Sept. 5, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team knew they needed to get off to a good start when they hosted powerful Alfred in their 2009 season opener Saturday afternoon.
However, it was the Saxons who started quickly; scoring three times before 13 minutes had elapsed, building an early 21-0 lead and going on to defeat the Corsairs, 35-6, at Cressy Field.
AU took the opening kickoff and drove 51 yards in seven plays. A pair of passes from sophomore quarterback Tom Secky (Bemus Point, NY/Maple Grove HS) to senior wide receiver Jared Manzer (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City HS) accounted for 41 yards. Senior running back Vinson Manzer (Rochester, NY/East HS) accounted for the other 11 yards, scoring from a yard out on third down to make it 7-0 after sophomore kicker Eric Rockwood (Allegany, NY/Allegany-Limestone HS) converted the extra point.
UMD could not get a first down, and Manzer returned the punt by senior George Vasiliadis (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian HS) 21 yards to the Corsair 39. Hendrix rushed twice for 17 yards b before Secky connected with senior wide out Milton Harding (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City HS) from 22 yards out to make it 14-0.
AU drove 91 yards in seven plays for their next score, with Secky hitting Manzer for 46 yards to the Corsair 39. Secky connected with Manzer from 12 yards out to make it 21-0 with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
The Corsairs got on the board midway through the second quarter. Taking the ball at their 37, they drove the distance in six plays, with senior running back James Moore (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) ripping off a 38 yard run and gaining 50 yards on four carries. Sophomore running back Josh Marsh (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS/Iona) scored from 11 yards out, and the score was 21-6 after the extra point by freshman kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) hit the goal post.
The Saxons added a pair of scores in the second quarter. Secky connected with Manzer for a 35-yard score with 5:32 remaining, and the two combined for a seven-yard TD with 46 seconds left before the end of the first half.
Neither team scored in the second half. The Corsairs held the Saxons off the board as Rockwood missed a 32-yard field goal and had a t22-yarder blocked by sophomore defensive back Darrien Furr (East Taunton, MA/Taunton HS), and another drive was stopped when UMD junior linebacker Mike Fraser (Peabody, MA/Bishop Fenwick HS/St. Anselm) recovered a bad snap. Two Corsair drives ended with punts by Vasiliadis and a third ended as time expired.
"In the first half, it was absolutely what I hoped wouldn't happen," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We turned the ball over, allowed big plays, and fell behind. In the second half, our defense stepped up, we played a lot better, and we showed some promise on defense. Alfred is a very good team."
Robichaud said he knew what his team faced. "We like to start off with a good team, and we knew that Alfred would challenge us," said Robichaud. "We have 55 new players, and Alfred is an experienced team that plays in a very good conference. Some of our running backs were playing in their first collegiate game, and they'll get better as our offense develops."
Moore led the Corsairs with 80 yards on 10 carries, while senior quarterback Chris Pinheiro (Norton, MA/Norton HS) completed nine of 18 passes for 71 yards. Secky was 13 of 20 for 212 yards for the Saxons, Hendrix rushed 18 times for 122 yards, and Manzer caught nine passes for 168 yards. Furr had 13 tackles for UMD, including one for lost yardage in addition tom the blocked kick. Sophomores Alec Currier (Peru, NY/Peru HS) and Nick Clark (Canisteo, NY/Canisteo-Greenwood HS) each had eight tackles for AU.
The Saxons improved to 1-0, while the Corsairs dropped to 0-1. UMD will host Bridgewater State next Saturday evening, while Alfred will travel to Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham next Saturday afternoon.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL