- The Score: Assumption 40, American International 3
- Records: Assumption (9-0, 8-0 NE10), American International (2-7, 2-6 NE10)
- Location: Springfield, Mass. (Adbow Field)
- The Lead: Assumption clinched the outright NE10 Championship and improved to a program-best 9-0, as the team scored the final 37 points of the contest and the defense gave up just 174 total yards to American International in their 40-3 victory on Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- AIC's first punt of the day went over the punter's head and Calvin Millner (New York, N.Y. / Cardinal Hayes) and Joe Kim (Edison, N.J. / Edison) converged for the tackle to give Assumption the ball on the 21-yard line. They were unable to get a first down and Cole Tracy (Camarillo, Calif. / Newbury Park) connected on a 38-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead.
- The Yellow Jackets answered with a field goal from 39 yards to tie the game 3-3 with 7:22 left in the period. The Hounds responded before the end of the period, as an Ashton Grant (Manchester, Conn. / Manchester / East Coast Prep) reception moved the ball inside the redzone and Cody Williams (Wilbraham, Mass. / Springfield Central / Monmouth) eventually found Khaleed Exum-Strong (Norwichtown, Conn. / Norwich Free Academy / Trinity Pawling) for a two-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left.
- In the second, Brendan Tobey (Lynn, Mass. / Malden Catholic) connected with Kevin Falaki (Assonet, Mass. / Apponequet Regional) for a 43-yard reception to bring the ball down the AIC 5-yard line. Dylan Oxsen (Plymouth, Mass. / Plymouth South) rushed it up the middle for the touchdown a 17-3 advantage with 7:17 left.
- The defense forced a three and out on a five-play, -1 yard drive to give Assumption the ball on the Yellow Jacket 48. Six plays later, Tobey found Grant over the top of the defense for a 44-yard touchdown reception.
- In the second half, Assumption took the ball down inside the ten-yard line, but couldn't punch it in the endzone. Tracy came on and his 26-yard field goal was good for a 27-0 advantage with 11:42 left.
- The Hounds had their punt blocked in the endzone on their next possession and AIC recovered the ball on the five-yard line. The Yellow Jackets tried to run it in for the score, but Jedidiah Scott (Acton, Maine / Sanford) stripped the ball loose and Bryce Jacob (Paramus, N.J. / Paramus) pounced on it in the endzone for the touchback. The Hounds then moved the ball down the field, setting up a 38-yard field goal for Tracy to make it 30-3.
- Tracy extended the lead to 33-3 with a 42-yard field goal with 13:33 left in regulation. Doug Santos (Peabody, Mass. / Peabody) broke off a 24-yard run on the team's next drive and three plays later scored from four yards out for the 40-3 with 10:08 remaining for the final margin.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Hounds clinched the outright NE10 Championship for the second time in the last three years with the victory. They sit two games up in the NE10 Standings with one game today, and currently rank second in Super Region One.
- Assumption totaled 486 yards of offense on the day, throwing for 299 yards and rushing for another 187. Defensively, the team limited the Yellow Jackets to just 174 total yards, with 96 on the ground and 54 through the air. The Hounds added five sacks and kept AIC to just 2.5 yards per play.
- Tobey finished the day 15 of 27 for 276 yards and one touchdown while Williams was 2-for-2 with a touchdown on 23 yards passing. Exum-Strong rushed for a team-high 68 yards on nine attempts while Santos had 45 yards and a touchdown on seven rushes. Oxsen rushed for 37 yards on 13 attempts.
- Grant caught six passes for 130 yards and one touchdown, while also setting the program's all-time receiving yards record. Grant finished the day with 3,017 career receiving yards, breaking the record of 3,012, set by David Canney from 2007-10.
- Senior Joe Bruno (Old Forge, Pa. / Old Forge) registered five tackles with 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for a loss, while Ray Sarkodieh (Worcester, Mass. / St. Peter Marian) chipped in four stops with one sack and 1.5 stops for a loss. Kaleb Silva (Revere, Mass. / Revere) paced the defense with eight tackles and one sack.
- Tracy posted his second straight four field goal performance and totaled 16 points on the day to give him 20 field goals for the year and 112 points. He now has 61 career field goals, which is tied for 6th all-time in Division II football.
- No. 10 Assumption looks to finish the regular season a perfect 10-0 when the Hounds host Bentley on Saturday at 1 pm for Military Appreciation Day and Senior Day.