By Dan Guttenplan Sports Editor
Newburyport Daily News
---- — Newburyport native Joe Clancy says he didn’t play “a perfect game” for Merrimack College Saturday when the quarterback threw for 553 yards and seven touchdowns in an 81-35 victory over Saint Anselm.
Saint Anselm is likely not interested in seeing Clancy’s perfect day.
Clancy broke Northeast-10 Conference records for passing yards, total yards (561) and passing touchdowns without taking a single snap in the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score. The Warriors’ 81 points were also a conference record and the NCAA high for the season.
“We obviously didn’t play a perfect game,” Clancy said. “The offense did really well, especially the offensive line. The coaches found something in the game plan that was working, and we executed well.”
Clancy was named NE-10 Offensive Player of the Week Monday for the second time this season. Tonight, he will be honored by the Gridiron Club of Boston at Harvard for the top weekly offensive honor among Division 2 football players.
“It’s a real honor,” Clancy said. “I’ve heard a lot about (the Gridiron Club Award), and I always hoped I could win. It’s definitely something I’ll cherish.”
Clancy hit on touchdown passes of 77, 71, 65, 31, 22, 19 and 12 yards, respectively. He now leads the conference and ranks in the top five in the country in all passing statistics. He is tops in the country in passing yards per game with 392, fourth in completions (233) and attempts (353), and fifth in total passing yards (2,744).
Clancy graduated from Newburyport High in 2009, and before he was done, he set program records for career completions, yardage and touchdowns. He never threw more than four touchdowns in a single game in high school.
“I never thought I’d reach that mark,” Clancy said. “It’s a testament to our offense as a whole. We really weren’t worried about the score. We had work to do.”
Merrimack (4-3 overall, 3-3 NE-10) will play at Bentley Saturday.
Downey named to GNAC tourney team
Pentucket Regional High alumna Rachael Downey helped lift Simmons College to a GNAC tennis championship for the fifth year in a row Sunday.
The Simmons College freshman was named to the All-Tournament team after helping the Sharks run their winning streak to 50 matches, dating back to 2007.
Downey, of Groveland, teamed up with senior Sabrina Salmela (Beverly) to defeat Alicia Pellegrin and Natalie Nicholas 8-3 in the No. 2 spot. Downey then posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Nicholas in singles play at the No. 4 spot.
Downey will join the Newburyport Racquet Club team in South Carolina this weekend for the United States Tennis Association Nationals.