Merrimack outscores Greyhounds, 33-20, in offensive-minded football showcaseOctober 20, 2007
MERRIMACK 33, ASSUMPTION 20
WORCESTER, Mass. --- Senior quarterback COLIN TEMPLE (Rutland, VT/Mt. St. Joseph) completed 18-of-28 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns and junior wide receiver CHRIS LAHAM (Westwood, MA/Westwood) caught seven passes for 152 yards to lead Merrimack College past Assumption College, 33-20, in a Northeast-10 Conference football game here at the Multi-Sports Stadium SATURDAY.
The Greyhounds outgained the visiting Warriors, 431-333, and got standout performances from junior quarterback TAYLOR HUMPHREY (Lafayette, CA/Miramonte, CA) (25-for-38, 265 yards) and freshman running back HERB WOODARD (Salem, NJ/Salem) (17 carries, 129 yards). Defensively, sophomore linebacker DUSTIN ZITZMANN (Pinellas Park, FL/Dixie Hollins) finished with 3-7- 10 tackles, his fifth double-figure tackle game this year, and junior safety CHRIS MARTINO (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) had two interceptions and six tackles.
And, senior wide receiver JAKE BEERS (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury) became the Greyhounds career leader in receptions catching six for 91 yards --- he now has 143 for his career surpassing Eric Mauer (1997-2000) who caught 140 in his career.
The Warriors led 17-14 after one period as the teams combined for 134 yards rushing and 149 yards passing --- 283 yards of total offense!
Merrimack advanced the opening drive 47 yards in 11 plays --- with sophomore running back RICHARD JOHNSON (Brockton, MA/Brockton) carrying seven times for 27 yards. Sophomore placekicker SEAN GARVEY (Farmington, CT/Farmington) kicked a 29-yard field goal to cap the march as the Greyhound defense stiffened.
Freshman safety KEITH BATES (Holden, MA/Wachusett) stopped Johnson for a four-yard loss on second down at the nine and then junior linebacker MITCHELL WELCH (Southington, CT/Southington) hurried Temple into an incompletion on the third-down play.
The Greyhounds then drove on the ensuing series 69 yards in seven plays. After sophomore DAVID CANNEY (Templeton, MA/Narragansett) returned the kickoff 24 yards to the 31, Humphrey rushed 11 yards on keeper on the first play and hit junior wide receiver JOEY FABIANO (Westwood, MA/Westwood) for 14 and eight yards on back-to-back plays. Canney then fired a 23-yard touchdown pass to Fabiano on a option play. Senior placekicker JON EISELE (Lower Gwynedd, PA/Vermont Academy) kicked the conversion for a 7-3 lead.
The teams traded interceptions, first Martino picking off Temple at the Greyhound 31, and then Warrior sophomore corner SAM BELVINES (Brockton, MA/Brockton) returned the favor on the first play going the other way for 34 yards and touchdown (Garvey kicked the conversion) to give Merrimack at 10-7 advantage.
And, then Woodward scampered 75 yards on the second play of the ensuing series (Eisele converted) as the Greyhounds regained the lead, 14-10, with 3:48 left. Woodard is now the only back in Greyhound history to have more than one run of 70+ yards from scrimmage. Accomplished just eight times in their history Woodard has done it twice---also running 75 yards for a score against Saint Anselm (9-15-07).
Merrimack completed the offensive first period driving 60 yards in just four plays to again take the lead, 17-14. Temple completed passes of eight yards to senior tight end SEAN MC FEE (Mattapoisett, MA/Old Rochester), 10 yards to junior wide receiver JAWARA LOFTIS (Dorchester, MA/Melrose) and finally 39 yards to Laham for the score. Garvey kicked the conversion.
Eisele would kick two second-period field goals, the second with just two seconds remaining to usher the Greyhounds in front 20-17 at the halftime break. It was the first time in his career kicking two in one game.
In a long time-consuming 16-play, 56-yard drive Humphrey and Woodard led the Greyhounds into range for Eisele. Woodward rushed six times for 24 yards and Humphrey completed four-of-five passes for 32 yards.
