FITCHBURG, Mass. – With a season-high 523 yards offense including 278 yards on the ground, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth closed the 2017 season on a high note, shutting the door on host Fitchburg State 38-0 at Eliot Field on Saturday afternoon.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 38, Fitchburg State 0
Records: UMass Dartmouth (4-6, 4-4 MASCAC) | (3-7, 2-6 MASCAC)
How it Happened
The Corsairs wasted no time on generating a gap, finding the end zone on their first two drives. Senior Michael Slaughter, Jr. (Springfield, Mass.) capped an eight-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown run to open scoring, and following a short Falcon punt, sophomore quarterback Jace Pena (East Providence, R.I.) connected with freshman Leroy Brown (Milton, Mass.) for a 56-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.
Before the close of the first half, Pena would pinpoint junior Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.) for two more touchdowns, putting the visitors ahead 28-0. With five minutes left in the first, Bamgbose snagged a six-yard touchdown catch and opened the second quarter with a 26-yard catch for the score.
Senior Scott Tupper (Holden, Mass.) kept the Falcons from finding any rhythm, securing his seventh and eighth interceptions of the season as the second stanza rolled on. Eventually, UMass Dartmouth's lead would balloon to 31 with freshman James Tooker (Harwich, Mass.) nailing a field goal before the intermission.
On their second drive of the final half, UMass Dartmouth put a cap on the scoring with Pena tossing for his fourth touchdown of the game, this time finding freshman Adam McLaughlin (Taunton, Mass.) on a 29-yard completion.
Inside the Numbers
- Saturday marks UMass Dartmouth's second shutout in as many seasons; the Corsairs held Mass. Maritime scoreless in a 33-0 win last season.
- The Corsair defense stifled Fitchburg State in all aspects, holding the Falcons to just 19 yards rushing and six completions for 24 yards.
- With two more interceptions today, Tupper closes his career second in both interceptions in a single season (8) and career interceptions (12). He trails only Corsair Hall of Famer Mike Cotton in both categories (season-11, career-16).
- With three tackles for loss against the Falcons, senior Marvey Mathurin (Woburn, Mass.) re-sets his own single season program record for tackles for loss, finishing the year with 17.5.
- Slaughter, Jr. put forth a new season-high with 144 rushing yards, finishing with 954 on the season and 2,036 for his career.
- Pena finished with 234 yards in the air of 14-for-28 passing, setting a new career high with four touchdowns. He closes his sophomore season with over 1,000 passing yards (1,264).
Both teams close the 2017 season, with UMass Dartmouth owning a 4-6 overall record and 4-4 slate in MASCAC play. The Falcons finish at 3-7 and 2-6 in the MASCAC.