SENIOR QUARTERBACK NAMED LEAGUE'S TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by senior quarterback Joe Clancy (Newburyport, Mass.) being named the league's Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, 10 total members of the Merrimack College football team garnered Northeast-10 All-Conference recognition, as the league unveiled its All-Conference Teams and major postseason awards Wednesday.
New Haven and Assumption College both led the way with 11 student-athletes named to one of the four All-Conference teams, followed by American Int'l with 10. Merrimack and Stonehill had eight selections apiece.
Ten total Warriors were recognized by the NE 10 Conference following one of the more successful seasons in recent history. Merrimack won seven games for the first time since 2009 against arguably the most difficult schedule in program history, one that included the program's first win against a Division I opponent in 2012 FCS NCAA Tournament participant Wagner College in early September.
Three other Warriors joined Clancy on the First-Team Offense. The leader of a sturdy Merrimack offensive line that yielded just 16 sacks on the season, senior Michael Hubbard (Wakefield, Mass.) earned a repeat all-league first team selection, as he guided the Warriors in the trenches this fall. The offensive line was responsible for helping Merrimack post some of the offensive numbers both in the conference and in the country.
Sophomore Jere Brown (Freeport, N.Y.), who led the conference and the country with 17 receiving touchdowns, also was named to the First Team Offense. The sophomore enjoyed a breakout campaign in which he established himself as one of Clancy's favorite targets; he finished the season with 86 receptions and 1,186 receiving yards, averaging 13.8 yards per catch and 107.8 receiving yards per game.
On defense, two senior captains also earned all-league first team distinction, as defensive lineman Matt Tripicchio (Lake Zurich, Ill.) and defensive back Artis Holt (Baltimore, Md.) each were lauded for their play. Tripicchio, an all-league second team selection last year, finished with 61 tackles (38 solo, 23 assisted) and a league-leading 15 tackles for losses totaling 60 yards. He also added a team-leading four sacks, broke up three passes, forced four quarterback hurries and forced four fumbles on the year.
Holt, a three-time first-team selection, once again was one of the top ball-hawking defensive backs in the country. He finished with 63 tackles and 11 pass breakups while leading the Warriors with four interceptions, and returned one of those picks to the house.
Merrimack saw three more representatives on the all-league second team. On defense, senior linebacker Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) earned recognition after leading Merrimack with 79 tackles (8.5 for loss) and adding one interception and a fumble recovery.
Senior Shane Ferguson (Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.) also finished the year with 100 catches – the second-highest total in single-season program history – while up 863 yards and nine touchdowns. Those numbers ranked near the top of both the conference and national leader boards, as one of Clancy's favorite targets finished the year averaging 8.6 yards per catch and 78.5 yards per contest.
Finally, senior running back Quinn McDonough (Medford, Mass.) wrapped up his mark on one of the most prolific years in terms of all-purpose yardage in program history with a spot on the all-league second team offensive unit. McDonough, who established himself as the team's return specialist, finished the season with 758 return yards and two return touchdowns, averaging 26.1 yards per return.
Finally, two rookies saw their first-season impacts accounted for in the form of appearances on the All-Rookie Team. Freshman wide receiver Justin Mount (Westford, Mass.) was one of those honorees after posting a seven-touchdown campaign. The rookie totaled 33 receptions and 447 yards, averaging 13.5 yards per catch and 40.6 per game.
And on defense, Mount's classmate Jared Mincey (Edison, N.J.) was a tremendous compliment to Holt in the backfield this season, finishing 60 tackles (team-leading 40 solo, 15 assisted), and added an impressive three interceptions and nine pass breakups during his first collegiate campaign.
Finally, a repeat Offensive Player of the Year Award winner, Clancy became the first student-athlete in Northeast-10 history to pass for over 4,000 yards in a single season. He led the conference in passing yards (4116), passing yards per game (374.2), passing touchdowns (48), completions (396) and completion percentage (64.4%), while ranking first or second in the nation in multiple offensive categories. The Newburyport, Mass., native was named a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist late last week.