Football bows to New Haven in home opener, 23-7

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshman Zaywhon Johnson recorded two interceptions for the Saint Anselm College football team, but the Hawks were downed by a 23-7 margin at the hands of the University of New Haven in Saturday's home-opener at Grappone Stadium.

Box Score

Saint Anselm falls to 0-3 overall on the season, dropping its second Northeast-10 Conference game of the season, while the Chargers improve to 2-1 on the year while evening their league record at 1-1.

Johnson notched his team's first two-interception game since Carroll Bailey '16 accomplished the feat on Sept. 26, 2015 at American International. He also racked up four solo tackles on the afternoon and added a pass break-up for the Hawks while totaling 35 yards in interception return yardage.

Saint Anselm opened up a 7-0 lead on the Chargers in the first quarter as Hawks quarterback Eric Fairweather connected with junior Kyle Hill on an 18-yard touchdown pass.

Late in the first quarter, the Hawks were set to receive the ball back, but penalties against Saint Anselm gave the ball back to New Haven. The Chargers marched down the field and, needing only 2:10 of play clock, knotted the game at seven with a Damon Rodgers 12-yard touchdown catch.

Johnson's first interception of the afternoon came late in the second quarter as New Haven signal-caller Ajee Patterson threw toward the end zone. With his toes firmly in bounds, Johnson caught the wayward pass in stride and took a knee, ensuring possession for the Hawks – Saint Anselm would march the ball down the field but would fumble on the goal line.

Receiving the ball immediately after the Hawks fumble, Patterson was picked off once again by Johnson and he returned the pass 35 yards before being forced out of bounds. Both teams would play the remainder of the first half without a score, sending both teams to the locker room tied at seven.

On the first play of the third quarter, New Haven used a 21-yard field goal by Danny Stock to take the lead for good. Devin Martin added two touchdown receptions in the second half as New Haven registered 252 passing yards in the third quarter alone to build its lead.

A 12-play, 99-yard drive by the Chargers culminated in a fourth quarter touchdown reception by Martin, capping off the day's scoring.

Fairweather completed 12-of-22 passes on the day for Saint Anselm, throwing one touchdown while rushing 17 times for 50 yards. Correy King was his team's leading rusher with 73 yards on 11 carries and Hill joined Johnny Aylward with three catches on the afternoon.

CJ Miller, Eric Mercer and Andrew Vogl each were responsible for seven tackles. Michael Akinlosotu notched two tackles for a loss while Mercer, Johnson and Isaiah Douglas broke up one pass each. Liam Gillis had the game's lone quarterback hurry, recording it in the second quarter.

Patterson finished with 307 passing yards, completing 19-of-29 passes, while hurling three touchdowns and two interceptions. Ryan McCarthy posted a team-best 46 rushing yards with Martin leading the way with eight receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Stefano Bicknese was the game's leading tackler with 10 total takedowns.

Saint Anselm hits the road for two-straight games, taking on Stonehill next Saturday, Sept. 23 before journeying to American International for a high-noon showdown on Saturday, Sept. 30.