WORCESTER, Mass. - Assumption looks to improve to 4-1 on Saturday, when the team squares off against 0-3 American International at 1 p.m. in the friendly confines of Multi-Sport Stadium during Family Weekend.
Last Time Out
Assumption is 3-1 and coming off a 42-21 victory over Pace on the road this past Friday. The Setters actually jumped out to a 7-0 lead and tied the game up at 14-14 early in the second quarter. Kyle Sonnie caught a touchdown pass with 6:09 left in the half and Assumption added two more touchdowns over the next 15 minutes to stretch its lead to 35-12. Pace cut the deficit to just 14 points midway through the third, but the Hounds scored the final two touchdowns to secure the victory. The Setters actually outgained Assumption 487-388 as they rushed for 324 yards, but committed 11 more penalties in the contest (16-5). Doug Santos rushed for three TD while Cody Williams threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for a score.
Assumption has won three straight against AIC, its longest win streak against the Yellow Jackets in program history. Over those past three games, the Hounds have a 103-13 scoring edge, including a 40-3 victory on the road last year. The game was tied 3-3 late in the first quarter, but Assumption scored 21 points the rest of the half for a 24-3 lead at the break. Cole Tracy kicked three second-half field goals and Santos added a TD for the 40-3 final. Assumption totaled 486 yards while limiting AIC to just 174. Joe Bruno led the defense with 2.0 sacks and 3.0 TFL.
Assumption ranks second in the NE10, averaging 208.5 rushing yards per game on the ground. The Hounds' top three running backs, Doug Santos, Kellum and Khaleed Exum-Strong have combined to rush for 658 yards while averaging 5.9 yards per carry as a group. Assumption overall ranks second in the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Cody Williams has been dynamic for Assumption this year, throwing for 189.8 yards per game with seven touchdowns while rushing for 146 yards and four more scores. He has had a rush of at least ten yards in each game this year, including two for more than 35 yards, while also completing 67 percent of his passes.
Tying it All Together
Senior Tyis Boykin has come on strong his senior season, leading the team with 18 receptions after totaling 25 through his first three seasons. Of his 18 catches, 12 have been for a first down and the 13th was his lone touchdown.
It's Always Sonnie
After not recording a catch in the opening two games, sophomore Kyle Sonnie has four receptions and one touchdown in each of the past two games. He has totaled 110 receiving yards on his eight receptions.
Quest for 200 Catches
Deonte Harris enters the weekend with 199 receptions, and needing just one more to become the third receiver in Assumption history with 200 receptions. Harris also currently ranks second in program history with 23 touchdown catches and third with 2,426 receiving yards. David Canney '11 owns the school records for receptions (239) while Ashton Grant '18 is first in receiving yards (3,204) and touchdowns (36).
Picking off the Competition
Assumption intercepted two passes last weekend against Pace, with one by Carlins Platel and another by Kaleb Silva. This comes a week after the Hounds intercepted five passes against Saint Anselm. The team leads the NE10 with eight INT and last year led the entire nation with 26 interceptions. Since the beginning of the 2017 season they have recorded interceptions in 14 of 17 games.
Total Team Defense
Last Saturday against Pace, Assumption had 20 different players record a tackle. Through four games Assumption doesn't have anyone ranked in the top-25 of the NE10 in total tackles, though they do have eight players with 24-18 stops. Bryce Jacob leads the team with 24 tackles while Mason Spence leads the team with 23 tackles, including 18 solo stops.
Sophomore linebacker Antoine Williams has come into his own after not seeing action in any during 2017. Over the past three games he has 19 tackles, including a career-best ten tackles in the win against Pace.
Sophomore defensive back Jeremiah Edwards has stepped up in his first season as a starter. He currently ranks third on the team with 22 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. Over the last two games he has 13 solo tackles and two assisted, for 15 total stops.
Scoring In Other Phases
Mason Spence's interception return for a touchdown against Saint Anselm was the second time this year Assumption had a special teams or defensive touchdown. Last year they led the nation with 14 touchdowns from defense or special teams (6 PR, 4 INT, 3 KR, 1 FUM), recording at least one in 10 of 13 games. Over that span, touchdowns were scored by six different players.
Senior Deonte Harris, posted his eighth career punt return touchdown against Merrimack, scoring from 63 yards out. His eight career punt return TD's rank second in NCAA Division II history. For his career he now has 13 return touchdowns, with eight on punt and five more on kick return, which is an NCAA Division II record for career return touchdowns. In 2017 he finished with eight return touchdowns, including five on punts.
Slow Start, Fast Finish
Assumption fell behind 26-0 in its season-opener against Kutztown, however, since that time the Hounds have outscored their opponents 192-49. In their three conference games they own a 94-24 edge in the first half of games, for an average score of 31-8.
Assumption surpassed the 50-point mark for the first time this season in its 66-3 win over Saint Anselm. It is the 12th time in the past four seasons the Hounds have gone over 50 points and the fourth time in the last four seasons the Hounds have surpassed 60 points. Overall Assumption has scored at least 20 points in 24 straight games and at least 17 points in 47 consecutive contests.
Last Time Out: AIC
The Yellow Jackets are 0-3 and coming off a 29-21 defeat at the hands of Saint Anselm this past weekend. AIC gave up a field goal on the opening drive but scored the next two touchdowns for a 14-3 lead midway through the first. However, the Hawks scored three straight touchdowns before the end of the half for a 29-14 lead after the break. AIC managed to tack on a touchdown late but couldn't get any closer. The Yellow Jackets finished with 303 yards of offense, highlighted by Prince Olubakinda, who threw for 298 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, though he was sacked five times. Jaysen Thompsen led the team with 13 tackles while Alex Silva added 12.
Scouting The Offense: AIC
Through three games, the Yellow Jackets are averaging 12.0 points and 274.3 yards per game, with 191.7 through the air and 82.7 on the ground. Olubakinda has thrown for 418 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions while completing 49.3 percent of his passes this year. His primary target has been C. Dargan, who has ten receptions for 128 yards and one score. Lennox Green Jr. has nine catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Samad Davila leads the rushing attack with 256 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per game.
Scouting The Defense: AIC
This year AIC is allowing 29.7 points and 355.3 yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for just 187.3 yards per game with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while allowing 168 yards per game on the ground and seven scores. Jaysen Thompsen leads the team with 37 tackles, while Cyriacus Ibezim has 33 tackles and Alex Silva has 29 tackles. The defense has totaled two interceptions and recorded five sacks thus far.