Football Falls At Nichols, 26-16


DUDLEY, MA-Host Nichols scored 20 unanswered points during the second and third quarters and held off the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team host Nichols in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Vendetti Field Saturday.

The Corsairs, who fell behind early, 6-0, scored on their first drive when freshman quarterback Liam Cosgrove (Plymouth, MA/Plymouth HS) connected with senior wide receiver Brandon McNeish (Springfield, MA/Agawam HS/Bridgton Academy) from 19 yards out with six minutes left in the first quarter to tie the game at 6-6. Senior kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS), who added the extra point, also kicked  44-yard field goal to put the Corsairs up, 10-6.

The Bison went ahead on three long passing plays. Pat Viencek hit Dylan Rimsky with a 67-yard scoring pass with 5:14 left in the first half to seize a 12-10 lead, then Viencek connected with Joe Lambert on a 36-yard TD pass with 1:10 left in the first half to make it 19-10. Viencek hit Felipe Njeim with a 6-yard scoring pass late in the third quarter to make it 26-10.

The Corsairs came back, scoring on a 14-yard pass from freshman quarterback Mario Rigali (Agawam, MA/Agawam HS) to junior running back Jordan Guyton (Canton, MA/Canton HS/Saint Anselm) with 14 seconds remaining. But the two-point conversion and subsequent onside kick failed, and the Bison ran out the clock.

"We let them make too many big plays," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We struggled again offensively, we had our best game of the year on the ground, but we couldn't maintain drives. Overall, we didn't play well."

The Corsairs kept playing hard, even though they were behind. "We scored late, and we still had a chance at the end, and we couldn't pull it off," said Robichaud. "We have to be mentally tougher than we are. It's a disappointing loss, but we're going to come back and work hard."

Guyton carried 15 times for 50 yards as the Corsairs amassed 107 yards on the ground. Viencek completed 18 of 29 passes for 300 yards for Nichols, and the Bison intercepted Cosgrove four times.

Defensively, junior linebacker Joe Texeira (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk HS) made 10 tackles, including six solo stops, and had a tackle for 13 yards of lost yardage. Sophomore linebacker Art Azatyants (Brookline, MA/Brookline HS) had six tackles and two of the Corsairs' three interceptions. Peter Curto had 13 tackles, including seven solo stops, for Nichols, 1.5 tackles for lost yardage, and shared a sack.

Wesley Williams had three tackles and three interceptions, returning them for a total of 50 yards.

UMass Dartmouth dropped to 1-6 and 1-3 in the NEFC Boyd Division with the loss, while Nichols improved to 1-6 and 1-3 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Endicott next Saturday.