Football Keeps it Close, Falls Late in Second Half to AIC

Nathan Selby
Nathan Selby

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 26, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University football team's inaugural NCAA Division II season kept rolling along this time on the road at Northeast-10 Conference opponent American International College. The Ravens were upended 34-12 by the Yellow Jackets during their homecoming celebrations Saturday morning on Abdow Field. With the win, the hosts move to 3-4, 2-3 NE10 while the Ravens lost their seventh contest overall this season and sixth in league play.

AIC outgained the Ravens 354-to-106 on the offensive side of the ball including 266-to-3 on the ground. They had two 100 yards or more rushers, Samad Davild who rumbled for 132 yards with three scores and Chase Speller who tacked on 107 rushing yards of his own.

Raven freshman wide receiver Nathan Selby (Cambridge, Vt.) caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from classmate Drew Campanale (Shrewsbury, Mass.). Sophomore wide receiver Jared Lubas (Salem, Mass.) also ran in a two-yard TD for Pierce late in the fourth quarter. On the defensive side, freshman defensive back Luke Winslow (Lansing, N.Y.) racked up seven tackles and a forced fumble. Junior defensive lineman Gene Brown (Bridgeport, Conn.) tallied a sack, his first of the year as well.

AIC drove down to the Ravens red zone for their first drive of the game and the Pierce defensive unit held strong coming up with a fourth-down stop on their own 10-yard line. The Ravens ensuing drive resulted in lost yardage and a punt. The Yellow Jackets took over and again, was driving down a field until Wilson forced a fumble on an 11 yard rush by quarterback Jayson Demild recovered by freshman defensive back Quill Langley (Lilburn, Ga.) at the Ravens 24 ended the Fighting Rexes momentum.

Pierce responded by going three and out as AIC took over on offense. The hosts went on a six-play, 45-yard drive and took 2:36 off the clock which was capped off by a Davila seven-yard rushing score. They went for two and converted the attempt making it an 8-0 AIC lead at the end of the first quarter.

Before the intermission, AIC added another touchdown when Demild eluded the rush, stepped up in the pocket and fired an outlet pass in the flat to Kyle Boyer-Tucker who made a man miss and coasted to the left pylon for six to expand the margin to 14-0.

The Ravens attempted a two-minute drill to get some points before the intermission. On second and 14 from their own 27, Campanale threw a 26-yard strike to freshman wide receiver Sekou Veillard (Davie, Fla.) for 26 yards to the AIC 47. The Ravens quarterback then was sacked for a loss for 10 and they had to punt the ball away as the Yellow Jackets led 14-0.

On the opening drive of the second half, AIC ran a fake punt and only gained three yards on fourth and nine. On the next play, Campanale dropped a dime in double coverage to Selby who skied up for the 32 yard TD catch. The extra point attempted failed, but the Ravens cut into the deficit at 14-6.

AIC immediately marched down the field when Boyer-Tucker took the kick-off 53 yards setting up the Yellow Jacket offensive unit on the Pierce 32. They gashed the Ravens in six plays, all runs as Demild took it in himself from one yard out. The Ravens intercepted the two-point conversion as AIC led 20-6 with 11:15 left in the third quarter.

The hosts chipped in an insurance score, a Davila one-yard TD part of an eight-play 48-yard drive to lead by 20, 26-6. The lead grew to 34-6 in the fourth before Lubas took in an attempt from two yards out concluding a nine-play 49-yard drive for Pierce.

FPU remains on the road next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. bout with the University of New Haven.  

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