to Make-A-Wish.
Fans will also have a chance to support the cause by taking part in a Chuck-A-Puck-like game, where they will purchase footballs before the game and during the first half to then throw at a target on the field during halftime. The person with the ball that lands closest to the target will then win a prize. Footballs will be sold by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for $1 each or $2 for three footballs, with 100 percent of those proceeds also going directly to Make-A-Wish.
The Hawks and Yellow Jackets meet for the 16th time ever, with American International holding a 12-3 advantage. The Yellow Jackets have won the previous 11 meetings dating back to 2001, including six straight on the Hilltop. Prior to that, Saint Anselm had won three of the first four meetings, which took place in the 1930's and 40's. In the most recent meeting Oct. 8 of last season, the Yellow Jackets captured a 27-7 victory at Ronald J. Abdow Field, despite over 100 all-purpose yards from sophomore RB Keith Charles and over 300 yards of total offense from junior QB Mike Pierce.
With the loss, the Hawks fell to 0-5 on the season and dropped to 0-4 in the Northeast-10. The Yellow Jackets improved to 4-2 overall and collected their third victory during conference play (3-1).
Charles rushed 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown and also caught three passes for 29 yards and another score. Pierce was 27-for-41 for 295 yards and a touchdown through the air, while picking up 31 yards and another touchdown on seven rushes.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the contest with a 58-yard drive down field that culminated with a Charles 19-yard touchdown at 13:53 of the first quarter. Senior WR Marc Wilson initiated the sequence by returning the opening kickoff 26 yards from the Saint Anselm 16-yard line, before a 17-yard Charles reception and 17-yard Charles rush pushed Saint Anselm deep into AIC territory. Another five-yard Charles rush then set up his long touchdown run. Junior Shea Cerio added the point-after to lift the Hawks to the early 7-0 lead.
American International quickly answered with a 24-yard touchdown run from Terrell Williams, who capped off a five-play, 78-yard drive to knot the score at seven apiece following a successful PAT attempt by Cesar Vaca-Hurtado at 11:57.
With 1:56 remaining in the opening quarter, Kevin Arduino scored a rushing touchdown from eight yards out to cap a 16-play, 87-yard drive, with Vaca-Hurtado adding the extra point to double up the Hawks 14-7. AIC was able to finish the drive despite sacks from junior LB Brendan Timmons and senior LB Shane O'Donnell.
Following five first-downs by the Hawks' offense, including a 17-yard pass play from Pierce to sophomore WR Eric Feehan on the first play of the drive and a pair of Charles rushes for 10-plus yards, Pierce ran the ball in from three yards out at 9:46 of the second quarter to tie the game at 14 apiece after Cerio's extra point.
On the third play of the ensuing AIC drive, Arduino was able to break several tackles and rumble 39 yards to the Saint Anselm 2-yard line, setting up a one-yard Williams rush and a Vaca-Hurtado point-after attempt that completed the go-ahead drive for the Yellow Jackets to bring the score to 21-14 with 7:14 to play in the first half.
After a Carron McCluney interception set up AIC at the Hawks' 38-yard line later in the second quarter, a 10-yard sack by junior DL Derek Brewer brought up a second-and-long for the Yellow Jackets. Arduino lofted a deep pass that was brought in by Trevor Perryman and returned down the field for a touchdown. An extra point attempt was converted by a Vaca-Hurtado following the 41-yard play, doubling up the Hawks by a 28-14 margin with 1:02 left in the second quarter.
The score stayed that way until 2:06 remained in the third quarter when Charles reeled in a four-yard pass from Pierce to bring the Hawks to within a touchdown at 28-21.
American International jumped back out to the 35-21 lead with 6:34 remaining in regulation, as Arduino rushed into the end zone from one yard out. The touchdown was the culmination of 6:34 of possession in which 15 plays were run for a total of 64 yards.
Following the touchdown, two quick passes by Pierce netted the Hawks a total of 62 yards as Wilson made an 11-yard grab and Feehan pulled in a 51-yard pass. A Charles rush for two yards inched the Hawks closer to a score and an opposing pass interference call granted Saint Anselm a new set of downs. On fourth down with six yards to go, an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs with 3:58 to play.
