- Score: Assumption 45, Findlay 26
- Records: Assumption (11-1, 9-1 NE10), Findlay (10-3, 6-1 GMAC)
- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Multi-Sport Stadium)
The Lead: Junior Deonte Harris (Baltimore, Md. / Archbishop Curley) flipped the game on its head in the second half of the contest, leading the Hounds to a 45-26 win over The University of Findlay. After a defensive battle in the first half that saw the Hounds own a 10-3 advantage, Harris scored four touchdowns from 39, 76 and 99 and 80-yards out in the final 30 minutes of action to lift the Hounds to the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Assumption scored on the opening drive of the game, as senior kicker Cole Tracy (Camarillo, Calif. / Newbury Park) connected on a 50-yard field goal to record the only points of the first quarter, giving the Hounds a 3-0 advantage.
- Assumption then pieced together a 15-play, 75-yard drive that spanned nearly seven-minutes and carried over into the second quarter, resulting in a 2-yard rushing touchdown by senior Dylan Oxsen (Plymouth, Mass. / Plymouth South). The score pushed the Hounds lead to 10-0, before Findlay responded with a short, 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3.
- Senior defensive end Ray Sarkodieh (Worcester, Mass. / St. Peter Marian) made a huge play to end the half, blocking a field goal attempt by Findlay's Jacob Allton to maintain Assumption's 10-3 lead.
- The Hounds received the ball to begin the second half with senior quarterback Marc Monks (Annandale, N.J. / North Hunterdon) making his debut in the game. Monks subsequently drove the offense down the field in under two minutes before ultimately finding Harris for a 39-yard touchdown catch and run down the near sideline.
- After Findlay recorded its first touchdown of the game to cut the score to 17-10, Monks hit Harris in stride for a 76-yard catch and run to push the lead back to 14 points at24-10).
- The Oilers seized momentum when they forced a fumble as the Hounds were driving, before scoring one-play later to make the score 24-17. Harris grabbed momentum right back when he took the ensuing kickoff 99-yards to pay dirt, giving him three touchdowns in the second half.
- Findlay marched right back down the field, recording a 10-play, 62-yard touchdown drive that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown pass (31-23). The Oilers then attempted an onside kick and recovered, leading to a 40-yard field goal to cut the Hounds lead to 31-26.
- Harris continued his superhuman second half performance, taking a squib kick that landed on the 20-yard line, 80-yards to the house, before freshman corner Carlins Platel (Everett, Mass. / Everett) sealed the victory with a pick-6 to make the score 45-26.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Harris was a one-man show for Assumption totalling a school-record 362 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in the contest. He caught eight passes for 268 yards and two scores while returning three kickoffs for 194 total yards and two more touchdowns. With his two returns he set a new NCAA Division II record for single season combined kick return touchdowns with eight (5 punt, 3 KO) and career combined kick returns with 12 (7 punt, 5 KO).
- Assumption recorded just nine plays on offense in the second half and held the ball for 4:20 in the second half while the Oilers had it for 25:40. They finished with 40:40 time of possession and outgained the Hounds 518-237 while running 46 more plays (92-46).
- Monks led the passing attack, going 4-for-5 for 146 yards and two scores while Grant was second on the team with two catches for 31 yards. Oxsen led the ground attack with 12 carries for 24 yards and one score as the team totaled just 10 rushing yards.
- The defense allowed just one play over 30 yards in the contest, led by Shawn Springs Jr. (Sicklerville, N.J. / Timber Creek Regional / Milford Academy) and Bryce Jacob (Paramus, N.J. / Paramus) with 13 tackles apiece. Levi Fancher (Beacon Falls, Conn. / Woodland Regional) added 10 and 0.5 sacks
- Senior Andrew Benson (East Bridgewater, Mass. / East Bridgewater) chipped in eight stops, one fumble recovery and two pass break ups, while Platel finished with five stops and a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown.
- Cole Tracy was great in limited action, making a 50-yard field goal and then connecting on six PAT's for nine points. He extended his own single-season scoring record to 138 points, while his 24 field goals is fifth all-time in a single season. His 65 career field goals, meanwhile, are third in NCAA Division II history.
- With his 362 all-purpose yards, Harris also established a new Assumption record for career all-purpose yards with 4,761, surpassing the previous record of 4,662 set by David Canney in 2010.
- The Hounds will play for the Super Region I Football Championship against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on the road next Saturday, as they advanced to the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals for the first time in program history.