WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) Westin Elliott sandwiched a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes around teammate Anthony Witherstone's 35-yard interception-return score and Merrimack stunned Holy Cross 35-21 on Saturday to give the Warriors their first 2-0 start.

Merrimack, which joined the Northeast Conference of the FCS in 2019, fell behind 7-0 before taking the lead for good in the second quarter against the reigning Patriot League champions. Elliott pulled the Warriors even at 7 when he connected with Johnny Rosario for a 22-yard score at the 12:51 mark. Two plays later Witherstone used one hand to pick off a Matthew Sluka pass, returning it for the go-ahead score. Elliott made it 21-7 when he hit Jacari Carter with a 6-yard scoring strike with 9 seconds left before halftime. Matt Brehon added a 7-yard TD run in the third quarter and freshman Victor Dawson carried 19 times for 111 yards with a 4-yard TD run in the final period.

Sluka connected with Spencer Gilliam for a 9-yard score and a 7-0 lead midway throught the first quarter for Holy Cross, but the Crusaders didn't score again until Jordan Fuller's 1-yard TD run with 4:32 left in the third quarter that cut the deficit to 28-14. Backup QB Marco Siderman threw a 28-yard TD pass to Gilliam in the final quarter to cap the Crusaders' scoring.


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