NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College football team was turned aside by the host Warriors from Merrimack College, 41-3, at Warrior Stadium on Saturday.
Saint Anselm falls to 1-7 overall on the year, dipping to 1-6 against Northeast-10 Conference foes. Merrimack moves to 3-5 overall and to 3-4 versus league competition.
On the first drive of the contest, Merrimack opened up a 7-0 lead following an 11-play drive that was capped with a five-yard pass by CJ Scarpa to Justin Mount. Following the point-after, junior placekicker Daniel Parisi cut into Merrimack's lead with a 34-yard field goal make with 34 seconds left in the first quarter to complete a five-play, 20-yard drive that spanned nearly two minutes.
Only 57 seconds into the second quarter, Merrimack's Derrick Villard ran the ball home 53 yards, creating a 13-3 lead for the Warriors. Saint Anselm turned the ball over on the very next play as Jake Ragusa forced the fumble and Brian Carroll returned it 30 yards, earning their team a 20-3 lead before halftime.
Receiving the second half kickoff, the Hawks were unable to generate offensive momentum despite two lengthy rushes by quarterback Eric Fairweather. Receiving the ball back, Merrimack's Scarpa piloted a six-play, 75-yard drive that yielded another touchdown for the Warriors, who led 27-3 less than five minutes into the third quarter.
Scarpa fired home another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Villard netted his second rushing score of the afternoon, creating the final 41-3 score in favor of Merrimack. Averaging 6.34 yards per play on the afternoon, the Warriors generated 463 yards of total offense and limited Saint Anselm to only 155 total yards.
Fairweather finished the day 10-for-27 through the air, throwing for 55 yards. He was his team's leading rusher, netting 62 yards on 14 carries that included a game-high 16-yard sprint. Kyle Hill caught three passes for 28 yards, leading all Saint Anselm receivers.
Nate Lewis recorded 11 total tackles, including eight of the solo variety, while CJ Miller and Eric Mercer tallied nine and eight tackles, respectively. Isaiah Douglas recorded his third interception of the season with a 14-yard return on the wayward pass.
Freshman Kaden Riforgiate had 12 punts for a combined 470 yards in the game, ranking second all-time in single game history in each statistic. Hill also returned six punts in today's tilt, tying for the most in a single game all-time and the most in a game by a Hawks player since the 2005 season.
Scarpa finished with 238 passing yards for Merrimack, throwing three touchdowns. Villard ran 19 times for 152 yards, scoring twice, while Sebastian Lucas reeled in one touchdown with a team-best 76 yards. Ragusa led Merrimack with 3.5 tackles for a loss, nine total tackles and one 17-yard sack.
Saint Anselm hosts Southern Conn. St. this Saturday, Nov. 4 at Grappone Stadium in a 1 p.m. showdown.