NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – It was a long way to go for another setback.
Quarterback Christian Carter scored what proved to be the winning touchdown with 3:08 remaining, leading Merrimack to a 24-21 victory over Presbyterian on Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium.
Carter completed 22 out of 34 passes for 287 yards and rushed for 57 more to lead the Warriors.
Presbyterian (0-8) fell in spite of a 118-yard rushing day for Jarius Jeter and a career-best 244 passing yards by Tyler Huff.
Linebacker Colby Campbell led the defense with 12 tackles.
The Blue Hose had taken a 21-17 edge with 7:28 to play on Huff’s 28-yard pass to Dohnte Meyers. The score was tied, 14-14, at halftime, and neither team scored in the third quarter.
Jeter staked the Blue Hose to a 7-0 lead with a 70-yard scoring gallop a minute and 20 seconds into the game. It was the sixth-longest rushing play since PC joined NCAA Division I in 2007.
Presbyterian had the statistical edge, compiling 453 total yards to the Warriors’ 406.
Huff completed 17 of 33 attempts. Both quarterbacks threw a pair of touchdown passes and were intercepted once.
The first of Keith Pearson’s three receptions was the 100th of his Blue Hose career.
Merrimack (4-4) took its first lead on 22-yard touchdown pass from Carter to Marquis Spence in the second quarter. PC tied it on Huff’s 46-yard pass to Creighton Buchanan, a desperation completion on the final play of the first half.
The Warriors took the lead early in the fourth quarter on Corey Resendes’ 31-yard field goal.
The Blue Hose had one last try to send the game into overtime, but Parker Maddrey missed a 40-yard field goal with 30 seconds play.
Next up for PC is a 1 p.m. game next Saturday at Hampton University in Virginia. The Blue Hose’ final three games – Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern and St. Andrews – are at home.