Merrimack Football Ready To Host Rowan In Home Opener On Saturday

Merrimack Football

Game #2 vs. Rowan, Saturday, September 8, 2012, 1 p.m., Martone-Mejail Field

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Game 2 - Merrimack College (0-1, 0-1 NE-10) vs. Rowan University (1-0, 0-0 NJAC)

Merrimack opens up the home portion of their 2012 schedule with a non conference game against Rowan University.  The warriors are coming off of a 45-18 loss at the hands of the #13 New Haven Chargers while Rowan defeated #5 Delaware Valley by the score of 27-13.

The two teams have never met before.

The Merrimack football team was defeated on Saturday afternoon in the season opener against #13 New Haven by the score of 45-18. The Warriors surged out to the early 6-0 lead but the Chargers responded with 21 unanswered points to take the lead. Merrimack safety Ervin Johnson responded with an interception return for a touchdown to make the score 24-12 at half. The Warriors were unable to draw any closer in the second half falling 45-18. Senior Joe Clancy finished his first career start going 35-52 for 326 yards and one touchdown. Zach Ingalls finished the game with a career-high eight receptions for 77 yards and two carries for 14 yards and a touchdown in the defeat.

Senior wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli continued to excel in the Merrimack offense on Saturday against New Haven as he recorded a career-high 14 receptions in the loss. Voegeli finished the game with 128 yards including a 37 yard catch to open the second half for the Warriors. The preseason All-American led the Warriors in all receiving categories last season, finishing with 57 catches for 1,251 yards and 14 touchdowns.

After the graduation of the best defensive lineman in school history, Wiggins needed to step up and take his play to the next level. On Saturday he did just that, finishing the game with a team-high 10 total tackles, three tackles for a loss and two sacks. Wiggins also caused an interception that led to a touchdown by teammate Ervin Johnson, as he hit the New Haven quarterback as he was trying to complete a pass. Wiggins finished with one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in the season opener.

Senior Joe Clancy finally got his chance to be the starting quarterback for head coach John Perry on Saturday and he performed admirably in his first career start. Clancy finished the game completing 35 of 52 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown, marking the second most completions in a game in school history. Clancy saw action in all 10 games last season throwing for 781 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 63.7 percent of his passes. He also ran for 56 yards and two scores on the ground. Clancy's had a career performance in the Warriors victory against Pace last season in which he went 18-28 for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

Nine Merrimack receivers caught at least one pass during Saturday's defeat to #13 New Haven. Leading the way was senior All-American Isaiah Voegeli who recorded a career-high 14 grabs while Zach Ingalls also recorded a career-high with eight catches. Steve Serwon had a good game for the Warriors catching five balls for 48 yards while freshman Jere Brown took his only catch for a five yard touchdown.

Merrimack football head coach John Perry has announced the captains for the 2012 campaign. Senior quarterback Joe Clancy and senior wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli will be the captains of the offense while Artis Holt and Ryan McCarthy will captain the defense. Clancy is entering his first full season as starting quarterback for the Warriors and Voegeli is coming off an All-Region selection last season. Defensively Holt was named first team All-Conference following his junior season and McCarthy will start for the second straight year.

Entering the 2012 campaign Merrimack received five preseason All-American accolades. Offensively the Warriors had three players represented as Isaiah Voegeli, Jimon Hill and Zach Gilbert were all recognized for their play as juniors. On the defensive side of the ball the Warriors had two players including Michael Wiggins and Artis Holt. Voegeli led the Northeast-10 in receiving yards and touchdowns last season while Hill broke 1,000 total yards. Wiggins led the Warriors defense with 7.5 sacks to go along with 13.5 tackles for a loss, both team highs. Holt was dynamic as a return man along with defensively as he recorded one kickoff return for a touchdown with an average return of 29.6 yards and totaled 33 tackles and two interceptions.

John Perry's high scoring offense was back at it in 2011 as they led the Northeast-10 Conference in total offense averaging 474.5 total yards per contest. The Warriors also ranked second in points per game with 39.7, passing yards per game with 283.6, rushing yards per game with 190.9 and 3rd down percentage with 45%. Merrimack was the only team in the conference to rank in the top two in all major offensive categories in 2011. Perry's offense returns its top two offensive weapons from last season as wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli and running back Jimon Hill both return for their senior campaigns.

Merrimack scored 60 or more points in seperate games during the 2011 season. The Warriors dropped a then school record 60 points in their 60-3 victory over WPI in the season opener before scoring 63 points in the Warriors 63-7 victory at home to Pace. The two 60 point plus outings marked the first time in school history the Warriors have scored 60 points in two games in the same season. For the season the Warriors racked up 397 points and ranked second in the conference with 39.7 points per contest.

The Warriors received two major conference awards following the 2011 season as senior Shawn Loiseau was named the NE-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second time. Loiseau broke the 100 tackle plateau for the third straight season and led the conference in tackles. Defensive end Tony Johnson was also named Defensive Lineman of the Year for the second time for his efforts. In all the Warriors received seven All-Conference team members. The All-Conference members were Loiseau, Johnson, Isaiah Voegeli, Jimon Hill, Zach Gilbert, Artis Holt and Michael Wiggins. Voegeli, Johnson and Loiseau were all also represented on the All-Regional team last season.

Shane Ferguson (WR): Recorded 22 catches for 299 yards and three touchdowns as a junior.
Steve Serwon (TE): Recorded 18 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns in 2011.
Jimmy Holland (LB): Recorded 52 tackles and two interceptions playing mainly as a backup linebacker.
Ervin Johnson (S): Transfer from division I Old Dominion.

Merrimack has scored points in 115 consecutive games heading into this weeks matchup with division III Rowan, which ranks them in the top 20 for current point streaks. Valdosta State leads the nation by scoring in 241 consecutive games while conference foes Bentley and Southern Connecticut State rank inside the top 20 as well with 135 and 127 games respectively. The Warriors have scored 60 or more points two times during this streak and never scored less than three points in a game.

1.   New Haven (7) – 63
2.   So. Connecticut (1) – 53
3.   American Int'l (1) – 50
T4.   Merrimack - 41
T4. Bentley – 41
6.   Assumption – 29
7.   Stonehill– 24
8.   Saint Anselm – 15
9.   Pace – 8
( ) – Denotes first-place votes

Team This Week, Record/Last Week
New Haven at St. Augustine's 1-0/ Win 45-18 vs. Merrimack
Rowan at Merrimack 1-0/ Win 27-13 at Deleware Valley
AIC at Shephard 0-0/ Idle
So. Conn. St. at Stonehill 0-1/ Lost 33-6 at Indiana Pa.
Pace at Stony Brook 0-1/ Lost 42-0 at Bentley
Stonehill vs. So. Conn. State 0-1/ Lost 44-28 vs. Bloomsburg
Saint Anselm at Assumption 0-1/ Lost 58-6 at Kutztown
Bentley at West Va. Wesleyan 1-0/ Win 42-0 vs. Pace
Assumption vs. Saint Anselm 0-1/ Lost 24-20 at Bowie St.
Overall: 3-5 overall