Saint Anselm can’t compete with Assumption running game

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Freshman Anthony Brown (Belton, Texas) with the ball – promotional photo

WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite an early 13-0 lead, Saint Anselm allowed nearly 400 rushing yards in a 54-23 loss to the Assumption Greyhounds on Saturday.

Senior Khaleed Exum-Strong (Norwichtown, Conn.) finished with 20 carries for 191 yards and four trips to the end zone on the ground, highlighted by an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Fellow senior Doug Santos (Peabody, Mass.) helped with 163 yards on 15 carries, also adding pair of rushing scores.

Assumption’s other touchdowns came from a 47-yard touchdown pass from junior Easton Turner (Ashburn, Va.) to freshman Brevin Easton (Odenton, Md.) and a 35-yard pick-six from sophomore Mason Spence (Boston, Mass.) halfway through the second quarter that broke the Hawks’ early lead.

Following that interception, the Hawks scored on just one of their four remaining drives in the first half, turning the ball over on three of their seven drives in the second half.

Saint Anselm junior Phillip Tran (San Jose, Calif.) tossed 448 yards in the loss, completing 42 of 78 passes. Tran’s result marked the third-most passing yards in a single game by any Saint Anselm quarterback. Junior Franklin Holgate (Easton, Mass.) reeled in nine catches for 129 yards and senior Nicholas Fiorillo (Westford, Mass.) also cracked 100 yards receiving, doing so on eight catches. Saint Anselm had not featured two student-athletes with 100 or more yards in a game since Nov. 5, 2016, a narrow loss to Southern Connecticut State University.

Defensively, the Hawks’ 16 pass breakups marked a school record, with senior linebacker CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) finishing with 10 solo tackles and 13 tackles on the day, adding a sack and a forced fumble.

Next Saturday, the Hawks (0-2) return to Grappone Stadium to host Stonehill (1-1) on homecoming weekend.