Football Drops Season Opener Against Division II Merrimack

Cody Beckel

North Andover, MA --- James Suozzo (Everett, MA) tossed four first-half touchdown passes, including a pair each to Isaiah Voegeli (Hyannis, MA) and Shane Ferguson (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ), to lift Division II Merrimack to a 60-3 victory Saturday night over visiting WPI in the season opener for both squads.   

The loss snapped an unusual streak for the Engineers, who were playing their first non-Division III opponent since defeating UMass Lowell in the 2000 season opener.  WPI had won 18 straight games versus Division I and II programs dating back to a loss to Hofstra in October 1982. 

Trailing 13-0 late in the first quarter, Kevin White (Worcester, MA) picked off a Merrimack pass and returned it 25 yards to the Warrior 30-yard line.  After a first down Cody Beckel (Jupiter, FL) drilled a 29-yard field goal for the senior's 15th career 3-pointer.   

Merrimack led 20-3 before putting up a touchdown in the final minute of the first half and then proceeded to rattle off four scores in the third quarter en route to a school-record setting scoring performance. 

John Perron (Worcester, MA) had a strong game for the Engineers, blocking Merrimack's second PAT and intercepting a pass at the goal line in the second half.  The senior tallied team-high tackle honors with six while William Alves (West Warrick, RI) chipped in with five stops.      

Ernie Mello (Willington, MA) led the WPI rushing attack with 48 yards on 13 carries while Ehab Hamdan (Revere, MA) hauled in four catches for 58 yards. 

WPI is back on the field Friday night when they travel to cross-town rival Worcester State for a 7pm showdown.   Merrimack heads to Western Pennsylvania next Saturday to take on traditional PSAC power Edinboro at 1pm.