September 30, 2011

Football Heads to Saint Anselm for First Conference Road Game of the Season Saturday

MERRIMACK FOOTBALL

Game #4 at Saint Anselm, Saturday, October 1, 2011, 1 p.m., Grappone Stadium

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MERRIMACK OPENS CONFERENCE ROAD SLATE AT SAINT ANSELM Game 4 - Merrimack College (2-1, 1-0 NE-10) vs. Saint Anselm (0-3, 0-2 NE-10)

UPDATE: Merrimack travels to Saint Anselm for its first conference road game of the year.

SERIES: Merrimack is 6-4 lifetime against the Saint Anselm Hawks including winning the lasttwo games by a combined score of 93-45.

MERRIMACK DOMINATES PACE IN CONFERENCE OPENER: Merrimack looks to stay hot after a 63-7 win over Pace. The Warriors recorded 644yards against the Setters (third most in school-history) and led 42-0 after the first quarterof play.

VOEGELI CONTINUES HOT START IN WIN OVER PACE: Isaiah Voegeli started quick against Pace with a 57 yard touchdown reception and wenton to record seven catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.Voegeli also recorded a 68 yard punt return for a touchdown in the first half.

SUOZZO RANKED FIRST IN THE NATION IN PASSING EFFiCIENCY: Senior quarterback James Suozzo looks impressive so far as he is ranked first in the nation with apassing efficiency of 182.14 through three games this year. Suozzo is 33-58 for 685 yards and seventouchdowns. He has also chipped in with 123 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

MERRIMACK TALLIES RECORD-BREAKING 63 POINTS: The Warriors opened conference play with a school-record 63 points in a 63-7 rout ofPace on September 17 in front of 1,512 at Warrior Field. Suprassing the previous schoolrecord of 60 points which was set in the season opening game against WPI, theWarriors racked up 644 total yards, recorded 10 sacks and caused three turnovers.

VOEGELI NAMED NE-10 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Isaiah Voegeli earned his second conference award of the young season, being namedthe NE-10 Special Teams Player of the Week after the Pace win. Voegeli had a 68 yardpunt return for a touchdown and also recorded seven catches for 182 yards and threerecieving touchdowns all in the first half.

SUOZZO RUNS AND THROWS FOR TWO TOUCHDOWNS: Senior quarterback James Suozzo was 7-7 with 159 passing yards and two touchdowns.Suozzo also chipped in with 36 yards on the ground and two more scores. He connectedtwice on touchdowns with Isaiah Voegeli.

SPREADING OUT THE WEALTH: Nine receivers had catches in the Pace win, including ZachIngalls, who had a career-high three catches for 47 yards and atouchdown. Suozzo and Joe Clancy combined for 427 passingyards and four touchdowns.

HILL LEADS THE WAY ON THE GROUND: Against Pace, the Warriors were solid both in their passing gameand on the ground, racking up 217 rushing yards including 122yards from junior running back Jimon Hill. James Suozzo added36 yards on the ground including two touchdown runs. Hill ranksfifth in the Northeast-10 in rushing yards per game with 74.3.

DEFENSE SHINES AGAINST PACE WITH 10 SACKS: Merrimack's defense allowed just 233 yards and forced threeturnovers and 10 sacks in the win. Leading the way was TonyJohnson, who returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown andalso recorded 3.5 sacks on the day. Preseason All-American Shawn Loiseau totaled a team-high 10 tackles including 1.5 sacks.Nick Desjardins chipped in with five tackles and 1.5 sacks. Matt Tripicchio recovered a fumble late in the game that eventually ledto a scoring drive for the Warriors.

CLANCY KEEPS THE OFFENSE MOVING: Junior quarterback Joe Clancy took over under center for starterJames Suozzo for the final drive of the first quarter and led theWarriors down the field for a touchdown on a one yard rush byhimself. Clancy played well as he finished the game 18-28 with268 yards passing and three total touchdowns in his firstextended action of the season. He connected on a 43 yard scoringstrike with Issaiah Voegeli to increase the lead for the Warriors to56-0. Clancy capped off his day with a 25 yard touchdown pass tofreshman Zach Ingalls.

