Football Runs Past Merrimack, 45-21

Foltz became the program's second 6,000-yard passer tonight. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Foltz fires three touchdown passes, Jamiel catches two and Baugh rushes for nearly 100 yards

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (September 30, 2017) – Stonehill College reeled off 24 unanswered points on its way to a 45-21 triumph over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference football action at Martone-Mejail Field tonight.

Senior quarterback Matt Foltz (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania/The Hill School) engineered a Stonehill offense that compiled 363 total yards by completing 19-of-26 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception or sack. He becomes just the second quarterback in program history to surpass 6,000 career-passing yards, finishing the night with 6,074 yards, while moving within three completions of Logan Meyer's '14 (6,927 career yards) career record of 545 and tossing his 50th career touchdown pass.

Senior Malachi Baugh (Stoughton, Massachusetts/Stoughton) rushed the ball a career-high 26 times for a career-best 98 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Andrew Jamiel (Yarmouth, Massachusetts/Dennis-Yarmouth) added six receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Kevin Dick (Tewksbury, Massachusetts/Tewksbury Memorial) chipped in with four catches for 69 yards and a score.

Junior linebacker Vandy Hall (Ewing, New Jersey/Ewing) paced the Stonehill defense with career-high nine tackles (four solo), while sophomore Malik Wiggins (Long Branch, New Jersey/Monmouth Regional) added two solo stops, an interception he returned 42 yards for the Skyhawks opening score and another pass breakup. Junior Jerel Archer (Baltimore, Maryland/The Boys' Latin School of Maryland) also picked off a pass and added a breakup, with three tackles, while freshman Nate Bresson (Torrington, Connecticut/Torrington) recorded six tackles (three solo), including 0.5 for a loss of a yard and a quarterback hurry.

Wiggins returned the Skyhawks first interception for a touchdown in nearly four years. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Senior running back Derrick Villard (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) carried the Merrimack offense with 166 yards rushing on 18 carries, with a touchdown, while freshman Rodney Samson (Peekskill, New York/Iona Prep) chipped in with a rushing touchdown. Postgrad quarterback CJ Scarpa (Andover, Massachusetts/Andover) completed 17-of-28 passes for 179 yards and a score, but was intercepted twice.

Freshman Jake Ragusa (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton) posted 13 tackles (eight solo), with 1.0 tackles for a loss of three yards, while senior Thomas Kinton (York, Maine/York) added 11 tackles (ten solo), with 2.0 for a loss of two.

After trading touchdowns over the opening 21-minutes of the game, Stonehill closed out the first half with 17-points over the final 6:35 to take a 38-21 halftime lead and didn't look back. The Skyhawks edged back in front after an eight yard touchdown from by Samson, when sophomore Matthew Haite (Kingston, Massachusetts/Silver Lake Regional) delivered his third 40-plus yard field goal of the year (fifth career), with a 43-yarder with 6:35 remaining in the second quarter.

Baugh rushed for a career-high 98 yards and his first career TD. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Baugh extended the Stonehill lead to ten points (31-21) when he rumbled in from five yards out for his first career touchdown with 5:16 to go, after Merrimack turned the ball on downs on its own five after a bad snap on a punt attempt. Another turnover on downs by the Warriors, this time at midfield with 1:21 remaining in the half, gave the Skyhawks enough time for their third touchdown of the quarter as Foltz connected with Dick for a 16-yard toss with 31-seconds to go and a 38-21 halftime lead.

Stonehill produced the only points of the second half after 59 combined points in the first, with Foltz and Jamiel combining for a 27-yard touchdown with 1:54 left in the third quarter.

Wiggins jump-started the high-scoring first half when he picked off Scarpa two plays into Merrimack's first possession and returned it 42-yards for a score, marking Stonehill's first interception returned for a score since Nate Morris '15 against LIU Post on October 26, 2013. Merrimack answered with a 41-yard touchdown run by Villard three minutes later, but the Skyhawks forged in front for a second time a minute later with a one-yard touchdown plunge by sophomore Brian Kearns, Jr. (North Arlington, New Jersey/Saint Joseph Regional) with 7:25 remaining in the opening quarter.

Scarpa added a seven-yard touchdown toss to level the score at 14-14 with 2:50 to play in the first. Stonehill answered that with a 17-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Jamiel from Foltz to grab the lead for the third time in the half with 11:52 remaining.

Stonehill (3-2, 2-2 NE10) and the rest of the NE10 will enjoy a league-wide bye next weekend, before returning to action in two weeks, when it visits the University of New Haven on Saturday, October 14, at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, October 21, to host rival Bentley University as part of Family Weekend at the College at 6 p.m. Merrimack (1-4, 1-3 NE10) hosts Pace University on October 14 at 1 p.m.

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