Manchester, N.H. (September 20) -- Leading 14-3 at the half, the Saint Anselm football team couldn't hold off a late Pace rally as the Setters came away with a 15-14 win over the Hawks on Saturday afternoon at a packed Grappone Stadium.
Neither team got on the board early until Ali Mourtada knocked down a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. Saint Anselm answered in the opening minutes of the second quarter as freshman QB Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn.) led the Hawks on a 12-play, 73-yard drive for a 7-3 lead. The drive was capped by a 15-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Marcel Bouie (Stone Mountain, Ga.).
The Hawks extended the lead later in the quarter as Wilson rushed in from a yard out for the 14-3 lead. That drive began due to a fumble recovery by Saint Anselm senior defensive end Conor O'Brien (Scituate, Mass.) at the Saint Anselm 45-yard line.
Holding a 14-3 halftime advantage, the Hawks held Pace off the scoreboard until the final play of the third quarter when Eric Ortega hauled in a 22-yard TD pass from Ray Gregg to make it 14-9. The two-point conversion attempt was no good as Gregg's pass fell incomplete.
Pace took the lead on a five-play, 39-yard drive with 3:40 left as Gregg rushed in from one yard out for the 15-14 lead. Gregg's two-point conversion attempt was no good. The Hawks punted on the next drive, but Pace's Justin Polanis coughed up the ball on his own 33 yard line and the Hawks had life again. Saint Anselm's Mike Barros (Ludlow, Mass.) had a potential game-winning 35-yard field goal attempt with 18 seconds left, but it was blocked by Anthony Verdi to seal the win.
Wilson led the Hawk offense with 116 yards on the ground, going over the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. Dan Bohenek (Bridgewater, Mass.) led the defense with seven tackles, while Brian Tormollan (Waterville, Maine) forced a pair of fumbles with four tackles.
Gregg threw for 141 yards and one touchdown for the Setters, while Nathaniel Ford had 74 yards on the ground.
Saint Anselm is back in action on Saturday, September 27th as the team travels to Assumption for a 1 p.m. start in Worcester, Mass.