Home Football Preview: Merrimack travels to Saint Francis (Pa.) Saturday

Preview: Merrimack travels to Saint Francis (Pa.) Saturday

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Photo: Merrimack Athletics

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College football program looks to build off last week’s impressive performance at Central Connecticut State when the Warriors visit Saint Francis University this weekend, the second of four Northeast Conference (NEC) opponents on the 2019 schedule for the Warriors. Kickoff from Degol Field in Loretto, Pa. is set for 12 p.m.

Series History:

  • Merrimack College and Saint Francis University have never played entering Saturday’s action.
  • The Warriors are the newest members of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and begin their four-year reclassification into Division I and the Northeast Conference (NEC) beginning in 2019.
  • Saint Francis is one of four NEC opponents on Merrimack’s 2019 schedule; the Warriors have already played Central Connecticut State University (40-37 CCSU), host Bryant University (10/5) and travel to Long Island University (11/23)

Scouting the Red Flash:

  • Saint Francis enters week three with a 1-1 record following a season-opening victory at Lehigh,14-13, and a loss at No. 2 James Madison (44-7) last week
  • One year ago, the Red Flash posted a 4-7 overall record (2-4 NEC)
  • Offensively, Saint Francis has averaged 268.0 total yards per game and have averaged 10.5 points per contest
  • On the other side of the ball, Saint Francis has relented 407.0 yards per game and over 150 rushing yards per contest
  • The Red Flash are led by a trio of senior preseason all-conference selectiosn in offensive lineman Christian Eubanks, linebacker Da’Jon Lee, and safety/returner Nick Rinella..

Furious Week-Two Rally:

  • Merrimack impressed on the national stage last week at Central Connecticut. The Warriors erased a 37-14 deficit, scoring 23 unanswered points in the second half including 16 in the fourth quarter.
  • Redshirt-senior Marquis Spence set a career high with three touchdown receptions, and redshirt-junior Michael Mercuri posted an interception return for a touchdown to go along with a team-high 13 tackles.
  • Both Warriors were named NEC Primtime Perofrmers for their efforts, the first Merrimack players ever to be recognized on the NEC’s weekly honor roll

Team Leadership Group:

  • Merrimack’s 2019 season features five team captains: redshirt-seniors Erick Browne and Marquis Spence, redshirt-juniors Sam Cooper and Michael Mercuri and sophomore starting quarterback Christian Carter
  • Browne is in his second year as team captain and is the team’s starting left tackle
  • Spence returned for his fifth year on campus, and began camp as one of the team’s top options at wide receiver
  • Despite being on camps for less than a year entering the offense, Cooper was elected team captain after transferring to Merrimack from Maine
  • Mercuri is the team’s defensive leader from the middle linebacker position while Carter was named team captain after his true freshman campaign.

Strong Start on O:

  • Led by sophomore signal-caller Christian Carter, a diverse rushing attack and a deep receiving core, Merrimack’s offense has been firing on all cylinders
  • Merrimack has averaged 41.0 points per game through two weeks, which would rank in a tie for 15th nationally if Merrimack qualified statistically (the Warriors will not appear in national stats during their reclassification period)
  • Carter has completed over 60 percent of his passes for 441 yards and five touchdowns. On the ground, redshirt-sophomore Jamari Venter has 112 yards on 20 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
  • Spence has led the receiving core, hauling in 16 passes for 143 yards and three scores

Takeaway Team??

  • Defensively, the Warriors have posted six takeaways through two weeks including four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
  • Last week against Central Connecticut, Merrimack’s defense intercepted two passes including a pick-six in the first quarter.

Up Next
Merrimack returns to Duane Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, to host Mayville State at 1 p.m.

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