On a crisp and sunny mid-October afternoon, the story for the Franklin Pierce football ended the same for the fifth straight time.
In the first game between two Northeast-10 Conference opponents in the same state, the battle of the birds went to the Saint Anselm Hawks, who beat the Ravens, 50-10.
The game marked the sixth time Franklin Pierce has allowed 50 points or more this season, as the Ravens fell to 1-6. Saint Anselm improved to 2-5.
“We took another big L today. We want to do better and we are working hard to do that,” said Franklin Pierce defensive back Averill Kennedy.
Franklin Pierce quarterback Lo Jackson started the day with an interception on the Ravens’ first play from scrimmage. It took the Hawks just three plays to score on the ensuing drive, crossing the goal line on a 9-yard pass from Eric Fairweather to Nicholas Fiorillo.
Saint Anselm went on to rattle off three more touchdowns in the first quarter: a 7-yard pass from Fairweather to Fiorillo, a 3-yard run by Fairweather and a blocked punt touchdown by Devin Williams. This marked the fourth straight time Franklin Pierce has allowed at least 21 points in the first quarter, as the Hawks finished the frame up 30-0.
“We just dig ourselves in such a hole that we can’t climb out of,” said Franklin Pierce offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bob Davies.
Davies’ game plan for the Ravens was apparent: Run the football. This strategy did not work.
The Ravens had 102 rush yards on 47 attempts, averaging a mere 2.2 yards per rush.
Saint Anselm added 13 more points in the second quarter – courtesy of an 11-yard pass from Fairweather to Franklin Holgate and a 1-yard pass from Fairweather to Malik Allen. Franklin Pierce kicker Morgan Smith hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, making the score 43-3.
Gaskamp continued with his season of creative calls by starting the second half with an attempted onside kick. This led to a quick touchdown for the Hawks – a 6-yard pass from backup quarterback Perrin Conant to Bobby Long.
Those would be the final points scored by Saint Anselm, as fourth-year head coach Joe Adam played plenty of his backups for much of the second half.
The Ravens defense struggled once again, but did force three turnovers and held the Hawks to 65 yards rushing, a 2.5-yard average per carry.
Defensive back Tyvarius Daniels scored the lone Ravens touchdown in the third quarter on 56-yard pick-six. The interception came off a pass from Hawks third-string quarterback Anthony Marino, who would throw two interceptions on three pass attempts – the other one also to Daniels, who finished the game with three picks.
Franklin Pierce receiver Eric Duhamel touched on the health of starting quarterback Drew Camapanle, who suffered an ankle injury in the previous week’s game against Stonehill and had limited usage on Saturday.
“The trainers said originally that he was like 95 percent, but when Drew went through pregame warmups, he looked to be 75-80,” Duhamel said.
Campanale did see the field, leading the offense’s lone scoring drive at the end of the first half. Campanale completed 4 of 7 passes for 38 yards, while Jackson went 3 of 17 for 28 yards and an interception, adding 42 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
It was a coach’s decision to keep Campanale out for the second half.
“We didn’t want to risk it and there was no need to have him potentially reinjure his ankle,”
The Ravens will now face three of their final four opponents on the road to close out their inaugural Division II season. Next on the docket is American International College (2-4), whom Franklin Pierce will play at noon on Saturday down at Ronald J. Abdow Field in Springfield, Mass.