The Hawks, who scored three touchdowns in their four trips to the red zone, amassed a season-high 443 total yards, including 148 on the ground.
Feehan caught nine passes for 114 yards, while Wilson collected nine receptions for 66 yards.
Timmons and O'Donnell finished with 12 and nine tackles, respectively, while senior LB Kyle Hayes and freshman DL Josh Cheever each tallied eight. Redshirt-freshman LB Isaac Jorgensen snatched his third interception of the year in the third quarter, giving the Hawks 12 picks on the year, which is one more than all of last season.
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman QB Andrew Murphy tossed five touchdowns and junior WR Justin Bernard caught three of them, but the Hawks ran into a record-setting offensive day for Merrimack as the Warriors posted an 81-35 victory Oct. 20 at Martone-Mejail Field.
The Hawks fell to 1-7 on the season, including 1-6 in Northeast-10 play, while the Warriors improved to 4-3 and evened their record in the conference at 3-3.
Murphy, who set a freshman school record with the five TD passes, completed 29 of his career-high 61 attempts for 357 yards, while throwing a pair of interceptions and rushing for 23 yards. Bernard caught 11 passes for 160 yards and a career-best three touchdowns.
The 475 yards of total offense and 357 passing yards the Hawks rung up are the second highest marks this season behind the 500 and 405, respectively, in Murphy's first career start at Southern Connecticut State on Sept. 29. Beginning with that game, the offense is averaging 445.8 yards per contest over its last four. The Hawks also went over 100 yards rushing for the second consecutive game after doing so for the first time this season last week.
In a game that featured 116 points and 1,276 yards of total offense, Merrimack went up 53-0 on five Joe Clancy touchdown passes, including four to Isaiah Voegeli. The Hawks jumped on the board with 2:03 remaining in the opening half after a six-play, 81-yard drive. Bernard had three catches for 70 yards during the possession, including a 29-yarder from Murphy that made it 53-7 after the extra point by senior P/K Shea Cerio.
Saint Anselm then received the kickoff to open the second half and promptly went 75 yards in just five plays and 49 seconds. Murphy was 5-for-5 for 58 yards on the drive, including four completions to Bernard for 45 yards, as well as the 14-yarder that capped the drive and brought the score to 53-14 following Cerio's PAT with 14:04 on the clock.
Clancy threw his sixth touchdown pass to Jere Brown – a 31-yarder that made it 60-14 following Nick Zwann's extra point with 8:56 left in the third – to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
On the ensuing drive, Murphy once again marched the Hawks down the field as they moved the ball 64 yards in 10 plays. Murphy then hit Bernard for a 23-yard touchdown and the score was 60-21 at the 5:59 mark of the third after Cerio's point-after.
After freshman Jack Hopkins picked Clancy for his second interception of the season, the Hawks went three-and-out and were forced to kick it away. Cerio's punt was blocked by Colin Hay, who retrieved the ball and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with 3:40 to go in the third. Zwann's kick put the Warriors on top, 67-21. Following another three-and-out, Clancy capped his day with a 71-yard score to Brown that made it 74-21 with 1:17 left in the third.
The Hawks responded with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took just 1:23. Murphy hooked up with senior WR Craig Dennis for a 10-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter that made it 74-28 just six seconds in.
After an Artis Holt interception shortened the field for the offense, the Warriors went 30 yards in five plays, with Luke Bakanowsky carrying the ball in from five yards out to cap the drive and make it 81-28 with 8:19 remaining.
Saint Anselm followed that with a nine-play, 70-yard drive on its next possession, which ended when Murphy found junior WR Eric Feehan for an 11-yard touchdown that brought the Hawks to within 81-35 with 6:18 left on the game clock.
Dennis made six catches for 81 yards and his score, while sophomore WR Ahkeen Williams notched seven receptions for 88 yards. It marked the first time the Hawks had three receivers with at least 80 yards since Nov. 6, 2010 when Bernard, Marcel Bouie and then-freshman Keith Charles each reached the century mark in an upset win at New Haven.
