Worcester, Mass. – The Merrimack football team fell to the Assumption Greyhounds on Friday night at the Multi-Sports Stadium by the score of 44-24. The loss drops the Warriors record to 4-2 (3-1 NE-10).
"We obviously did not play well tonight," said Head Coach John Perry. "The defense just couldn't come up with a stop when we needed it and offensively the dropped passes killed us. The good news is we have time to regroup and we still control our own destiny the rest of the way."
Assumption took the ensuing kickoff and orchestrated a nine play 66 yard drive that ended with a four yard Kevin Bumpis touchdown rush to give the Greyhounds the 7-3 lead with 8:30 remaining in the opening stanza.
On the next offensive series for the Greyhounds the Merrimack defense hung tough and forced a three and out. Facing a third and long Suozzo completed a pass down the left sideline to Voegeli for 21 yards but the offense was unable to stay on the field as they were forced to punt.
Assumption backup quarterback Gabe Hominski entered the game for the injured Bumpis and drove the Greyhounds down the field for a touchdown. The ensuing extra point was missed so the Greyhound lead was 13-3.
On the scoring drive, senior captain Shawn Loiseau (Shrewsbury, Mass.) broke the all-time Merrimack college record for tackles in a career with his 326th tackle. Loiseau recorded four solo tackles and three assisted tackles in the first quarter to break the all-time record.
On the second drive of the second quarter for the Greyhounds converted a fourth and short inside own 20 and continued on down the field for a 23 yard field goal to push the score to 16-3.
Merrimack received great field position on the ensuing kickoff as the kick went out of bounds. The Warriors converted a huge 4th down conversion at the Assumption 42 yard line as Suozzo completed a little flare pass to Voegeli for the first down. Two plays later Suozzo connected on a 15 yard touchdown throw to Ethan Weaver (Brooklyn, Conn.) for his first touchdown of the season with 1:46 remaining in the half to bring the score to 16-10.
The Merrimack defense could not slow down the Greyhounds offense as Hominski completed a 36 yard touchdown pass to Paul Perez off of a blown coverage in the secondary for the Warriors. Assumption pushed the score to 23-10.
The Warriors started the next drive off with a 41 yard run by Jimon Hill (N. Chicago, Ill.) down to the Assumption 31 yard line with 51 seconds remaining, with a lead block by quarterback James Suozzo 15 yards down the field. Suozzo connected with Omari Mobley (Hanover, Pa.) for a 15 yard completion down to the 16 yard line with 28 second left. On first and goal from the two yard line Suozzo's pass was caught by Voegeli but he was unable to keep his feet in bounds with four second remaining in the half. The Warriors decided to go for the touchdown instead of kicking a field goal and Suozzo was stuffed at the goal line to end the half.
The Merrimack defense held strong on the first drive of the opening half as they forced a punt by Assumption. But on the very first play from scrimmage, Suozzo threw an interception at his own 24 yard line. The ensuing drive for Assumption ended with a scoring scamper by Matt Pedone for the 30-10 lead.
With a 20 point deficit facing the Warriors, senior James Suozzo put together an 11 play 67 yard drive that ended with a 20 yard completion to Mobley for a touchdown with 8:11 left in the third to cut the lead to 30-17.
On the ensuing drive for the Greyhounds they controlled the tempo as they drove down the field on a 16 play scoring drive that ate up 8:47 off of the clock. The touchdown by Pedone pushed the score to 37-17. The next three Merrimack drives ended with three interceptions and a interception return for a touchdown that made the score 44-17 in favor of the Greyhounds.
The Merrimack offense regrouped and scored on a 57 yard touchdown pass from Joe Clancy (Newburyport, Mass.) to Quinn McDonough (Medford, Mass.) for a touchdown with 3:54 left in the game to cut the score to 44-24. McDonough broke four tackles on his way to an amazing touchdown run.
Assumption recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt and wasted out the rest of the clock.
Senior All-American linebacker Shawn Loiseau finished with a game-high 19 tackles for the Warriors as he took over the all-time career tackles record at Merrimack. Suozzo finished the game with 202 passing yards and a touchdown while Clancy finished the game 4 for 6 for 79 yards and a scoring strike. Voegeli led Merrimack with 84 yards receiving on eight receptions and Weaver chipped in with five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Assumption running back Matt Pedone led the way for the Greyhounds as he finished the game with 159 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Paul Perez ended the game with seven receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Merrimack (4-2, 3-1 NE-10) will return to North Andover for their Homecoming game on Saturday October 22 at 1 p.m. as they will take on the visiting Stonehill Skyhawks.