NORTH ANDOVER, MA– Behind a record setting game by the Merrimack offense, the Warriors downed the Saint Anselm Hawks on Saturday in front of the home fans at Martone-Mejail Field by the score of 81-35. The top ranked offense in the Northeast-10 accounted for a team-record 524 yards in the first half of play while putting up a school record 53 points.
"I am proud of the effort the kids gave this week in practice and it really paid off for us today," said head coach John Perry. "At Merrimack we always say you play like you practice and all three phases had a hand in the victory today."
The Warriors offense broke several Northeast-10 Conference records as they scored 81 points, recorded 801 total yards and racked up 553 passing yards. Senior quarterback Joe Clancy (Newburyport, Mass.) broke the Northeast-10 Conference record for passing yards in a game with 553 yards, total yards in a game with 561 and tied the conference record for passing touchdowns with seven passing scores. All of Clancy's stats were accumulated in just three quarters of action.
Clancy finished the game going 27-for-42 for 553 yards and seven touchdowns while All-American wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli (Hyannis, Mass.) tied a school record with four touchdowns and broke his own NE-10 record with 269 receiving yards. Freshman Jere Brown (Freeport, NY) had a career-day as he finished with three catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Shane Ferguson (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ) finished his game off with 66 yards on three catches in the victory. Leading the Merrimack rushing attack was senior Jimon Hill (North Chicago, Ill.) who finished with 77 yards on 13 carries while Jesse Fowler (Lynn, Mass.) ran for 46 yards.
The Warriors opened up their scoring in the first half as Clancy found Voegeli open down the field for a 65 yard touchdown. Michael Romanella (Bound Brook, NJ) then connected with Zach Ingalls (Westford, Mass.) on the two point conversion, making the score 8-0 less than five minutes in.
Following a Nick Zwaan (Longmeadow, Mass.) 25 yard field goal, Voegeli found the endzone for the second time of the half as he caught a 22 yard pass from Clancy, pushing the Merrimack lead to 18-0.
Clancy opened the second quarter with three straight scoring strikes as he found Steve Serwon (Amesbury, Mass.) from 12 yards out, Ferguson from 11 yards out and Voegeli from 19 yards out, increasing the score to 39-0 with 7:52 remaining in the first half.
The Warriors closed out the half with a three yard scoring run by Quinn McDonough (Medford, Mass.) and a 77 yard touchdown reception from Voegeli, his school record fourth touchdown of the opening half.
The Warriors took a 53-7 lead into halftime as Justin Bernard caught a 29 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Murphy.
Clancy put up monster numbers in the first half as he finished 20-for-29 for 381 yards and five touchdowns while his favorite target, Voegeli, finished with a first half record of eight catches for 229 yards and four touchdowns.
Saint Anselm opened the second half with another Bernard touchdown but Clancy wasted no time responding as he found Brown for the first of his two touchdown grabs from 31 yards out.
Junior Colin Hay (Campton, NH) made a great individual play as he blocked a Hawks punt attempt, scooped up the ball and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.
Bernard and Brown swapped touchdown receptions just over three minutes later. Bernard scored his third touchdown of the game and Brown scored from 71 yards out for his second of the game, making the score 74-21.
Luke Bakanowsky (Ashburnham, Mass.) saw action in the fourth quarter and performed well as he scored from five yards out to give Merrimack the 81-28 lead.
The Hawks scored the final touchdown of the game as Eric Feehan scored from 11 yards out after a nice pass from Murphy.
Defensively the Warriors were led by senior Artis Holt (Baltimore, Md.) who finished the game with a team-high seven tackles and an interception. Justin Hood (Billerica, Mass.) played well for Merrimack as he finished the game with seven tackles while senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Newton, Mass.) finished with an interception and two tackles.
Saint Anselm was led offensively by Murphy who finished the game with 357 passing yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions. Leading receiver, Bernard, racked up 160 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches.
Voegeli now leads the NE-10 in all receiving categories as he has racked up 76 catches for 1,086 yards and 11 touchdowns while Clancy also leads the NE-10 in all passing categories.
Merrimack (4-3, 3-3 NE-10) will hit the road next week for a showdown with rival Bentley on Saturday, October 27 at 2 p.m.