Junior RB Greg Bell led the Hawks in rushing with 12 carries for 66 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior LB Ethan Sylvain and senior LB Brendan Timmons each made a game-high eight tackles. Sylvain amassed seven solo stops and four tackles for a loss of 19 yards, while Timmons made two for a loss of three yards. Freshman DB Carroll Bailey tallied seven stops and forced a fumble, while senior DL Mike Hobbs also recorded seven tackles, including 2.5 for a loss. In addition to the interception, Hopkins notched six tackles, including one for a loss.
Clancy, who was 27-for-42, broke the Northeast-10 Conference record for passing yards (553) and total yards (561) and matched the conference record for passing touchdowns (7). Voegeli tied a school record with four touchdowns and broke his own NE-10 record with 269 receiving yards. The Warriors, meanwhile, broke several NE-10 records as they scored 81 points, recorded 801 total yards and racked up 553 passing yards, in addition to school records for yards in a half (524) and points in a half (53).
ROOKIE OF THE LAST FOUR WEEKS?
Freshman QB Andrew Murphy captured his third Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week award in the last four weeks after his performance at Merrimack on Oct. 20. Murphy was a bright spot for the Hawks as he set a freshman school record with five touchdown passes, completed 29 of his career-high 61 attempts for 357 yards and rushed for 23 yards on seven carries.
Junior WR Justin Bernard did all he could to offset the Merrimack offensive attack Oct. 20, as he caught 11 passes for 160 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. In addition, senior WR Craig Dennis made six catches for 81 yards and a score, while sophomore WR Ahkeen Williams notched seven receptions for 88 yards. It marked the first time the Hawks had three receivers with at least 80 receiving yards since Nov. 6, 2010 when Bernard, Marcel Bouie and then-freshman Keith Charles each reached the century mark in an upset win at New Haven.
OFFENSE HEATING UP
After averaging just 235.5 yards per contest through the first four games of the season, the Hawks have averaged 445.8 yards over the last four contests. In addition, the Hawks have now rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games, after not touching the century mark through their first six contests.
Sophomore WR Justin Bernard is 13th in the country and second in the Northeast-10 in receptions per game (7.4), as well as 31st in the nation and third in the conference in receiving yards per game (90.8) ... junior RB Keith Charles ranks 14th in the country with 166.1 all-purpose yards per game ... senior P Shea Cerio ranks second in the conference in punting average (37.9). His career-high 61-yard punt against Kutztown on Sept. 3, which is a yard shy of the school record, is the second longest this season in the conference, while his 11 punts that have been downed inside the 20-yard line are tied for the conference lead.
BENT, BUT DON'T BREAK
Senior LB Chris Bent has been a bright spot, defensively, so far this season. Bent has registered a team-leading 80 tackles, including 43 solo stops, and ranks 30th in the nation, as well as fourth in the conference, in tackles per game (10.0).
YOU CAN'T BE CERIO!
Senior P/K Shea Cerio, who matched Saint Anselm's single-game record of 13 punts in the season opener at Kutzown on Sept. 3, needs just seven more punts to become the school's career leader in that category. Jeff Dandurand tallied 181 punts from 1999-02.
BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN
After 357 days and nine straight losses, the Hawks captured their first victory of 2012 with a complete 48-21 win against Pace on Homecoming Oct. 13. The Hawks, whose last W came in a 47-21 win at Pace on Oct. 22 of last season, matched the program record for points in a game that was set in a 48-42 win at Merrimack on Oct. 10, 2008.
ALL THREE FACETS COMING THROUGH
In their 48-21 Homecoming victory against Pace on Oct. 13, the Hawks received a touchdown from their offense, defense and special teams. It is just the second time in program history the Hawks have achieved the feat and the first time since Sept. 29, 2001 when they did it against Assumption.
CHARLES IS SPECIAL
Junior RB Keith Charles broke out as he amassed nearly 300 all-purpose yards in a 48-21 win against Pace on Oct. 13. Charles carried 11 times for a career-best 119 yards (10.8 avg) and a touchdown, while also making two catches for 21 yards. Charles also returned three kicks for 148 yards, including a career-high 82-yard return for a touchdown in the opening quarter, which netted him both Northeast-10 and ECAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
MORE ON THE CHARLES TD RETURN
Junior RB Keith Charles' 82-yard kickoff return against Pace on Oct. 13 was just the sixth special teams return for a touchdown, including the fourth kick return for a score, in team history. Oddly enough, both punt returns and two of the four kick returns have come against Assumption.
WHAT A RUSH
After not cracking the century mark in the first six game of the season, the Hawks amassed a season-high 267 yards on the ground in their 48-21 victory against Pace on Oct. 13. Junior RB Keith Charles led the way with a career-best 119 yards on 11 carries (10.8 avg) and a touchdown, while fellow junior RB Greg Bell ran for a career-high 90 yards on 12 carries (7.5 avg) and a score.
HEY, DON'T FORGET ABOUT US!
The Hawks' defense came up big in their 48-21 win against Pace on Oct. 13, holding the Setters to season lows of 21 points and 375 yards of total offense. The Hawks recorded a season-high 14 tackles for a loss and matched their season best with four sacks. Junior DL Lou Licciardi recovered a fumble and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown after senior DL Mike Hobbs' strip-sack, while senior LB Chris Bent brought an interception back 73 yards for a score that was eventually called back when the final 34 yards were wiped out due to an official's inadvertent whistle.
Senior P/K Shea Cerio did a little bit of everything in the Hawks' 48-21 win against Pace on Oct. 13. Cerio booted four extra points, punted once, ran for 24 yards on a fake punt and tossed a two-point conversion to freshman TE Mike Lombard on a fake extra point. Cerio's fake punt with the Hawks facing a fourth-and-12 kept the drive alive and allowed the offense to come back on the field to finish the drive with a touchdown that made it 40-14 with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Cerio struck again 1:48 later when he received the snap on a fake extra point, rolled out to his left and hit Lombard on the left side of the end zone for a two-point conversion that made it 48-14.
MURPHY NABS NORTHEAST-10 ROOKIE OF THE WEEK...AGAIN
Freshman QB Andrew Murphy produced a solid follow-up to his collegiate starting debut Oct. 6 against Bentley. In his first home start under the lights, Murphy connected on 32 of 48 passes for 293 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Bentley defense had entered the game only allowing 9.3 ppg, including 1.5 ppg after halftime. Murphy helped the Hawks put 28 points on the board - all after the intermission.
Senior LB Chris Bent and Freshman DB Jack Hopkins each tallied a game-high 13 tackles against Bentley on Oct. 6, in addition to recording their first career interceptions.
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK?
After putting up 351.1 yards per game over the previous three seasons, the Hawks' offense was averaging just 235.5 yards per contest this season before it erupted for 500 yards and four touchdowns at Southern Connecticut State on Sept. 29.
The defense also got into the act at Southern Connecticut on Sept. 29, recording a season-high four sacks, as well as a pair of interceptions. The Hawks' D held the Owls without a third-down conversion in the first half (0-7) as it helped the squad take a 17-16 lead into the break.
MOVE OVER, MARC
Sophomore WR Justin Bernard caught 13 passes for 226 yards and a career-high two touchdowns at Southern Connecticut on Sept. 29. The 226 yards eclipses the school record of 187 set by Marc Wilson against Plymouth State on Sept. 5, 2009. Bernard earned Beyond Sports Network (BSN) Offensive Player of the Week honors as one of six Division II players on the squad, including one of two wide receivers.
HE'S A FRESHMAN?!
In his first collegiate start at Southern Connecticut on Sept. 29, freshman QB Andrew Murphy completed 29 of 43 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, while throwing just one interception. The 405 yards are the most in program history for a freshman, surpassing Michael Pierce's 397 against New Haven on Oct. 3, 2009, and just three yards short of matching Pierce's overall school record of 408 that he set against Pace on Sept. 25, 2010. The four touchdowns match Pierce's four against Plymouth State on Sept. 5, 2009 for most by a Saint Anselm freshman and are also the most in school history for a true freshman. Murphy was named the Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week for his efforts.
CAREER HIGHS FOR 'KEEN
Sophomore WR Ahkeen Williams put together his best game in a Saint Anselm uniform at Southern Connecticut on Sept. 29 as he set personal career bests in receptions (9), receiving yards (96), receiving touchdowns (2), rushing attempts (8) and rushing yards (82).
DOING IT ALL
Sophomore WR Justin Bernard had a game to remember in the Hawks' home opener against Stonehill on Sept. 14. Bernard caught seven passes for 113 yards (the second highest total of his career) and a touchdown. In addition, Bernard tossed a 52-yard touchdown pass to fellow sophomore WR Brandon Gomes that gave Saint Anselm a 13-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Bernard is the first non-QB ever to throw a touchdown pass of that length for the Hawks and the first to complete a TD since K/WR Michael Garcarz connected on a 19-yard score against Assumption on Sept. 11, 2004.
PICKING AND CHOOSING
The Hawks' two interception leaders from a year ago, sophomore LB Ethan Sylvain (5) and junior DB Trevor Jessie (4), each picked off a pass against Stonehill. It marked the first two INTs of the year for Saint Anselm. Sylvain ran his interception back 45 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter that gave the Hawks a 20-14 advantage.
THREE FOR ME
The Hawks have found the end zone three times in their first two games, with junior running back Keith Charles scoring all three touchdowns – a receiving score at Kutztown and a pair of rushing TDs at Assumption.
CUIPA BREAKS RECORD
Sophomore QB Stephen Cuipa broke a nearly 12-year-old record when he completed 80 percent (16-20) of his passes at Assumption on Sept. 7. The previous record was held by Keith Comeau, who connected on 76.9 percent (20-26) of his throws at Stonehill on Nov. 4, 2000.
Junior running back Keith Charles amassed 194 all-purpose yards at Assumption on Sept. 7. Charles rushed 13 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns, made four catches for 37 yards and returned four kickoffs for 81 yards.
Junior wide WR Eric Feehan, who broke out a year ago as the team's second leading receiver, continued his solid play with a career-best 10 catches for 91 yards at Assumption on Sept. 7.
For the second straight year, junior running back Keith Charles scored Saint Anselm's first touchdown of the season. Charles caught a 25-yard touchdown pass at Kutztown on Aug. 30, one year after scampering in from two yards out at home against Kutztown on Sept. 3, 2011.
PREDICTING THE FUTURE
The Hawks were picked to finish eighth in the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Aug. 20. New Haven was chosen as the favorite to win the conference after collecting seven-first place votes and point total of 63 to beat out Southern Connecticut, which earned one first-place vote and 53 total points. AIC, which received the other first-place vote, came in third with 50 points. With 41 points apiece, Bentley and Merrimack tied for the fourth-place slot, as Assumption (29) edged out Stonehill (24) for sixth place. Saint Anselm (15) and Pace (8) rounded out the poll.
The Saint Anselm College Department of Athletics has partnered with WGAM 'The Game' Radio for the upcoming 2012-13 season. As part of the agreement, WGAM 'The Game' will feature the Saint Anselm Coaches' Show once per week. The Saint Anselm Coaches' Show will air every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. as part of "The Nick Anastos Show," which runs from noon-2 p.m. Anastos, a Bedford, N.H., native, has served as the color analyst for the Hawks' Pack Network broadcasts of football, men's and women's basketball and men's and women's ice hockey since 2010. The show will highlight what is happening in the world of Saint Anselm athletics, as Anastos will chat with both a head coach and student-athlete during the 30-minute segment.
LIVE VIDEO STREAMING
Saint Anselm Athletics and Pack Network will once again team up for the 2012-13 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. And starting this season, fans can stream games live on their ipad or iphone. 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 $69.95, 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 $6.95.