WORCESTER, Mass. - Assumption football concludes its regular season on Saturday when the team travels to face off against Stonehill at 6 p.m. The Hounds enter the matchup with a 6-3 mark overall, while the Skyhawks are 1-8 and have lost seven consecutive games. Live stats and video are available for Saturday's contest.
Last Time Out:
Assumption is coming off a 52-31 blowout of Bentley this past Saturday. The Hounds and Falcons traded points throughout the first half and went into the break tied 21-21 as Bentley scored with just 20 seconds left. Deonte Harris caught a touchdown from Cody Williams early in the third and Jacob Tondel followed with a field goal for the 31-21 lead through three quarters. Assumption added three touchdowns in the fourth, highlighted by a 66-yard interception return by Mason Spence, to score the final 31 points of the game. Assumption rushed for 249 yards and had five different players record a rushing touchdown, while Williams threw for 167 yards and one score. Joe Bruno led the defense with 11 tackles and three tackles for a loss, while Bryce Jacob had eight and 1.5 for a loss.
Last season everything went right for Assumption in its dismantling of Stonehill 68-0. It was the program's largest margin of victory and the second-highest scoring game ever for the Hounds. They led just 10-0 after the first, but exploded for 34 points in the second quarter, highlighted by three touchdowns of at least 60 yards – two of which were by Deonte Harris. Assumption added ten points in the third and 14 more in the fourth for the final. Each team had 16 first downs, but Assumption had 426 yards of offense and recovered four Stonehill fumbles and intercepted a pass which was returned for a touchdown. Khaleed Exum-Strong rushed five times for 101 yards and two scores while Deonte Harris had 221 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
Assumption had a school-record five different players record a rushing touchdown this past Saturday against Bentley, while rushing for 249 yards as a whole. It marked the fourth time this season the team went over 200 yards, but the first since Sept. 29 against AIC.
Not Your Average Joe
Defensive lineman Joe Bruno recorded a career-high 11 tackles with a career-high tying 3.0 tackles for a loss against Bentley. The graduate student ranks third on the team with 46 tackles and has 192 for his career. He also leads the team this year with 11 tackles for a loss.
Mason Spence returned an interception 66 yards for the team's final touchdown on Saturday. It was his second INT of the year and his second interception return for a touchdown this year. For his career, Spence has three interceptions and all three have resulted in touchdowns. Last year against Stonehill he picked off a pass and returned it to the ten-yard line where he fumbled and Noah Burke then recovered and finished off the play for the touchdown.
Linebacker Levi Fancher has been impressive over the past three weeks for the Hounds, leading the team with 31 tackles over the past three games after not appearing in the previous four contests. For his career, Fancher leads all Assumption players with 258 career tackles, including 10 sacks and 28.5 tackles for a loss.
Taking Care of Business
Assumption has lost three games this year, however, all were against teams with a winning record. Over the team's last 49 total games the team hasn't lost a game to a team with a losing record. Their last such loss was a 30-24 defeat in overtime to Bentley on Nov. 1, 2014. The win improved the Falcons' record to 4-5 while Assumption dropped to 5-4 with that loss.
Assumption's 21-7 loss to LIU Post snapped the team's 57-game streak of scoring in double figures. The previous time the team was held under ten points was a 34-7 loss at the hands of Bryant to open the 2013 season. It was the first game for former head coach Bob Chesney.
Final Half Finish
This season, Assumption has outscored teams 101-45 in the third quarter of games and then 85-21 in the fourth, while only owning a nine-point edge in the second quarter (80-71).
Rise and Grind
Assumption ranks second in the NE10, averaging 188.6 rushing yards per game and leads the NE10 with 27 rushing touchdowns. The Hounds need two touchdowns to tie the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season.
Tying it All Together
Senior Tyis Boykin has come on strong his senior season, leading the team with 38 receptions after totaling 25 through his first three years. Of his 38 catches, 22 have been for a first down and two more have been for touchdowns.
Here Comes the Son(nie)
After not recording a catch in the opening two games, Sonnie has at least three receptions in every game since. The sophomore posted a career-high eight receptions for 58 yards against Bentley, and has totaled 29 catches for 326 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Missing the Century Mark
Two weeks ago against New Haven marked the first time this season Assumption failed to surpass 100 rushing yards. It was the fifth time in the last three seasons the Hounds have failed to accomplish this feat and they are just 2-3 over those five games. When going over 100 yards as a team since the start of 2016, the team is 24-5.
Straight Through the Uprights
Sophomore Jacob Tondel is 3-for-5 on field goals this season, however, the sophomore has connected on all 47 of his extra points. He is currently seventh in the NE10 in scoring with 56 points. Dating back to the start of the 2017 season, Tondel and Cole Tracy have combined to make 114 consecutive extra points.
Getting a Foot Hold
Junior Seamus Wallace has come through with consistent punting for the Hounds this year, averaging 37.3 yards on 40 punts. Of his 40 punts, only 14 have been returned for an average of 3.2 yards per return with a long of 16 while four have been fair caught.
Scoring In Other Phases
Mason Spence's interception return was the fourth time this season Assumption has scored on defense or special teams. 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.
200 Catches and Beyond
Deonte Harris became just the third Assumption receiver to surpass 200 catches against AIC on Sept. 29 He currently has 223 catches for 2,828 yards, both of which rank third in program history. Harris also currently ranks second in program history with 27 touchdown catches. David Canney '11 owns the school record for receptions (239) while Ashton Grant '18 is first in receiving yards (3,204) and touchdowns (36), and second in reception (228).
All-Purpose, All Day
Deonte Harris ranks first among all active Division II players and fourth among all active NCAA players with 5,951 all-purpose yards. For his career he has averaged 135 all-purpose yards per game and has scored 43 total touchdowns in his career (27 Rec, 8 PR, 5 KR, 3 Rush), which is tied for the most in program history.
Total Team Defense
Through nine games Assumption has one player ranked in the top 15 in total tackles, as Bryce Jacob has a team-high 66 stops. The team does have 12 players with at least 20 stops, including Kaleb Silva who has 55, Joe Bruno with 46 while Levi Fancher and Joe Kim each have 42.
Special Teams Defense
Assumption's defense on kick returns this year has been a key reason for their success. On 49 returns, opponents are averaging just 16.3 yards per return and only one kick return has been longer than 30 yards this season.
A victory over Stonehill on Saturday would give Assumption a 7-3 record to end the season. It would be just the eighth time in program history the Hounds have won seven or more games in a season. It would also mark the fifth straight season they have reached that mark.
- Quarterback Cody Williams has 17 touchdown passes this year, which is tied for third in a single season in program history. Marc Monks (25) set the record in 2016 while Andrew Kupec had 22 in 2010.
- Assumption is averaging 39.1 points per game, the third highest single season mark in program history, trailing the 2017 season (43.4) and 2015 (39.2). Assumption has averaged over 37 points per game each of the last three years, but prior to the 2015 they averaged 30 points per game in just one other season in program history, 2010 (30.9).
Assumption's senior class enters their final game with a career record of 37-10 overall. They are one victory short of being tied as the winningest class in program history, matching the class of 2018. The team has the chance to be the first in school history to never lose more than three games in a single season.