Paul Falewicz

Week 13 Thoughts: Regional Championship Edition

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Run Over

Assumption lost to IUP last Saturday 27-22 to end their season and one of the better playoff runs ever for the NE-10. The Greyhounds played toe to toe with one of the best teams in the country and has nothing to be ashamed of.

The Greyhounds took the lead with 7:26 to play on the strength of Cole Tracy's third field goal of the game. But the Crimson Hawks drove the field on the ensuing drive to put the winning points on the board.

IUP finished with 340 yards on the ground as they have too many quality running backs that were too much for the Greyhounds to slow down.

Assumption finishes the season 11-2.

Missed Opportunities

Assumption will kick themselves when they review the game tape on the ride home. They have the ball five times inside the red zone and only came away with 15 points.

That is atypical of the Greyhound offense as they usually punch the ball into the end zone with ease. But the IUP defense stiffened up and did not allow the Assumption offense to find the end zone as frequently.

A touchdown or two in those red zone trips changes the complexion of the game and puts Assumption in the driver's seat to play another week. They had success in between the 20's against a usually stingy IUP defense.

Pick Six

It is becoming a usual occurrence for Assumption in the playoffs. They pick off a pass and take it back to the house. This week, it was Joe Kim's turn.

The junior safety stepped in front of Kenny Williams, Jr's pass in the second quarter at the 35-yard line and took it back for the score. He leaped over Williams at the end to start the celebration for the Greyhounds.

In the first playoff game, it was Shawn Springs, Jr. that intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory over California. Last weekend, it was Carlins Platel with the 72-yard pick for a score that sealed the victory over Findlay.

Interceptions

He has been in the right place all season long and it happened again late in the first half against IUP. Andrew Benson stepped in front of the pass and intercepted his ninth pass of the season.

That is a single season school record for Benson and gave him 17 for his career. That is also a school record for Benson as he caps a stellar career for the Greyhounds.

As a secondary, Assumption had 10 interceptions in the three playoffs games.

Mr. Excitement

He was on the mind of the IUP coaching staff all week long after an unbelievable performance in the victory over Findlay. Deonte Harris needed to be contained and at times he was.

Harris had several receptions on the opening drives for Assumption and seemed like he was going to have another big game. IUP was kicking away from him and knew that he was not going to beat them individually.

Harris finished the game with six receptions for 66 yards but all of those catches occurred in the first half. He was covered like a blanket in the second half as Brendan Tobey and Cody Williams tried to get the ball in his hands.

He provided some excitement in the final minute as he got his hands on the ball after IUP scored. He was able to make it all the way to the 46-yard line to give Assumption decent field position in the final minute.

IUP did their job on Harris today and prevented him from making a difference in the game.

Mr. Automatic

He is the best kicker in the history of the NE-10 and continued his storied career with another fantastic game. Cole Tracy finished the game with three field goals and an extra point.

Tracy sets a new single season Division II record for points by a kicker with 148. He totaled the second highest number of field goals with 28 at the Division II record.

To show how important Tracy is for Assumption, he was an incredible eight for ten in field goals 42 yards or greater. Most kickers have their limit at 40 yards and Tracy is nearly automatic from that distance and greater.

His 67 field goals over his career are also the second most at the Division II level. He has been automatic from anywhere on the field and a big reason for the success of the Greyhounds over the past three years.

Senior Class

The Assumption senior class might have had the most success of anyone ever to play in the NE-10. They finish with a 38-11 record and made three consecutive playoff trips.

That is an amazing run for a program that used to be at the bottom of the league year in and year out. The Greyhounds made a major commitment to their athletics' program years ago and it has paid dividends.

Athletic Director Nick Smith has been a big reason for the success and he is leaving for a job across town at Holy Cross. He hired Bob Chesney and gave him the ability to build the program into a regional power.

The future of Chesney remains in question as he might follow Smith to Holy Cross as they are looking for a new head coach. Chesney has been successful at each stop along the way and put the Greyhounds on the map.

2018

It is never too early to look forward to the next season. The NE-10 has gotten better and better every season and 2017 was no different. They had a team made the regional finals and saw several teams emerge as contenders for the league title.

Assumption graduates a lot of talent but also has a number of key returnees like Deonte Harris. Plus the second string will be ready to compete for the league title and keep the amazing run going for the Greyhounds.

LIU Post seems to reload each season. They have a number of playmakers like Malik Pierre back and are always in the mix for a title. New Haven and Southern Connecticut will battle for recruits in the Connecticut area and are always in the mix.

Stonehill is a team that is always in the mix as they have a solid defense year in and year out. Merrimack has a number of underclassmen ready to step up and make a name for themselves.

Pace was the surprise team this year and hopes to continue to get better. They have a number of key players back. American International and St. Anselm will look to improve on subpar seasons.

But the team to watch at the moment is Bentley. They have several freshmen who emerged this year and are going to be a dangerous team for years to come. The Falcons will be a team to be reckon with next year.

The offseason starts now and that is where the great teams separate themselves from the good teams. August 2018 will be here before you know it and we will be talking football NE-10 again.

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Comments

  1. NE10Fan's Avatar
    Assumption OC Paul McGonagle took the Endicott Head Coach job.
    http://www.ecgulls.com/sports/fball/...20171204nhqoqn
  2. Paul Falewicz's Avatar
    Tough loss for Assumption. He did a great job with the offense and the players really liked him per their Twitter postings. It is the right move for him and he will be missed.
  3. NE10Fan's Avatar
    A couple of weeks after Holy Cross swoops in on the Assumption AD, they now pillage the head coach.
    What's next? Maybe they can rip out the turf and bring it over to Fitton field.
    I'm starting to come around on the idea that they should change the mascot name. It's offensive.
    http://www.assumptiongreyhounds.com/...20171214ixjlty
    Updated 12-14-2017 at 04:52 PM by NE10Fan (Addition)