Big Plays Lead Merrimack Past Football, 38-24

Carter leads Warriors with 542 total yards, five TD passes

Kearns, Jr. posted the fourth-highest right attempts and yardage totals in program history tonight. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

EASTON, Mass. (October 13, 2018) – Merrimack College converted 9-of-14 third downs to key a 38-24 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference football action on Timothy J. Coughlin, '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Freshman quarterback Christian Carter totaled 542 of Merrimack's 547 yards of total offense on the night, completing 26-of-36 passes for 430 yards and five touchdowns through the air, while rushing the ball 16 times for another 112 yards. The Warriors took advantage of 9-of-14 third down conversions, while limiting Stonehill to 4-of-14 on third down, totaling 257 yards, including six third and long first down conversions.

Freshman Johnny Rosario caught six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Cody Demers had 153 yards on five receptions and a pair of scores. Junior Marquis Spence chipped in with ten receptions for another 92 yards and a touchdown.

Jamiel surpassed 100 receiving yards for the second-straight game (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Sophomore Michael Mercuri led the Merrimack defense with 11 tackles (six solo), including 0.5 for a loss of a yard. Sophomore Caleb Holden added eight solo stops, a forced fumble and pass breakup, while freshman Troy Shallow chipped in with six tackles (two solo), including a sack for a loss of a yard.

Junior Brian Kearns, Jr. paced Stonehill with 36 carries for a season-high 235 yards and two touchdowns. He surpassed 200 yards for the second time in his career, with his second 100-plus yard game of the year, posting the fourth-highest single-game rushing yardage and attempts totals in program history. He reached the end zone for the third-straight week, with his two scores tonight giving him 19 rushing touchdowns for his career to move into second place on the program's all-time list behind only Eddie Vachon's '11 record of 24. Kearns, Jr. is also seventh all-time in total career touchdowns with 21.

Junior Andrew Jamiel added nine receptions for 103 yards, surpassing 100-yards for the second-straight week. Classmate Kyle Smith completed a career-high 18-of-33 passes for a career-best 198 yards and a touchdown in his second career start at quarterback for the Skyhawks.

Sophomore Nate Bresson paced the Stonehill defense with a season-high matching nine tackles (six solo), including a career-high matching 3.0 tackles for a loss of ten yards. Senior Billy Wingo added five stops (four solo) and an interception, while classmate John Ejiofor chipped in four tackles (two solo), including 1.5 tackles for a loss of six yards, with 1.0 sacks for a loss of four yards.

Bresson finished with a career-high matching 3.0 tackles for loss. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Merrimack staked out a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter after two big scoring plays in the frame. Carter connected with Demers for a 90-yard touchdown pass and catch on third and two after a Stonehill punt had backed the Warriors up to the two-yard line. Rosario followed with a 78-yard touchdown pass from Carter with 6:29 to play in the half.

Stonehill closed back within 11 with Kearns, Jr.'s first touchdown of the night with 14-seconds remaining in the half to cap a 14-play, 73-yard drive. The Skyhawks had the opening possession of the second half, but saw a 35-yard Smith completion to freshman Brandon Lombana to the Merrimack 35 on third and ten negated by a penalty, costing them another chance to potentially close the gap.

Merrimack followed with two more touchdowns, with Carter hitting Demers for a 13-yard score with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter and then finding Rosario for a 20-yard touchdown pass for a 35-10 lead with 9:20 remaining in the fourth. The second touchdown came after Kearns, Jr. lost the ball on the one-yard line at the end of a 31-yard run, and saw it cross the back of the end zone for a touchback, negating what should have been a third touchdown on the night for the junior, which would have pulled Stonehill within 28-17 at the time.

Kearns, Jr. would later add a 44-yard touchdown run before Smith connected with sophomore Colin Davis for an eight yard touchdown toss with a minute to play after Merrimack sophomore Corey Resendes connected on a 32-yard field goal to close out the scoring on the night.

Stonehill (1-5, 1-4 NE10) returns to action next Saturday, when it visits rival Bentley University for an NE10 matchup at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return to W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday, October 27, to host the University of New Haven for their Alumni Game at 1 p.m. Merrimack (2-4, 2-3 NE10) visits Saint Anselm College next Saturday at noon.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.

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