NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – If there was one thing that the Merrimack football team made sure of during the 2012 campaign, it was that no offensive record was safe.
On an October afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field in a Northeast-10 Conference battle between the Warriors and Saint Anselm, that sentiment never stood truer.
With the combined efforts of senior quarterback Joe Clancy (Newburyport, Mass.), and classmate and All-American wide receiver Isaiah Voegeli (Hyannis, Mass.), the Navy and Gold put on an offensive show that shattered records, dropped jaws and likely established itself as the new single-game offensive benchmark for both the league and the nation, as the Warriors blew away the Hawks, 81-35, on a historic afternoon in North Andover.
And while that contest by itself represented just one of the six Warrior wins on the year, the offensive display was a spectacle within itself, as Merrimack etched new record after new record over the course of the afternoon.
But it all started with Clancy, who blew away several records on his own. The Newburyport, Mass., native broke the Northeast-10 Conference record for passing yards in a game (553) and total yards in a game (561) while tying the conference record for passing touchdowns with seven scores. Making all of those numbers even more mind numbing was the fact that all of those yards and scores were accumulated in just three quarters of action.
His battery mate through most of the afternoon was Voegeli, who had established a game-by-game expectation of excellence over his four-year tenure with the Warriors. The most decorated wide receiver in program history, Voegeli's efforts against Saint Anselm were nothing short of herculean, as the Hyannis, Mass., native tied a school record with four receiving touchdowns and broke his own NE-10 record with 269 receiving yards.
All of that culminated in 801 yards of total offense and 35 first downs, both new single-game records for the Warriors, as were the 81 points scored in the win.
Within all of those numbers, however, lays the important question of just how meaningful that memorable afternoon was in the grand scheme of things?
After all, Merrimack did ultimately settle for a fifth-place finish in the NE-10 standings and that October beat-down stood for just one of those victories, despite all of the touchdowns, yardage, passes thrown and caught.
However, those numbers also bolstered the already-impressive resume of Voegeli, who graduated this past spring with a degree in Health Sciences. But the four-year star had sights set on the National Football League, hoping to become the fourth Merrimack player in two years to earn an NFL opportunity.
With those numbers from the now-famous Saint Anselm game in tow while adding to historic four-year totals that saw him rank first in career receptions (212) and receiving yards (3,554), and second in touchdown catches (34), Voegeli's dream came true on April 30 after the Philadephia Eagles signed him as an undrafted free agent.
Voegeli joins a decorated group of former Warriors that includes Shawn Loiseau (Houston), Tony Johnson (Baltimore) and James Suozzo (New York Giants). He attended rookie minicamp from May 10-12 to officially kick off his pro campaign.
While the team's goal of reaching the NE-10 Championship fell short, it was the efforts of Clancy, Voegeli and all of the Warriors on an unforgettable Saturday in October that helped the team score arguably its biggest individual win of the year.
And with first-year head coach Dan Curran at the helm for 2013, and with the return of Clancy as a fifth-year senior, those records may not be as safe as initially anticipated.
This is the second of 10 Merrimack Top Moments of 2012-13 Installments.
10. Women's Crew Wins NE-10 Cup V4 Title
9. Football's Historic Victory Vaults Voegeli to NFL
8. Monday, June 24
7. Wednesday, June 26
6. Friday, June 28
5. Monday, July 1
4. Wednesday, July 3
3. Friday, July 5
2. Monday, July 8
1. Wednesday, July 10