Nov. 5, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team lost to visiting Western New England, 28-18, in the final New England Football Conference Boyd Division game for both teams at Cressy Field Saturday.
Prior to the game, the Corsairs honored 12 seniors, including
linebackers John Cordasco
(Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) and Edwin Sustache
(Westfield, Mass./Bridgton Academy), defensive backs James Green (Lynn,
Mass./Lynn Classical), Darrien Furr (East
Taunton, Mass./Taunton), Ross O'Toole
(Weymouth, Mass.) and Mike Perry (East
Taunton, MA/Taunton), offensive linemen Robert Yarbough
(Fall River, Mass./Durfee), Anthony Holloway
(Boston, Mass./Boston Latin Academy) and Marty Armitage
(Ware, Mass./Quabbin Regional), wide receivers John McNeil
(Randolph, Mass./Husson) and Lonnie Page (Canton,
Mass./Fisher), and defensive lineman Derek Henry (Malden,
With 9:47 to play in the first half, the Corsairs took possession, but on the first play of the drive, UMD junior quarterback Patrick Orlando (Manchester, N.H./Saint Anslem) had a pass intercepted by WNE junior defensive back Alex Miller (Seekonk, Mass.) at the Golden Bears' 40-yard line. On their ensuing possession, Western New England drove 60 yards in nine plays, capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, Conn.), giving WNE an early 7-0 lead.
As WNE drove late in the first quarter, UMD sophomore defensive back William Bizcaino (Dorchester, