-Score: Assumption College 54, Saint Anselm College 23
-Records: Assumption (1-1), Saint Anselm (0-2)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Multi-Sport Stadium)
-The Lead: The Assumption College football team scored seven total touchdowns including four from senior Khaleed Exum-Strong (Norwichtown, Conn. / Norwich Free Academy) to defeat the Hawks of Saint Anselm College, 54-23. Senior Mason Spence (Boston, Mass. / Episcopal) grabbed one interception and returned it for a touchdown in the second quarter to propel the Hounds to victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Hawks got on the board first when junior quarterback Phillip Tran connected with first year Anthony Brown for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Junior Joey Cody's kick was good for the extra point and the 7-0 lead with 9:49 on the clock.
-Saint Anselm used 11 plays for 59 yards, in their third drive of the day, to bring them to the 13-yard line. Cody knocked down the 13-yard field goal for the visitors to extend their lead to 10-0 in the first.
-Cody started off scoring in the second quarter with a 30-yard field goal for the 13-0 go-ahead before Assumption was able to break the silence at the 10:48 mark. Exum-Strong rushed for 17 yards with a leaping stretch into the endzone for the Hound's first touchdown of the day. Junior Jacob Tondel's (Webster, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional) kick was good as Assumption pulled within six (13-7).
-The Hounds kept their momentum going when Spence grabbed an interception and returned it 35 yards for the touchdown at the 5:46 mark. Tondel's kick was good as Assumption pulled ahead for the first time in the game, 14-13. Just over a minute later senior running back Doug Santos (Peabody, Mass. / Peabody Veterans Memorial) extended the Hounds' lead to 20-13 with a 73-yard run up the left sideline into the endzone. Assumption wasn't done scoring yet, as Exum-Strong rushed six yards for his second touchdown of the game and the 26-13 lead before the half.
- After the Greyhounds score, Tran led Saint Anselm down the field setting up a 24- yard field goal by Cody to cut their deficit to 10 points heading into the halftime break.
-Assumption carried their second quarter momentum out of the locker room when Exum-Strong made an 80-yard run for his third touchdown of the day. Tondel's extra-point was good for the 33-16 lead.
-The Hawks came alive again in the third when Tran found senior Eric Fairweather with an 11-yard pass and the score, 33-23.
-Junior quarterback, Easton Turner (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) connected with first year Brevin Easton (Odenton, Ms. / Archbishop Spalding) to finish a six play, 80-yard drive with a 47-yard touchdown pass. Tondel's extra point was good as the Hounds took the 40-23 lead heading into the final quarter.
-Assumption never let-up and put up an early fourth-quarter touchdown. Exum-Strong was the two-yard ball carrier into the endzone as the Hounds pulled ahead by 24 (47-23). A six-play, 56 yard drive from the Assumption 44 followed and ended in another rushing touchdown for Santos who rushed 50 of the 56 yards for the 54-23 advantage and final victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Assumption finished with 494 total yards of offense from 384 rushing yards and 110 passing yards. Saint Anselm put up 463 yards of offense with 448 passing and 15 on the ground.
-The Assumption defense totaled 64 tackles in the victory, led by sophomore Daniel Malm (Worcester, Mass. / St. Peter Marian) who finished with 10 solo tackles and two assists. The Hounds finished with three interceptions in the victory, two from Spence and one from red-shirt senior Shawn Springs (West Philadelphia, Pa. / Tiber Creek). Spence gained 38 yards for the Hounds with his two interceptions.
-The Hawks finished the day with 66 tackles including a team-leading 13 tackles coming from senior CJ Miller.
-Both teams finished with one sack each while Assumption forced two fumbles by the Hawks.
-Turner completed 7-of-18 pass attempts for 106 yards and one touchdown. Exum-Strong led the Hounds' rushing game with 191 yards and four touchdowns. Santos followed him with 163 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Easton led Assumption in receiving with two receptions for a total of 57 yards and one touchdown.
-Tran completed 42-of-78 passing attempts for the Hawks and finished with 448 yards and two touchdowns while throwing two interceptions.
-Sophomore Christian Matthews-Byrd led Saint Anselm with 13 rushing yards and junior Franklin Holgate finished the day with a team-leading 129 receiving yards.
-Tondel was 6-for-7 in extra point attempts for Assumption and added 507 yards in kickoffs. Senior Seamus Wallace (Pawcatuck, Conn. / Stonington) punted for 276 yards including one touchback.
-Sophomore Joseph Kellum (Mt. Laurel, N.J. / Lenape Regional) put up a team-leading 77 yards in kick-off returns, his longest being 29 yards.
-Cody added 11 points for the Hawks going 3-for-4 in field goal attempts and 2-for-2 in extra point attempts. He also punted for 201 yards and gained 331 yards in kickoffs.
-Assumption travels to Southern Connecticut State on Friday, September 20th for their first Northeast-10 Conference match-up of the season at 7:00 p.m.