JOHNSON DOMINATES LINE WITH 3.5 SACKS: Senior linebacker Tony Johnson led the way for Merrimack'sdefense against Pace as he recorded 3.5 sacks in the first quarterof action. Johnson was all over the field finishing the game withfive total tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Johnsonnow leads the NE-10 with 4.5 sacks on the season and is alsofourth in the nation with 1.5 sacks per game.

VOEGELI SECOND IN COUNTRY IN YARDS PER GAME: Junior wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli is ranked second in the countryin receiving yards per game with 144.3. Voegeli had 182receiving yards and three touchdowns last week against Pace allin the first half and 177 yards and three touchdowns in the seasonopening victory against WPI. Voegeli is also tied for second in thecountry with six receiving touchdowns on the season.

PERRY'S HIGH-SCORING OFFENSE RETURNS: John Perry's high scoring offense is back at it in 2011 as they arefirst in the NE-10 and sixth nationally in total yards per game(521.3). The Warriors are also ranked first in the NE-10 and sixthnationally in points per game (47.3). The offense is led by juniorwide receiver Isaiah Voegeli who is ranked second in the nationin receiving yards per game (144.3), total receiving yards (433)and second in total receiving touchdowns (6).

LOISEAU INCHES CLOSER TO SCHOOL RECORD: After setting the all-time school mark for tackles in a seasonin 2009 and again in 2010, Shawn Loiseau needs 33tackles to tie the all-time mark of 325 (Jimmy Festa,1996-99) after getting 10 vs. Pace. Loiseau needs 110tackles to match the all-time Northeast-10 mark of 402(Steve Sheeler, Stonehill, 2000-03).

DEFENSE LOOKS STOUT SO FAR IN 2011: In two home contests this season the Warriors are giving up anaverage of 5.0 points per game. The defense has caused 10turnovers and recorded 15 sacks for 104 yards thru three games.

TOUGH AT HOME: Merrimack has won nine of its last 11 games in front of its homecrowd at Warrior field. The warriors are averaging 40.7 pointsper game in their last 11 home contests while holding their opponentsto an average of 20.1 points per game.

SUOZZO NEARS NUMEROUS SCHOOL RECORDS: Already the program's leader for touchdowns in a game, points ina game, pass attempts, yards for a season, and completions for agame and season, James Suozzo is closing in on virtually everyquarterback school record. Suozzo needs 12 touchdowns, 1,347passing yards, 119 completions, and 246 attempts for the schoolrecord for a career. He has an outside shot at the career rushingrecords, needing 212 attempts and 1,234 yards this season.

SACK LEADERS: Merrimack's defense has recorded 15 sacks so far this season inthree games which is ranked first in the conference and in thecountry. Tony Johnson leads the conference with 4.5 sacks on theyoung season. Shawn Loiseau and Michael Wiggins are tied forthird in the conference with 2.5 sacks.

3RD DOWN DEFENSE MUCH IMPROVED: Merrimack's defense is ranked third in the country in 3rd downefficiency at 19.05. The defense has forced third down 42 timeson the young season and have only yeilded eight first downs.

JOHNSON ALREADY ALL-TIME SACK LEADER: After setting the single-season school record in 2008 as a freshmanwith 11.5 sacks, which ranked second in the country, TonyJohnson enters the game this week with 33 career sacks, most inschool history.

SCORING STREAK: 107 GAMES AND COUNTING: Merrimack has scored in 107 consecutive games, which is the20th-longest active streak in Division II. Valdosta St. holds thecurrent record having scored in 233 straight games.

LOISEAU, JOHNSON PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Loiseau and Johnson were both named preseason All-Americanby numerous outlets. Loiseau, a first-team selection on threesquads, is the only Northeast-10 player on any first team.

EARLY OCTOBER SUCCESS FOR THE WARRIORS: Merrimack has a career record of 10-5 in their first game of October, including winning their last three by a combined scoreof 97-54.

