MERRIMACK AND ASSUMPTION BATTLE FOR 4TH PLACE IN NE-10 SATURDAY AFTERNOON
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Looking to extend its current winning streak to three games and improve its current fifth-place spot on the league standings, the Merrimack College football team travels west to face Assumption College for a challenging Northeast-10 Conference showdown on the road at the Multi-Sport Stadium on Saturday afternoon in Worcester, Mass. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 | 1 p.m.
Records: Merrimack (5-3, 4-3 NE-10) | Assumption (5-3, 5-2 NE-10)
Location: Multi-Sport Stadium | Worcester, Mass.
Last Time Out: Merrimack 40, Bentley 34
Trailing by seven at the intermission, the Merrimack College football team exploded for 27 points over the final 30 minutes and survived a late scare from visiting Bentley, as the Warriors edged the Falcons, 40-34, in front of over 3,000 fans on Homecoming Saturday at Martone-Mejail Field.
After Bentley opened the scoring with the first two touchdowns of the game, Merrimack capitalized on a Bentley turnover and rallied from a 13-0 deficit on a quarterback sneak from senior Joe Clancy before finding freshman Justin Mount for a passing score later in the second to tie it up, but the Falcons tacked on a late touchdown toward the end of the half to send the visitors into the locker room with a 20-13 lead.
Merrimack would capitalize on the great starting field position and needed just five plays to tie it up early in the third quarter. Then, following another Bentley punt, the Warriors would mount another scoring drive of their own, needing just 2:56 to go seven plays and 80 yards before Clancy found classmate Greg Devine for a five-yard strike that put the hosts ahead, 27-20.
After another Bentley score, the Warriors would respond immediately, as Clancy went to work and drove 60 yards in nine plays before classmate Quinn McDonough rushed straight up the gut for five yards and another score that pushed the Warriors ahead by seven, 34-27. Bentley wide receiver Jeff Hill, however, would beat the Merrimack secondary on the first play of the next drive for the Falcons, as he and Guadagnoli hooked up for a 76-yard score that once again brought things even at 34-all with over 11 minutes to go in the final frame.
The decisive score came on the very next drive, as the Warriors once again started with great field position at their own 45, and Clancy would need just 1:14 and four plays to go the remaining 55 yards before connecting with Mount in the left corner of the end zone to make it 40-34 with under 10 minutes to play. That score would stand the rest of the way, as the clock ran out on Bentley on the final drive to give Merrimack the win.
Last Season vs. Assumption: Merrimack 43, Assumption 40
Trailing at the half, 27-14, Merrimack exploded for 29 points over the final 30 minutes of the contest to defeat Assumption, 43-40, in an exciting, back-and-forth NE-10 contest on Senior Day last November at Martone-Mejail Field.
Senior Joe Clancy passed for over 400 yards and finished with five touchdowns in the Homecoming game victory for Merrimack. His favorite target, Isaiah Voegeli, racked up 13 grabs for 163 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Senior running back Jimon Hill finished off his impressive game with 56 rushing yards to go along with seven catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Classmate Steve Serwonalso added eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown while senior Shane Ferguson had one catch for 13 yards and a touchdown.
- Have won 4-of-5, including a 40-34 victory against Bentley last weekend and a 51-9 rout at Saint Anselm two Saturdays ago
- Are among the nation's leaders on offense as a unit averaging 43.8 points per game, 529.1 total yards per game and 407 passing yards per game, the most in the NE-10 in all three categories
- Convert third downs at a 50 percent clip, the top conversion rate in the league, and also own a 71 percent red zone success rate on touchdown drives, the second-best mark in the NE-10
- Special teams have also been an asset for the Warriors, averaging 22.9 yards per kickoff return (3rd in NE-10)
- Enter Saturday in the midst of a season-high three-game winning streak
- Have lost just twice in conference play by a combined six points to both teams occupying the No. 1 spot in the league standings, New Haven (21-18) and Stonehill (41-38)
- Are coming off a 55-21 win at Pace last weekend before a 10-point victory against Southern Connecticut and a 41-27 decision at Saint Anselm
- Posted an impressive win against first-place AIC, 26-23, earlier in the season
- Own one of the top defenses in the league, allowing opponents to score just 23.5 points per game, the second-fewest amount in the conference
No. 1 seed hosts No. 2 in NE-10 Championship; #3 hosts #4;#5 hosts 8; #6 hosts #9, #7 hosts #10
T1. American Int'l (6-1)
T1. New Haven (6-1)
T1. Stonehill (6-1)
4. Assumption (5-2)
5. Merrimack (4-3)
T6. Bentley (3-4)
T6. Southern Conn. (3-4)
8. LIU Post (2-5)
T9. Pace (0-7)
T9. Saint Anselm (0-7)