Hawks dominate Franklin Pierce 42-7 at Homecoming game


Courtesy/Hunter Newsham

Senior receiver Bobby Long, #17, runs down the sideline in Hawks’ homecoming game against Franklin Pierce

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

The Saint Anselm football team crushed Franklin Pierce 42-7 in the Hawks homecoming game. With this dominating performance, the Hawks picked up their first win of the season and their first NE-10 win. 

Saint Anselm’s victory Saturday September 25 was a true team win. The Hawks were locked in on both sides of the ball. Their high-powered offense had an impressive 453 total yards with 420 yards coming in the air from Sophomore quarterback Drew Willoughby. The Hawks found the endzone five times. Willoughby connected for touchdowns with Junior receiver and team captain Anthony Brown, Sophomore receiver Cade Horton and Sophomore receiver Blaine Burkhalter. Brown racked up 101 yards, leading the team in receiving. The Hawks also notched two touchdowns on the ground. Junior running back Vincent Wagner scored on a 13-yard run and Willoughby punched one in from the goaline. The final touchdown came from an explosive 62-yard punt return from Anthony Brown. 

The Hawks defense also stood strong all game. They shut out Franklin Pierce until the fourth quarter and only conceded one touchdown all game. The Hawks forced a turnover with a big interception from Junior linebacker Devin Williams. Senior linebacker Aziyah Lora and Senior captain linebacker Ryan Sullivan also had strong defensive performances. 

After Saint Anselm’s dominating performance, Willoughby earned the NE-10 Week 4 Rookie of the Week, and Brown earned the NE-10 Week 4 Special Teams Player of the Week

“It was a huge win. Homecoming, home opener, and first win of the season. It gave us a great confidence boost and allowed a lot of players to step up and have success. Most games will come down to the wire, so we have to make sure we start fast and don’t let up on the gas,” said offensive lineman Tom Cavanagh, who is in the Master’s Program.

Following their homecoming game, the Hawks fell short against undefeated and #24-ranked Bentley on October 2 in a hard-fought 34-21 home loss. Bentley controlled the game, sprinting out to a 27-0 lead in the third quarter. But the Hawks showed heart and stormed back, scoring three straight touchdowns to make the game 27-21. Willoughby threw for 456 yards and all three touchdowns. Brown scored one of the touchdowns and led the team with an incredible 138 receiving yards. Freshman receiver Carson Goda scored another touchdown, and Senior receiver Bobby Long caught the final touchdown, finishing with 113 yards. Wagner did a little bit of everything for the Hawks. He rushed for 46 yards and finished with 59 receiving yards. The Hawks’ offensive line has been a force, making this their third game in a row without allowing a sack. Bentley struck a final time to make it 34-21, and the Hawks now have a record of 1-3. Willoughby was yet again named NE-10 Rookie of the Week, earning this award for the third week in a row (week 3, week 4 and week 5).

Even though the outcome wasn’t what the Hawks wanted, they definitely proved something to the NE-10. “We reinforced and sent a message that we can hang with anybody. Every game comes down to 4 or 5 plays that define the outcome. Our focus is to execute the little things well,” said Cavanagh. 

The Hawks look to bounce back in their next game, which is away against New Haven on Saturday October 9. Something that the Hawks live by is working hard each day and keeping a positive mindset.

“One thing we hold onto is ‘Attitude, Effort, and Enthusiasm.’ This is painted on the wall next to the coaches offices as well as on signs in our locker room. If you approach every situation on and off the field with a positive attitude, maximum effort and lots of enthusiasm, no one can stop you. The only person that can beat you is yourself. If you’re not all in on these, you will not have success,” said Cavanagh.