2011 NE-10 PRESEASON POLL: 

 1. New Haven (6) – 59

2. So. Connecticut (2) – 58

3. Merrimack (1) – 47

4. Bentley – 43

5. American Int'l – 42

6. Assumption – 28

7. Stonehill – 23

8. Saint Anselm – 16

9. Pace – 8

( ) – Denotes first-place votes

THE OPPONENTS: 

Team This Week Record/Last Week

WPI at Union 2-2/Won 34-31 vs. Rensselear

Edinboro at Indiana (Pa.) 4-0/Won 27-0 at Gannon

Pace Idle  1-3/Lost toSo. Conn 61-0

Saint Anselm vs. Merrimack 0-3/Lost to Bentley 43-16

Bentley vs. AIC 3-1/Won 43-16 vs. St. Anselm

Assumption vs. So. Conn. 1-3/Lost to New Haven 21-7

Stonehill at New Haven 1-3/Lost to American Int'l 37-34

New Haven vs. Stonehill 3-1/Won 21-7 at Assumption

AIC at Bentley 3-1/Won 37-34 at Stonehill

So. Conn. at Assumption 3-1/Won 61-0 vs. Pace

LAST MEETING: October 2, 2010, Merrimack 52, St. Anselm 14

Greg Abelli totaled 182 receiving yards in the first half, while Shawn Loiseau was everywheredefensively as Merrimack cruised to a 52-14 victory over Saint Anselm in the homeopener Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field. Suozzo finished with 264 passing yards on 11-of-24 passing with three touchdowns in three quarters of action, while Abelli, who wasover 100-yards receiving in the first first quarter for the third straight week, finished with182 receiving yards and two scores. Smalls totaled 102 yards and two scores on the ground,his first game of the season over the century mark as the top-ranked offense in the conferenceracked up 475 yards. Loiseau, who entered Saturday's game second in the conferencein tackles per game, led the way defensively with 18 tackles, including 14 in the first half, togo with 1.5 sacks and three hurries. McCarthy had another strong day, recovering a fumbleand intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter. The Warriors forced three turnovers, pickingup a special teams score for the second straight week, while allowing just 43 rushing yardson 34 carries.

LAST GAME RECAP: Pace (Week 3 - 9/17/11)September 17, 2011, Merrimack 63, Pace 7

The first half scoring surge of 56 points powered the Merrimack football team to a dominating63-7 victory over Pace at Warrior field Saturday afternoon in front of 1,512 fans. TheWarriors recorded the third most total yards in school history with 644 yards in the victory.Setting the school record for points in a quarter with 42, in a half with 56, and in agame with 63, the Warriors racked up 495 total yards, taking a commanding 56-7 leadinto halftime. Merrimack scored three touchdowns in the first five minutes of the openingstanza to set the tone of the game early on.Junior wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli led the wayfor the Warriors in the first half hauling in seven passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns,also returning a punt for a 68 yard touchdown. Quarterback James Suozzo wasperfect in the first half going 7-7 for 159 yards and two passing touchdowns and two rushingtouchdowns. Suozzo started off the first drive of the game for the offense with a 57 yardtouchdown strike to Voegeli off of a flea flicker. They connected later in the first quarter ona 22 yard touchdown strike to put the Warriors up 42-0. Tony Johnson was all over thefield in the first half with 3.5 sacks and a 32 yard fumble return for a touchdown to putMerrimack up 14-0 with 12:17 on the clock in the first. Johnson came free off the edge,sacked Pace quarterback Jordan Raynor who fumbled, Johnson scooped up the ball himselfand returned it 32 yards for a defensive touchdown. Suozzo carried the ball three timesfor 36 yards including two touchdowns in the first half. The senior quarterback weaved hisway to an 11 yard score with 10:14 on the clock in the first and on the next drive scored ona 15 yard run after numerous broken tackles. Junior Joe Clancy entered the game in thesecond quarter and led the Warriors on a nine play 67 yard drive capped off by a 1 yardtouchdown run. Clancy later connected on a 43 yard touchdown strike to Voegeli to pushthe score to 56-0. Jimon Hill ran for 113 yards in the first half. Sophomore linebacker MattTripicchio recovered a timely fumble after a 52 yard passing strike led the Setters to theMerrimack 21 yard line. On the ensuing drive Clancy drove the Warriors down the fieldand ended the drive with a 26 yard scoring throw to freshman wide receiver Zach Ingalls.The scoring strike was Ingalls first career touchdown as he finished the game with threecatches for 47 yards.

WARRIORS ON THE AIR: Merrimack has teamed up with America One Networks to deliver live broadband broadcastsfor the second straight season. Warrior games that will be streamed online include allhome football, basketball and hockey broadcasts.