DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Corsairs began their 2017 campaign under the lights of Cressy Field, but it was the visiting Mount Ida Mustangs who would prevail, taking the meeting 12-10. Four interceptions, and one forced fumble highlighted the meeting between the defensive-leaned teams.
Score: Mount Ida 12, UMass Dartmouth 10
Records: Mount Ida (1-0, 0-0 ECFC) | UMass Dartmouth (0-1, 0-0 MASCAC)
How It Happened
The Mustangs took the lead with just twenty ticks left before halftime as sophomore quarterback Mike Pina (Brockton, Mass.) rolled to his left before finding freshman Oscar Lopez (Revere, Mass.) in open space for a 20-yard touchdown connection. The completion was not only Lopez's first collegiate score, but it winded up being the difference-maker.
On the ensuing possession, the Corsairs put themselves into striking distance as a 31-yard scamper from senior Michael Slaughter, Jr. (Springfield, Mass.) brought the ball to the 11-yard line with seconds left before intermission. The hosts opted for a field goal, but the kick sailed to the left to keep the score at 12-10.
Mount Ida exhibited ball control as its offense spent 11 minutes and 16 seconds on the field in the third quarter of play, with the Corsair offense taking the field for just 3 minutes and 41 seconds during the same span.
With 10:29 remaining in the game, Mount Ida moved downfield efficiently, before senior linebacker Marvey Mathurin (Woburn, Mass.) blew past the offensive front on back-to-back plays, disrupting the rhythm for Pina and causing a turnover on downs. On the following possession for UMass Dartmouth, senior quarterback Matt Lowe (Stoneham, Mass.) found wideout Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.) in the chest with a pass in tight coverage to move the chains 24 yards.
Consecutive positive gains on the ground put the Corsairs on the opposing 10-yard line as the hosts went back to the air, but Mount Ida's Khalil Bowens (Randolph, Mass.) was ready when he pulled down Lowe's pass for the third interception of the game.
The interception from Bowens ended up being the final meaningful play of the game, as the Corsairs suffered a five-play turnover on downs on their last possession. With 1:47 remaining, the Mustangs drained the clock, taking a knee toward their first victory of the season.
Inside the Numbers
- Mount Ida snaps a two-game skid to UMass Dartmouth dating back to 2014. The Mustangs prevail for the first time since a 21-20 outing on Sept. 6, 2013.
- UMass Dartmouth's offense outgained the visitors on the night, posting 346 total yards to Mount Ida's 321.
- Defensively, junior Connor Russ (Middletown, R.I.) led all defensive players with 13 tackles in his Corsair debut. Mathurin added 12, bringing him over 200 for his career and up to tenth all-time in program history.
- The Corsairs featured a pair of quarterbacks as freshman Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) finished with 50 yards on 6-of-16 passing while Lowe's night ended with one touchdown on 5-of-9 and 60 yards through the air.
- Slaughter Jr. ended as the lone Corsair over 100 yards for the game, tallying 134 total on 17 rushing attempts. He was also targeted twice in the passing attack.
- Senior linebacker Brandon Miller (Holden, Mass.) came up with his first career interception in the third quarter. Throughout the game, he added seven tackles, including one for a loss.
- Time of possession was favored in the visitor's direction. The Mustangs controlled the rock for 39:25 minutes to the Corsairs 20:35 minutes on offense.
- UMass Dartmouth's offensive play-calling featured 25 passes and 25 rushes while Mount Ida threw 29 times and kept it on the turf for 47 rushing attempts.
- On third and fourth down combined, Mount Ida converted 10-of-25 times (40%) while the Corsairs finished merely 5-of-12 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down attempts.
Following an early-season bye-week, UMass Dartmouth will return to Cressy Field to open Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play when they welcome Westfield State University on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Mount Ida opens at home next Satuday, hosting Plymouth State at 1 p.m.