Saint Anselm football looks to finish their historic season strong



Star QB Drew Willoughby is setting records during the Hawks historic season

Jordan Tavares, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm Hawks Football team got off to a scorching hot start. They started this season at an impressive 4-0 and tied for the lead in the NE10 beside the University of New Haven – With wins against Millersville, American International, Franklin Pierce, and Southern Connecticut State. 

During this stretch the Hawks’ Offense was high flying and the Defense was stifling, stopping any team that stood in their way. However after their amazing start, the Hawks would drop their next two games. Their first loss was at home to New Haven in a 21-10 bout and then a 38-7 loss on the road against Bentley. 

During this 2 game stretch, the Hawks offense had only been averaging 181.5 yards a game compared to the 376.75 yards a game they averaged during their 4-0 start. Meanwhile defensively, they have been allowing 382.5 yards a game compared to their 254.5 yards they were allowing during their first four games. 

Needless to say, the Hawks needed to get back on the winning track. Luckily, the Hawks did just that. Two weeks ago the Hawks defeated Post in a 24-20 nailbiter. In the victory, quarterback Drew Willoughby completed 20 of his 36 passes for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Anthony Brown led the way in the receiving department with 5 catches for 111 yards, including a 36 yard grab in the first quarter which set up a touchdown caught by Blaine Burkhalter. 

Meanwhile, running back JC King also added 17 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown which included a 37 yard rush in the first quarter. King was the bellcow, especially down the stretch. Credit to the Offensive Line for providing running lanes for King to run through. 

Defensively, linebacker Devin Williams and defensive tackle Brandon Hudgins both notched a pair of forced fumbles. This victory was an all around team win, with all facets bringing intensity and fight to ensure the victory. The win against Post brought the Hawks to 5-2 on the season. 

This past week’s game, the Hawks fell to Pace in a 17-14 loss. In the loss, star quarterback Drew Willoughby had to leave the game at the end of the first quarter. Which led to sophomore Anthony Santino to step in. In relief for Willoughby, Santino completed 18 of his 28 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. The team rallied under Santino, fighting back as a team against Pace’s 14-0 start. 

In terms of the record books, Quarterback Drew Willoughby has been on pace to have the best statistical season for a Quarterback in recent school history .Willoughby has had a stellar season, throwing for a conference best 254.3 yards a game. Along with his yard average lead, Willoughby leads the NE10 in total passing yards, as well as completions, completion percentage, and touchdowns. He has been on a tear this season and has dominated competition on the gridiron. 

In terms of standings, the Hawks are currently sitting 5th in the NE10. A win this upcoming week would solidify Saint Anselm’s best record under head coach Joe Adam. Along with the best record under Coach Adam, it would also be Saint A’s best record in over 10 years.

The Hawks will look to get back on the winning track, as they return home at Grappone Stadium on November 5th for homecoming weekend, as the Hawks take on Assumption who are currently 1st in the conference. Following this week against Assumption, the Hawks will look to finish the season as they go to American International to take on the Yellow Jackets. 

The Hawks have everything they need to wrap up the season strong. They have a stellar, high flying offense, a tough and stifling defense, and an amazing coaching staff. This team has worked their tails off all season and have fought hard as a team. Students can show their support and pack Grappone Stadium this Saturday at noon to support this special team and help show the NE10 that Hawks do in fact soar higher!

Anthony Brown waits for the snap (COURTESY/JIM STANKIEWICZ)