Oct. 15, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team defeated visiting Nichols, 21-6, in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game on Homecoming Day at Cressy Field Saturday afternoon.
On their opening possession, UMass Dartmouth drove 73 yards in five plays. On second down, Corsair junior quarterback Patrick Orlando (Manchester, MA/Manchester Essex HS/Saint Anselm) connected with junior wide receiver Lonnie Page (Canton, MA/Canton HS/Fisher) on a 63-yard touchdown, giving UMD a 7-0 lead with 10:58 to play in the first quarter. The Corsair defense forced three three-and-outs for the Nichols offense, and didn't allow the Bison to pass the Corsair 33-yard line in the first half.
With Nichols driving in the third quarter, UMD senior linebacker John Cordasco (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Knolls HS) intercepted a pass from Bison junior quarterback Dan Snyder (Stoughton, MA/Stoughton HS) and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown, giving the Corsairs a 14-0 lead with 8:25 remaining. This was the third consecutive week Cordasco has scored a touchdown on defense.
After an eight-play drive that took over seven minutes off the clock, UMD set up for a field goal, but the attempt by junior kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) was blocked by Bison freshman Aaron Perez-Griffith (New London, CT/New London HS), preserving the 14-0 score.
Nichols' lone scoring drive came with 7:49 to play. The Bison executed a nine-play, 54-yard series punctuated by a 23-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jacob Shoup (Boca Raton, FL/Boca Raton Community HS) to senior wide receiver Reggie Belizaire (Ft. Lauderdale, FL/Ft. Lauderdale HS), cutting the UMD lead to 14-6 with 5:03remaining. The extra point by senior kicker Bill Crory (Townsend, MA/No. Middlesex Regional) was wide right.
The Corsair defense stepped up once again late in the fourth quarter. The Bison drove down to the Corsair 40-yard line, but on first-and-15, UMD junior defensive back Mike Perry intercepted a pass from Shoup at the 38-yard line and took the ball 62 yards for a score, securing the 21-6 victory for the Corsairs.
"Our defense was absolutely outstanding today," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "Our offense was good at times, but we couldn't get anything consistent going. We left some points on the field with a missed field goal and a blocked field goal. Nichols took away our strength of the inside run game, which halted our offensive scheme. I can't say enough about the defense, we had two defensive touchdowns and that doesn't happen often. Our offensive line worked hard and never gave up, they are a young group with great attitudes. Overall, we had too many penalties, but that's a sign of an aggressive team. We are now 3-1 in our division and these next two games are huge. We finish with three very strong opponents, so we have to play our absolute best."
Orlando rushed 19 times for 47 yards to lead UMass Dartmouth while freshman running back Mike Janey (Dorchester, MA/Wellesley HS) rushed 14 times for 55 yards. Orlando completed 10 of 22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Bridgton Academy) caught four passes for 60 yards and junior wide receiver Joe Luiz added five grabs for 31 yards. For Nichols, Shoup completed 11-of-32 attempts for 131 yards with an interception, while Snyder threw for 102 yards on 7-of-12 passes with an interception.
Cordasco led the Corsairs defensively with 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, with a pass breakup and an interception. Sophomore linebacker Joe Teixera added 11 stops, while senior defensive back James Green (Lynn, MA/Lynn Classical HS), junior defensive back Joune Fraser (Boston, MA/Erie CC) and sophomore linebacker Joseph Martin (Spencer, MA/David Pouty HS) each tallied six tackles. For Nichols, freshman linebacker Alex DiNardo made a game-high 17 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss of 14 yards with a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Mike Mainiero (Bridgeport, CT/Dean) and junior linebacker Peter Curto (Braintree, MA/Braintree HS) each recorded 11 and 10 stops, respectively.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 4-3 and 3-1 in the Boyd Division with the victory, while Nichols dropped to 0-7 and 0-4 in divisional play. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Endicott next Saturday. Nichols will host Curry next Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL