Football defeated by Pace, 33-10, on Senior Day

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team posted a 33-10 loss in its regular-season finale on Saturday at Grappone Stadium, falling to the Setters from Pace University.

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The Hawks wrap up their season at 1-8 overall with a matching record against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. In the midst of what is a historic season for the Setters, Pace (7-3, 6-3 NE10) matches a program record with seven victories and snapped an 11-game losing streak to Saint Anselm.

With the score tied at 10 at halftime, Pace overwhelmed the Hawks in the second half with 23 unanswered points. The team's third quarter woes continued as an interception thrown by Hawks quarterback Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.) led to a one-yard rushing score with 6:54 to go in the stanza.

After each team punted away their next possessions, a 43-yard punt by Pace was downed on the one-yard line. Freshman Christian Matthews-Byrd (Saddle Brook, N.J.) attempted a rush up the middle on the first offensive play for the Hawks, but was taken down by Brenton Allen for a safety to create a 19-10 lead for the Setters.

With Pace stopped on their next offensive possession, a Pace punt struck the back of a Hawks special teamer and was recovered at the Hawks three-yard line. A three-yard rushing touchdown immediately after by Antonio Giannico put the Hawks down by a 26-10 score in the waning minutes of the third quarter.

Kashmier Jackson added a one-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, capping a 13-play, 82-yard drive that spanned a whopping 8:19 of play. Pace was able to put the game out of reach, possessing the ball for 12:51 of the 15-minute fourth quarter while rushing the ball 17 times, draining the clock and keeping the Hawks away from a comeback.

Pat Davis put Pace ahead, 3-0, with a 35-yard field goal with 1:57 left in the first quarter, concluding a 15-play, 70-yard drive. On the next Saint Anselm possession, Fairweather threw the first of his two interceptions on the day and Giannico eventually ran home a 12-yard touchdown to elevate the visitors to a 10-0 lead before the first quarter concluded.

Senior Kyle Hill (Upper Marlboro, Md.) collected the 21st and final touchdown of his career only minutes into the second quarter, cutting the Hawks deficit to three. Senior Daniel Parisi (Georgetown, Mass.) had made a 39-yard field goal with only 1:46 into the second quarter, but a penalty called on Pace gave the Hawks a fresh set of downs.

Parisi would later add a 30-yard field goal for Saint Anselm with 2:48 to go in the first half, bringing the Setters and Hawks into the break tied at 10. A big 27-yard catch by junior Nicholas Fiorillo (Westford, Mass.) helped extend the drive on fourth-and-eight, setting up the Parisi boot.

Saint Anselm was led by an impressive defensive showing by sophomore Ryan Sullivan (Stoughton, Mass.), who posted 19 total tackles to finish a second-year campaign with 104 total takedowns. He became only the fourth student-athlete in program history to reach the century mark in tackles in one season.

Junior CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) had 15 tackles on the day, completing the year with 94 which stands as the sixth-most in a single season. He was matched by senior Zack Mercer (Melrose, Mass.), whose well-rounded day also included an interception and a forced fumble.  Sophomore Jackson Latimer (Topsfield, Mass.) added a forced fumble for Saint Anselm while senior Nate Lewis (Lanham, Md.) also had an interception for the Hawks.

Hill finished a productive career on the Hilltop ranked third in reception yards (2,336), fourth in receptions (201), sixth in punt return yardage (244), seventh all-time in all-purpose yards (2,707), seventh in touchdowns scored (21), 10th in all-purpose yards per game (67.7) and 10th in total points scored (128). His 143 punt return yards in 2018 stands as the fifth-most in single-season team history.

Parisi finished with 62 career point-after touchdowns, the third-most by any Hawks student-athlete, and 14 career field goals which is the fourth-most in team history. His 94.4% point-after conversion percentage is the sixth-best in single-season team history and his nine career field goals place him third all-time in program history.