Football Set for Homecoming Bout with Bentley Saturday Afternoon

Football Set for Homecoming Bout with Bentley Saturday Afternoon


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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Aiming for back-to-back victories for only the second time in 2013, the Merrimack College football team welcomes nearby rival Bentley University to Martone-Mejail Field for a Northeast-10 Conference showdown on Homecoming Weekend this Saturday, Oct. 26. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

The Basics
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 | 1 p.m.
Merrimack (4-3, 3-3 NE-10) | Bentley (4-3, 3-3 NE-10)
Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

Last Time Out: Merrimack 51, Saint Anselm 9
Leading by just five after the first quarter, the Merrimack College football team would not allow another point the rest of the way thanks to stellar defense and momentum-changing turnovers, and a 31-point second half allowed the Warriors to cruise to a 51-9 road victory against Saint Anselm College in a Saturday afternoon Northeast-10 Conference battle at Grappone Stadium.

Merrimack opened the game's scoring on its first drive of the game before the Hawks responded with a touchdown of their own to cut the deficit to 7-6 midway through the first quarter. But the Warriors answered right back on their next possession, as senior Quinn McDonough sparked the visitors with a 90-yard kickoff return that pushed the Navy and Gold up, 14-6.

Saint Anselm tacked on a field goal late in the quarter to claw within five, setting the stage for a second quarter that saw both teams punt a combined three times before Saint Anselm came up with a big interception that could have pushed the home side should they have converted, but the Hawks turned it over on downs during their next possession, allowing Merrimack – and senior quarterback Joe Clancy – to march 95 yards over 12 plays capped by a 15-yard strike to junior Zach Ingalls, to take the air out of the sails of Saint Anselm and give the Warriors a 20-9 advantage at the half.

From there on out, the Warriors would not allow a single point against the hosts, despite starting the third quarter with an interception on their first drive. The defense never shined brighter than after starting deep in its own territory following the interception, at the Merrimack 7-yard line, and coming up with an drive-defining six-yard sack by sophomore Jon Hooper after a costly holding penalty. The Hawks then promptly missed a 34-yard field goal, and that would be the closest the hosts would get to finding the end zone the rest of the way.

Clancy Seeking Record Trifecta Saturday
Senior quarterback Joe Clancy has done more in less than two full seasons at the helm of the Merrimack offense than most quarterbacks have done in four years. Last Saturday, Clancy set a new all-time record in completions, topping Colin Temple ('07)'s previous mark, and also topped  Temple's touchdown mark, as well. The only record Clancy has yet to break is former Warrior James Suozo's all-time mark in passing yards (8,559), which he needs 417 yards to do.

Clancy's Career Line
684-1,069 (64.0%) | 8,142 passing yards | 75 TDs | 27 INT

Last Season vs. Bentley
 Despite another 300 yard passing performance from senior quarterback Joe Clancy, Merrimack could not erase a 24-6 halftime deficit and fell on the road to Bentley, 38-21, at Bentley Field on Oct. 27, 2012.

Clancy produced his seventh 300-plus passing performance of the season in the loss, tossing 24-for-47 for 321 yards and one touchdown. Senior All-American Isaiah Voegeli finished the game with nine catches for 141 yards and one touchdown while fellow senior Shane Ferguson finished with two grabs for 63 yards. Then-senior Jimon Hill led the way on the ground with 40 yards and one touchdown.

Merrimack totaled 370 yards of total offense, but three turnovers were the difference in the game, as Bentley used a 17-point second quarter to go ahead by three scores and held on from there on out for the win.

The Warriors:

  • Will be aiming for just their second two-game win streak of the season Saturday
  • Sit in a three-way tie for fifth place in the NE-10 standings
  • Boast the top scoring offense (44.3 ppg) in the league while averaging a league-best 422.7 passing yards per game and 529.3 total yards per game
  • Convert 50 percent of third downs, the top conversion rate in the league

The Falcons:

  • Coming off a 42-14 setback against first-place AIC
  • Share a three-way tie for fifth with Merrimack and Southern Connecticut State
  • Rank seventh in scoring offense (24.9) and fifth in scoring defense (26.6)
  • Have scored touchdowns on only 48 percent of chances inside the redzone this year, the second-worst conversion rate in the league


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