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Bryant tops Merrimack, 24-17, Saturday

DSPics.com Photo
DSPics.com Photo

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Redshirt junior Alfred Dorbor (Pawtucket, R.I.) rushed for a career-high 138 yards and the deciding touchdown as the Bryant University football team earned its first victory of the year, 24-17, over Merrimack College on Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium.

Dorbor carried the ball a career-high 31 times in the contest and scored on a six-yard run to break a 17-17 tie with 1:20 left to go in the third quarter. Bryant's defense did the rest, holding their second-straight opponent under 20 points. The victory is the first for head coach Chris Merritt. 

Senior Vincent Nisivoccia (Nutley, N.J.) caught eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, freshman Anthony Frederick (Hollywood, Fla.) rushed for a touchdown and redshirt sophomore Kory Curtis (Cape Coral, Fla.) threw for 182 yards and a score.

Senior Jesse Nemerowicz (Hudson, Mass.) led the defense with nine tackles and senior Tomas Wright (St. Augustine, Fla.) and freshman Jack Daly (South Glastonbury, Conn.) combined on the game-clinching sack with 39 seconds to go in the game.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 24, Merrimack 17
Records: Bryant (1-5), Merrimack (2-4)
Attendance: 10,172

Coach Merritt's Comments

"I thought the kids came out today and played a full four quarters. Little touch and go at times but just as they started to catch up, we did the things to pull away again. This is for the players. This is a tough start to the year but its so good to see the happiness and joy on their face that all the work they're doing accounts to something."

Key Moment

  • Dorbor opened a game-clinching seven-play, 80-yard drive with four-straight carries and senior Hayden Panagos (Hillsborough, N.J.) posted an electrifying 39-yard reception to put the ball inside the Merrimack 10. Dorbor punched it home two plays later.    

How It Happened

  • Bryant took an early lead on Saturday afternoon, taking advantage of a muffed punt by the Warriors. The Bulldogs took over at the Merrimack 21 and Frederick took the reverse and was able to get inside the pylon for the score.
  • The Warriors then scored 14-straight points to take the lead. Christian Carter tied the game with a 14-yard TD run and then connected with Marquis Spence for a 33-yard TD with 12:34 left in the second quarter.
  • Bryant responded with the final 10 points of the half. It started with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that was capped by a Nisivoccia touchdown reception. Curtis kept the drive alive with a QB keeper on 4th-and-1 and then hit Hunter Hill (Memphis, Tenn.) for 20 yards on 3rd-and-8. Curtis then dropped a perfect pass into Nisivoccia's hands in the corner of the endzone for a 23-yard score with 1:17 left in the half.
  • The Black and Gold then forced a punt with a great third-down stop and took over at the Merrimack 36 after a botched punt. Bryant would drive to the Merrimack 11 before Luke Samperi (Beverly, Mass.) knocked down a 28-yard field goal.  
  • Merrimack tied the game with 11:15 to go in the third quarter when Corey Resendes hit a 24-yard field goal.
  • The Warriors then seemed poised to take the lead after starting at the Bryant 23 with 5:50 to go in the third. Bryant's defense held tough though and Wright blocked a 35-yard field goal to stop the Warriors.
  • Bryant took over at its own 20 and Dorbor ripped off 35 yards on four-straight carries to put the ball to the Merrimack 45. Panagos then caught a dump off, spun off a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 39-yard gain. Dorbor then punched it home to cap the drive.
  • Bryant's defense then held tough again in the fourth quarter as they stopped Carter a half yard shy on a QB keeper on fourth down. Carter was stopped at the Bryant 5, just shy of the first down marker.
  • The Warriors had one last chance and were able to get into Bryant territory but Wright and Daly brought Carter down on 4th-and-11 to secure the victory.

Stats

  • The Warriors outgained the Bulldogs, 354-333.
  • Both teams finished with 19 first downs.
  • Curtis finished 13-of-29 for 182 yards and a touchdown.
  • Dorbor rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.
  • Nisivoccia posted eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
  • Frederick rushed for a 21-yard touchdown. He also caught three passes for 29 yards.
  • Panagos posted a 39-yard reception.
  • Nemerowicz led the defense with nine tackles.
  • Eulogio Portugal (Rosedale, N.Y.) had six tackles.
  • Wright finished with five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a blocked field goal.
  • David Onyemem (Dracut, Mass.) posted five tackles.
  • Agnew posted five tackles.

Notes and Notables

  • Bryant is now 9-6 all-time against Merrimack.
  • Nemerowicz now has 278 career tackles. He is just seven tackles behind the program record of 285 held by Thomas Costigan.  
  • Nisivoccia now has 129 career receptions, third in program history.
  • Nisivoccia has caught 6+ passes in all six games this year.
  • Nisivoccia has now caught a TD pass in each of the last two weeks. He now has nine career TD receptions and 10 total touchdowns.  
  • Frederick posted his second touchdown of season and the first rushing touchdown of his career.
  • Agnew tied his career-high with five tackles.   
  • Wright now has 25.5 career sacks, third in program history.
  • Dorbor posted the second 100-yard game of his career.

Up Next

The Bulldogs return to Beirne Stadium next Saturday when they host Long Island. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPN3.