A second interception by Martino and subsequent 22-yard return to the Assumption 49-yard line set the Greyhounds up for the go-ahead points.
Humphrey completed passes of 24 yards to Beers, 15 yards to sophomore tight end MATT THIBEAULT (Fitchburg, MA/Fitchburg/Worcester Academy) to highlight the march. Eisele kicked a 20-yard field goal with 25 seconds left but a Merrimack personal foul penalty (roughing the kicker) set the Hounds up with a first and-goal at the one. Eisele kicked the field goal again from 20 yards after two rushes and an incomplete pass failed to find the endzone.
Merrimack took the lead with a third-period touchdown as Temple connected with Loftis on an 11-yard slant (Garvey converted) with 7:32 remaining and then added insurance in the fourth period as Garvey kicked a 34-yard field goal and sophomore running back MIKE YOUNG (Norwood, MA/Norwood) scored from two yards out with 2:18 left. Temple completed passes of 10 yards to Loftis, 10 yards to senior tight end RYAN SALTER (Bridgewater, MA/Archbishop Williams) and finally 11 more yards to Loftis for the score in the third period.
A fumble recovery by Belvines stopped the Greyhounds on the next series and started the Warriors on a 13-play, 55-yard drive culminating in the Garvey field goal. Temple found Laham for 14 yards, Salter for 10, Laham for 17 more and finally for 12 yards to junior wide receiver CHRIS MC NEILL (Burlington, MA/Burlington) to highlight the march.
A Temple-to-Laham 45-yard pass play on a third-and-seven play to the Assumption two-yard line set up the final Merrimack touchdown.
Asumption is now 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the conference, while Merrimack improves to 3-4 and 3-3. The Greyhounds travel to Philadelphia, PA Saturday for a game with Division I-AA LaSalle University (3 p.m. kickoff), while Merrimack hosts Northeast-10 Conference rival Pace University, also on Saturday.
GREYHOUNDS NOTES: senior wide out JAKE BEERS (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury) now has 35 receptions for 433 yards this season, bringing his career totals to 143 catches for 1,724 yards . . . the 143 receptions is the career record, while the 1,724 yards passed Don Kinney (1985-88, 1,686 yards) for second-place . . . Eric Mauer (1997-2000) finished his career with both records (140 receptions) and (2,166 receiving yards) . . . Beers has caught a pass in 21 straight games . . . sophomore wide receiver DAVID CANNEY (Templeton, MA/Narragansett) (44 receptions, 595 yards) now has caught at least one pass in every game (18) in his career . . . he is on target to break the single-season mark of 51 (held by Beers from last year) and also reach 100 receptions (76 to date) and 1,000 yards (913 to date) for his career . . . no sophomore has ever reached 1,000 career receiving yards . . .
junior quarterback TAYLOR HUMPHREY (Lafayette, CA/Miramonte) is also rewriting the Hounds' record book . . . he has completed 124-of-234 passes for 1,513 yards and nine touchdowns in his first season with the Greyhounds . . . he is the eight Hound to reach 200 attempts, the eighth to reach 100 completions (his 124 is fourth just 23 behind Chad Carges' record of 147 in 2000) . . . his 1,513 yards is the fourth-best in Hounds' history, just 289 yards behind Carges' record of 1,802 in 1999 . . . his 1,533 yards of total offense is the fourth-best in Hounds history . . . his 25 completions are the second-most in Hounds' history, two behind Carges' record of 27 at Saint Anselm (10-2-99) . . . Jamie Tucker (at Merirmack, 10-16-04, 25-for-47) and Carges (vs. A.I.C., 10-7-00, 25-for-46) also had 25 completions . . .
freshman running back HERB WOODARD (Salem, NJ/Salem) has now rushed 94 times for 652 yards, averaging 6.9 yards-per-rush, with seven touchdowns . . . he is the lone back in Hounds' history to have more than one rush for 70 yards from scrimmage in a career having also run 75 yards for a score versus Saint Anselm (9-15-07) . . . before this year you have to go back to 1995 when Chris Allegro ran 80 yards for a score against Western New England (9-23-95) . . . his 652 yards is the 17th best in Hounds history with three games to play . . .