New Hampshire Football Report

Saint Anselm 27, Franklin Pierce 0

RINDGE – The Saint Anselm College football team recorded its first shutout victory over an NCAA Division II opponent since 2002, posting a 27-0 win over Franklin Pierce University on Saturday at Sodexo Field.

With a win in the team’s Northeast-10 Conference opener, Saint Anselm moved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2014 season and remains the only team in the conference without a loss. Including last season, the Hawks have won five of their last six games and turn their attention to Southern Connecticut State, hosting the Owls on Family Weekend on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Most recently, Saint Anselm blanked NCAA Division III Plymouth State by a 24-0 score in 2004. The last shutout against a Division II opponent came against Pace on Oct. 12, 2002 – since the reinstatement of varsity football on the Hilltop in 1999, there have now been three shutouts delivered by Saint Anselm.

The Hawks defense forced Franklin Pierce into eight punts and turned the Ravens over on downs twice. On the last offensive possession by the home team, a bad snap by the center provided Saint Anselm its first safety since Oct. 27, 2018.

Franklin Pierce generated 128 total yards of offense in the defeat, the second-lowest amount produced by a Hawks opponent in program annals. Kept to just 174 all-purpose yards (third-lowest opposing total in team history), the stout Saint Anselm defense also held Franklin Pierce to an 0-for-11 performance on third down.

Offensively, junior quarterback Drew Willoughby (Austin, Texas) was 26-for-38 in the game, throwing for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Three players had a touchdown reception and six Hawks racked up over 28 yards through the air.

Senior Bobby Long (Bridgewater, Mass.) had three catches for a team-best 49 yards and classmate Vincent Wagner (Staten Island, N.Y.) picked up a team-best eight catches, contributing with 105 all-purpose yards.

Defensively, the Hawks registered 11 total tackles for a combined loss of 49 yards. Junior Devin Wood (Merrimack, N.H.) had five solo tackles, finishing with seven total takedowns and matching senior Taylor Pawelkoski (Bradenton, Fla.) with one-and-a-half tackles for a loss. Pawelkoski ranked second on the team with six tackles.

Saint Anselm got on the scoreboard first, ending an eight-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown reception to sophomore Carson Goda (Bradenton, Fla.). Later in the game, sophomore Patrick Carroll (Stafford, Va.) booted the first of his two field goal attempts, this time making a career-high 41-yarder with 8:44 to go in the first half to create a 9-0 advantage.

The Hawks tacked on another field goal, this time ending the first half with a 40-yard make by Carroll to up the score to 12-0. In the first half, Franklin Pierce generated just 49 total yards of offense as the Hawks defense held the home team to an 0-for-7 performance on third and fourth down in that span.

Receiving the ball to start the second half, Willoughby needed just three plays to hook up with senior Anthony Brown (Belton, Texas) for his fifth touchdown of the season. In total, the Hawks picked up 57 yards in just 1:36 of second-half game play to build an 18-0 advantage.

Saint Anselm had a strong defensive stand near the midpoint of the third quarter. Franklin Pierce was heading toward the end zone on a 16-play, 81-yard drive before the Hawks stood tall on fourth-and-seven from the Saint Anselm seven-yard line. Junior Ahmad Brown (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) and sophomore Brandon Potts (Bowie, Md.) had key pass break-ups on what was first and goal for the Ravens.

Once again, Saint Anselm needed just three plays to start the fourth quarter before junior Carter Uhlman (Southington, Conn.) hauled in a 28-yard touchdown reception to increase the lead to 25-0. The final points of the game were scored via a safety for Saint Anselm, covering up a mishandled snap by the Ravens center with 3:20 to go.


Those who would like to help New Hampshire Football Report promote football in the Granite State can do so by purchasing a New Hampshire Football Report membership or by making a donation below.  Sponsorship inquiries can be sent to Your support is greatly appreciated.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login