DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Freshman Devante Greaves (Raynham, Mass.) rushed for 237 yards on 30 carries and scored four touchdowns to lead UMass Dartmouth to a 41-27 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Worcester State Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
Greaves capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard score just 4:25 into the contest for the host Corsairs (4-3, 3-2 MASCAC), but the visiting Lancers (2-5, 1-4 MASCAC) evened matters less than five minutes later on senior Hunter Paupaw’s (Hudson, Mass.) four-yard run. Greaves gave UMass Dartmouth the lead for good early in the second quarter with his second touchdown of the day from six yards out, and following a short punt on the ensuing Worcester State possession, Greaves found pay dirt for the third time with an 11-yard scoring scamper that extended the hosts’ edge to 21-7 with 8:34 remaining in the half.
After another Lancer punt, the Corsairs embarked on an 11-play, 80-yard drive in which Greaves carried three times for 63 yards, and sophomore quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) called his own number on fourth-and-goal at the visitors’ one-yard line to give UMass Dartmouth a 27-7 lead with 2:52 to play in the second stanza. Worcester State went three-and-out on its ensuing possession late in the half, and a 42-yard Gacioch completion to sophomore DJ Machado (Swansea, Mass.) set the hosts’ up in the closing seconds of the frame. Following a holding penalty, senior Matt Mitchell (Westerly, R.I.) lateraled back to Gacioch at the Lancer 23, and the signal caller found junior Jacen Hudson (Hudson, N.H.) in the back right corner of the end zone with nine seconds remaining to give the Corsairs a 34-7 edge at the break.
The visitors needed only three plays on the first possession after intermission to get on the board, as senior quarterback Noah Brum (Honolulu, Hawai’i) connected with sophomore Jordan Choquette (Warren, Mass.) for a 41-yard touchdown pass just 1:40 into the third quarter. The squads traded possessions before Worcester State took advantage of good field position near midfield and sliced their deficit to 34-20 when Brum hooked up with junior Jacob Maher (Marshfield, Mass.) on a nine-yard scoring strike with 3:55 remaining in the frame. That score held up until the opening minutes of the final stanza, as a Gacioch pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by Lancer sophomore Jastice Bolden (Springfield, Mass.) to set up Paupaw’s three-yard run that trimmed the Corsair lead to one score (34-27) with 12:47 to play.
Greaves ran for 32 of UMass Dartmouth’s 60 yards on the ensuing drive, which he capped with a one-yard plunge for what proved to be the final score of the contest. The teams traded punts and turnovers for most of the fourth quarter, as a Bolden fumble recovery was sandwiched by interceptions from Corsair junior Mo Rainford (Boston, Mass.) and sophomore Sam Krajewski (Taunton, Mass.), whose pick with 3:12 remaining enabled the hosts to run out the clock.
Greaves’ effort on the ground helped UMass Dartmouth hold a 368-19 edge in rushing yards on the afternoon, as Gacioch threw for 228 yards as part of nearly 600 yards (596) of total offense for the Corsairs. Mitchell added 72 rushing yards for the hosts, who also received 62 receiving yards from Machado in recording 32 first downs and possessing the ball for more than 38 minutes. Brum completed 22-of-39 pass attempts for 265 yards to go with his two scores in the setback for Worcester State, which received 10 catches for 111 yards from Choquette as part of 284 yards of total offense for the contest.
Sophomore Jacob Burkhead (Plymouth, Mass.) added two first quarter interceptions and a pair of pass break-ups to go with three tackles on the defensive side for UMass Dartmouth, which also received a pick from junior Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.) along with eight total stops from junior Connor Russ (Middletown, R.I.). Freshman Nicholas Ashley (Worcester, Mass.) registered a game-high 17 total tackles (14 solo) in the setback for the Lancers, who received 11 total stops that included three sacks from sophomore Gus Ramstrom (Natick, Mass.). Bolden added seven tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery to his interception for the Lancers, who also received a pair of sacks from senior Bruce Johnson (Fitchburg, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth heads to Framingham, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Framingham State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outing that kicks off at Noon, while Worcester State travels to Buzzards Bay, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to square off with Massachusetts Maritime in a MASCAC clash that also kicks off at Noon.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '20)