MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College football team ran its winning streak to three games on Saturday with a 25-24 win over the visiting Owls of Southern Connecticut State University at Grappone Stadium.
The win improves Saint Anselm's overall mark to 3-5 with the Hawks moving to 3-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Hawks find themselves tied with four other teams in second place in the league standings. Southern Connecticut falls to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in NE10 play.
The Hawks won three consecutive games for the first time since 2014 when Saint Anselm handed opponents five consecutive defeats (Sept. 6-Oct. 4, 2014).
With the Owls driving in the game's final minute, Saint Anselm freshman Sulton Woolbright, Jr. (Temple Hills, Md.) punched the ball away from SCSU's Jaylynn Cundiff and junior Ryan Morris (Tewksbury, Mass.) collected the loose ball, sealing the victory for the Hawks.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Saint Anselm capped an eight play, 67-yard scoring drive with a Shawn Donovan (Abington, Mass.) 19-yard touchdown catch from senior quarterback Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.), giving the Hawks the one-point advantage that held up as the final score.
Fairweather finished 24-for-43 on the day, throwing for 347 yards. He threw for three touchdowns and ran home for another, giving him a hand in 67 career scores (37 passing, 29 rushing, 1 receiving) for the Hawks to set the all-time program record. Yianni Gavalas '17 held the original record of 64 (52 passing, 12 rushing) across his four-year Saint Anselm career.
Donovan hauled in three touchdown receptions from Fairweather, matching the all-time single game record that was reached only six times prior, five times by Justin Bernard '15. Saint Anselm had not featured a three touchdown performance since Ahkeen Williams '15 picked up three scores against Bentley on Nov. 16, 2013.
SCSU started the scoring midway through the game's opening quarter when Gavin Toth concluded a seven-play, 31-yard drive with a 41-yard field goal, giving the Owls a 3-0 lead.
The Hawks responded as the first quarter clock expired when Donovan hauled in a 17-yard strike from Fairweather, his first of three on the day, to put the Hawks in front, 6-3.
SCSU retook the lead on their next drive, marching down the field in five plays covering 76 yards, when Brandon Swain-Price hauled in a four yard Jackson Ostrowsky pass to give the Owls the 10-6 advantage.
A three-and-out by the Hawks offense gave the Owls another opportunity. This time the Owls put together a nine-play, 66-yard drive, punctuated by a 22-yard pitch-and-catch score from Ostrowsky to Swain-Price, giving SCSU the 17-6 edge at the midway point of the second stanza.
After pinning the Owls deep in their own end and taking over on the SCSCU 35-yard line, the Hawks pieced together a three-play, 35-yard drive that ended with a Donovan 19-yard touchdown catch from Fairweather, pulling the Hawks to within five, 17-12, with just over four minutes to go in the half.
Late in the second quarter, with the Owls threatening, senior CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) intercepted Ostrowsky's pass and returned it 19 yards, keeping the game within striking distance heading into halftime.
To open the third, the Saint Anselm defense forced an early three-and-out when Fairweather and company put together a six-play, 64-yard drive. This time the senior quarterback called his own number and on a five-yard scamper, found the pylon to put the Hawks in front for the second time, 18-17. A Joey Cody (Cinnaminson, N.J.) extra point gave the Hawks a two-point edge, 19-17, with five minutes gone by in the third.
The Owls regained the lead later in the quarter when Swain-Price and Ostrowsky connected again, this time on a 15-yard pass play on third down to conclude seven-play, 58-yard drive that took just 1:56 off the clock.
The Hawks go-ahead score came with just 1:09 gone by in the final stanza and the defense held on for the remainder of the quarter, forcing a stalled drive that ended in a missed 22-yard field goal and a three-and out before forcing the game-ending turnover with under a minute remaining.
Freshman Anthony Brown (Belton, Texas) led the Hawks with seven receptions for 150 yards, including the longest pass play of the day, good for 38 yards. Senior Nicholas Fiorillo (Westford, Mass.) also had seven receptions for 74 yards.
Defensively, Miller tallied eight tackles and 2.5 sacks for a loss of 24 yards and one interception. Ryan Raybuck (Flower Mound, Texas) finished with 6.5 tackles and Damien Williams (Oxon Hills, Md.) finished with 5.5.
Cody averaged 47.8 yards per punt, setting the program record for the second consecutive week. Versus the Owls, he had five punts that include a career-long boot of 69 yards which stands as the fourth-longest in team history.
For SCSU, Ostrowsky finished the day 28-for-56 for 411 yards and three scores, but was sacked three times by the Hawks and threw one interception. Swain-Price hauled in 11 catches for 192 yards and all three of the Owls' touchdowns.
Defensively for the Owls, Hasan Dominick finished the day with nine total tackles and one tackle for loss.