UMass won back-to-back games for the first time since 2018, beating Merrimack, 31-21, on Saturday before a crowd of 14,672 that was the largest at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in seven years. The shutout also marked the first home win of the season for the Minutemen (3-7).
Greg Desrosiers Jr., a Lawrence native against the Warriors from neighboring North Andover, rushed for career bests in yards (162) and touchdowns (3) on 10 carries. Scoring by 8 players in the second quarter helped the Minutemen take a 14-7 lead to keep it going.
Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams finished with 88 yards to become the second UMass player to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards (1,014) in his FBS career.
Merrimack, an FCS program that fell to 4-5, scored the game’s first touchdown on a 5-yard run by quarterback Anthony Malakai, who capped the scoring with a 32-yard pass to Jalen McDonald.
The Minutemen tied the game on their next drive after Taisun Phommachanh threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to George Johnson III with 2:04 left in the first quarter.
Cameron Carson’s 39-yard field goal was the only score in the third quarter, pushing UMass up 17-7.
Desrosiers had 57 touchdown runs and 46 yards in the fourth quarter to help open up a 31-7 advantage.
After Belmont Hill’s final score, Donovan Wadley returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards with 7:56 left. LJ Robinson capped the Warriors with a 33-yard interception by Jelani Mason. Tyvon Edmonds Jr. rushed 20 times for 75 yards.
UMass will visit Liberty next Saturday, while Merrimack will host Central Connecticut at Duane Stadium.