WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite nearly 450 passing yards against one of the top teams in the Northeast-10 Conference, the Saint Anselm College football team yielded six rushing touchdowns on the way to a 54-23 road loss.
Saint Anselm falls to 0-2 on the year while Assumption evens its overall record at 1-1. The Hawks racked up the most points in a game versus the Greyhounds in five years and with 78 pass attempts, Saint Anselm also saw the team and individual records fall for that statistic.
Junior Phillip Tran (San Jose, Calif.) was 42-for-78 through the air, racking up 448 passing yards – that figure stands as the third-most thrown by any Hawks quarterback in team history. Junior Joey Cody (Cinnaminson, N.J.) notched three field goals in the win, becoming only the fourth student-athlete in team history to do so.
Defensively, the Hawks logged 16 pass breakups, the most in a single game on record. Saint Anselm also logged 27 first downs and outperformed Assumption on third down (38%-to-31%), but the Hawks were unable to contain the Hounds ground game.
Junior Franklin Holgate (Easton, Mass.) reeled in nine catches for 129 yards and senior Nicholas Fiorillo (Westford, Mass.) also cracked 100 yards receiving, doing so on eight catches. Saint Anselm had not featured two student-athletes with 100 or more yards in a game since Nov. 5, 2016, a narrow loss to Southern Connecticut State University.
Saint Anselm built a 13-0 lead only 16:14 into the contest, thanks to the first career touchdown reception by freshman Anthony Brown (Belton, Texas) and back-to-back field goals by Cody. The Greyhounds countered with four scores in the second stanza, building a 26-13 lead before Cody's third field goal with 18 ticks on the first half scoreboard slowed the momentum.
Saint Anselm opened the second half with the ball and a missed field goal ended a strong nine-play, 3:02 drive that went 58 yards. Assumption scored on their very next drive, needing only 57 seconds for an 80-yard touchdown run by Khaleed Exum-Strong to capture a 33-16 advantage.
Senior Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.) kept his team in the game, answering Exum-Strong's big rushing score with a touchdown of his own, the first of his career through the air, to keep his team in the game down by only 10 points.
On the very next Saint Anselm possession, the Hawks appeared to have first and goal after a 12-yard rush by Tran, but a personal foul penalty set up third and long. Saint Anselm was unable to convert and ultimately turned the ball over on downs.
Assumption took control of the game from that point onward, scoring on its next possession and recording an interception on the very first Hawks pass after Assumption kicked the ball off. Exum-Strong would tack on his fourth touchdown rush of the game with 13:03 to go and Doug Santos would log his second such touchdown with 9:08 left in regulation time.
Senior CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) had 10 solo tackles, leading the way with 13 total. He also posted one sack, two tackles for a loss of 13 yards and forced a fumble. Junior Ryan Sullivan (Stoughton, Mass.) had two pass breakups and also reached double-digit tackling totals with 10.
Easton Turner was under center for Assumption, finishing with only seven completions on 18 total attempts. Brevin Easton finished with a team-leading 57 yards with one touchdown reception. Daniel Malm reached double-digit tackle totals for the Greyhounds with 12 to his credit.