This Month in Sports History: Football Team’s First Win


Jason Hauze

Misericordia protects the ball from the opposing team, earning another first down, during a game versus Keystone College during the fall 2019 semester.

Ryan Coyle, Sports Reporter

The date is Nov. 16, 2013. The football team is leading Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham 63 to 40.

The Cougars failed to win a game in their 2012 opening season, and they were traveling down the same path in the 2013 season. But the tide would change. The Cougars triumphed over FDU-Florham 63-40 in the last game of the season to record the first win in program history.

Head coach Mark Ross said this win was a testament to the hard work and dedication that players demonstrated since the program’s establishment, and it was a win they needed to give the coaching staff and players confidence heading into the 2013 season.

From left to right: Misericordia’s #24 Running Back, junior Michael Gawlik, runs with the ball away from Albright University’s #11 on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 (Zoe Laporte)

He said the Cougars were in control the majority of the game after opening up the first quarter with a 28-13 lead. That set the tone for what would be the highest scoring total in a game in the program’s young history. Ross said he could not have been more proud of his guys and their determination.

“I told our guys all season that if we kept putting ourselves in position to win, that our day would come,” he said. “I am so proud of this team and our coaching staff. They earned this win.”

The team, led by then quarterback Jeff Pucket, got out to an early 14-0 lead thanks to his two rushing touchdowns. After that, the squad never looked back.

Pucket’s big day on the ground ended with 160 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, giving the Devils fits with his dual threat ability. Then running back Frank Sanarsieso had a career day rushing the ball as well carrying the ball 25 times for 222 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Juwan Petties-Jackson had a superb outing as well as the speedy wide receiver from Somerville, New Jersey was able to catch five passes for 99 yards during the game.

Phil Arnold concluded his solid season by leading the team in tackles with eight and starting his tenth game of the year as cornerback for Misericordia.

The Cougars were able to compile 155 yards passing through the air and 411 yards on the ground on 59 carries.

Ross said he and his staff still use this win as a building block as they continue to enhance the program and work their way up the ranks of the MAC Conference.

This win concluded the Cougars’ second season as a program and finalized their record at 1-9 overall and 1-8 in conference play.

A view of the final scoreboard on Nov. 16, 2013, the date of the football team’s first ever win. (Courtesy of Misericordia Athletics)