MANCHESTER, N.H. – In front of a raucous Alumni Day crowd, the Saint Anselm College football team fell to the Skyhawks from Stonehill College by a 57-54 margin in overtime. The contest, which saw numerous program records fall for the Hawks, needed three overtime stanzas to complete.
Saint Anselm fell to 0-1 on the young season, losing only its third overtime game in the 20-year modern era history of the program. Stonehill evens its overall record at 1-1 following the Northeast-10 Conference opening game for both teams.
The Hawks posted 54 points against Stonehill, the third-most in a single game against any opponent. Senior Eric Fairweather (Londonderry, N.H.) threw for a career-high five touchdowns while classmate Daniel Parisi (Georgetown, Mass.) notched five field goals, topping the program record of four with the help of three overtime field goals.
The Hawks also recorded 128 total tackles in the game, shattering the program's previous high of 116, accomplished twice prior. Junior CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) and senior Zack Mercer (Melrose, Mass.) each posted 15 total tackles in the contest, ranking ninth all-time in single game history.
Offensively, Saint Anselm excelled through the air, throwing for 307 total yards. Five different receivers caught a touchdown in Saturday's effort, allowing the Hawks to more than double last season's career-high in aerial yardage (136 vs. Stonehill, Sept. 23, 2017).
Saint Anselm led by 10 points, 31-21, with 7:19 to go in the third quarter before Stonehill used a Matt Haite field goal that was sandwiched between two Mike Cordova sprints. Ahead by a 38-31 score late in the fourth quarter, the Skyhawks yielded Fairweather's fifth passing touchdown of the game before his first rushing score of the year with 3:48 to go.
After Fairweather helped put two scores on the board for his team, Stonehill tied the game at 45 with a two-yard rushing touchdown by Brian Kearns, Jr. He would ultimately finish the day with three touchdowns off of 44 carries for 180 total yards, averaging a robust 4.1 yards per carry.
In overtime, the Hawks and Skyhawks traded field goals through two stanzas. Parisi made a dramatic 45-yarder that just crept inside and above the left crossbar and post that allowed the game to continue in the second set of possession changes.
A 42-yard field goal by Parisi split the uprights to open the third overtime period before Kearns, Jr. carried his team to the victory with a three-yard, game-winning score that sent Stonehill home with the Ol' Bronze Hawk trophy.
The Skyhawks, who led by a 14-0 margin through the opening 15 minutes, were an efficient 50% on third down (14-for-28) and converted each of their two fourth-down opportunities.
James Lam led the Skyhawks with 199 yards through the air, throwing one touchdown to Andrew Jamiel with one interception, reeled in by Hawks junior Seamus Oeser (Brookfield, Conn.).
Saint Anselm will have a quick turnaround this week, heading to Assumption for a Friday, Sept. 14 tilt under the lights at 7 p.m.