The Assumption football team hits the road on Saturday afternoon to take on Pace University at Setter Field in Pleasantville, N.Y. The Greyhounds enter the game coming off a home loss to league-leading Southern Connecticut, while the Setters are coming off a bye week. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The game is available with live video and live stats thru the Assumption Football schedule page.
Saturday's Matchup: Saturday's game features the visiting Greyhounds of Assumption College and the Setters of Pace University in the lone matchup of the season between the two teams. Following this game, the Hounds have two home games and two road games remaining on the 2011 schedule, along with a bye week on October 22nd.
Last Time Out For The Hounds: After jumping out to a 21-7 halftime lead on league-leading Southern Connecticut last Saturday, the Hounds were unable to keep the powerful Owl defense at bay as SCSU put up 31 second-half points to come away with a 38-24 win on Homecoming at the Multi-Sport Stadium. Big plays helped the Hounds jump out to the early double-digit lead, including an 83-yard touchdown pass to Adam Gruschow and a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mike Bates. Sophomore Matt Pedone, who led the team with 66 rushing yards, also scored a touchdown for his third score of the season. Thru five games, Pedone has 383 yards on 69 rushing attempts. Defensively, seniors Nick DiAntonio and Dan Conrad combined for 31 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles. DiAntonio had 21 tackles in the game, including nine solo stops, while Conrad had eight solo tackles out of his 10 total tackles.
The All-Time Series: Today's game is the 19th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Pace holding an 11-7 edge in the series. Assumption has taken two straight from the Setters though, including a 20-0 shutout win in Worcester a year ago. In that game, the Greyhounds used two Brian Nowak field goals and a pair of Andrew Kupec touchdown passes to come away with the victory. The last time the two teams met in Pleasantville, the Greyhounds came out on top by a 34-26 final on October 3, 2009.
Senior Standout: Senior linebacker Nick DiAntonio is currently ranked second in the nation in tackles per game and leads the Northeast-10 in that category by over 20 total tackles. In the loss to Southern Connecticut last weekend, DiAntonio tied the Assumption single-game record with 21 total tackles, the single-game high in the league this season and second-highest in the nation. Thru five games, DiAntonio is averaging 13.6 tackles per game and has 68 total tackles on the season. He has 33 solo stops to go along with 35 assisted tackles.
D2Football.com National Defensive Player of the Week: DiAntonio became the first Northeast-10 played this season to earn National Defensive Player of the Week honors as he was named to this award on Thursday evening. This is the first time that he has been recognized with this honor as well. Earlier in the week, DiAntonio was named as the Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a home loss to Southern Connecticut last Saturday.
Sack Attack: Junior defensive end Nick Haag has ranked among the league leaders in sacks per game all season and currently has 4.5 sacks for a loss of 35 yards. He also has a team-high nine tackles for loss for a total of 42 yards, along with one pass breakup, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and 23 total tackles. He currently ranks second in the Northeast-10 in total sacks and has a sack in four of the Hounds five games this season.
Pick Six: Sophomore defensive back Mike Bates picked off Southern Connecticut quarterback Kevin Lynch in the first half and returned the interception 57 yards for a touchdown. The 57-yard return was the fifth-longest interception return for a touchdown in Assumption history. Bates also added a second interception later in the game, to go along with five tackles and a pass breakup. Bates has started all five games for the Hounds this season.
Under the Center: Freshman quarterback Kevin Bumpus started his third game of the season for the Greyhounds against Southern Connecticut, one of three different starters used this season. Bumpus, who was named as the Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week after engineering a fourth-quarter comeback at Seton Hill, has completed 47 passes for 689 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the season.
Jumping Ahead Early: In the five games this season, the Greyhounds have trailed only twice at the half and in the first quarter, they have outscored their opponents by a 27-21 margin. After being tied at 7-7 at the half at Seton Hill, the Greyhounds held halftime leads at American International (20-17) and at home vs. Southern Connecticut (21-7). In those games, the Greyhounds have a 1-2 record, with the win coming in overtime at Seton Hill.
Filling the Seats: Thru the first three home games this year, the Assumption football team has averaged 1,463 fans per home game, ranking them fifth in the Northeast-10. The Hounds filled the Multi-Sport Stadium with a season-high 1650 fans in the Homecoming Game last Saturday and for the season have welcomed 4,390 fans to the Multi-Sport Stadium.
Remembering Aaron Ellis: Aaron Ellis, a three-year member of the Assumption football program, passed away in late August of 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer. Ellis took last year off from school and was planning on returning to school this fall to complete his degree. In the spring, Ellis received the Francis Grimaldi '70 Memorial Award, given each year to a member of the Assumption community that shows "spirit and courage." For the remainder of the season, the Assumption football team will wear the initials AE on their helmets. In addition, Ellis' number 74 is being left empty for the 2011 season. John Rowell has switched to number 61 from his original 74.
This Week in the Northeast-10: Below is the complete upcoming schedule for this week in the Northeast-10.
Friday, October 7th
New Haven at Southern Connecticut 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 8th
Saint Anselm at American International 1 p.m.
Assumption at Pace 1 p.m.
Bentley at Merrimack 1 p.m.
Stonehill at Bryant 1 p.m.
Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll: In the Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, the Greyhounds were picked to finish sixth, while the University of New Haven was chosen as the preseason favorite by the league's head coaches. Below is the complete preseason poll, with first-place votes in parentheses.
1. New Haven (6) 59
2. Southern Connecticut (2) 58
3. Merrimack (1) 47
4. Bentley 43
5. American International 42
6. Assumption 28
7. Stonehill 23
8. Saint Anselm 16
9. Pace 8
Greyhounds In The Weekly Northeast-10 Awards: Each week, the Northeast-10 announces its weekly award winners. Below are the Assumption players that have been recognized this season.
Sept. 5: None
Sept. 12: Kevin Bumpus - Rookie of the Week, Matt Pedone - Honor Roll
Sept. 19: Nick DiAntonio - Honor Roll, Matt Pedone - Honor Roll
Sept. 26: None
Oct. 3: Nick DiAntonio, Defensive Player of the Week
Assumption Football LIVE On the Web!: Every Assumption College Football home game is available live online at www.assumptiongreyhounds.tv. The Greyhounds carry each home football game and nearly 75 games in total via Assumption Greyhounds TV, powered by the Pack Network. Each game is available at a price of $6.95, along with an All-Access Pass for ALL sports for $75.00!
Assumption Athletics On The Web: For the latest on Assumption College Athletics, please visit the official athletics web site at www.AssumptionGreyhounds.com, powered by PrestoSports! With game stories, statistics, player bios and more, AssumptionGreyhounds.com is YOUR source for the latest on Assumption Athletics! For more information, contact the Office of Athletic Communications at 508-767-7240!
Thank you to the Hound Girls: The Assumption College Football Program would like to thank this year's "Hound Girls" for their work during the season. This group assists the program with recruiting tours of the campus on game days.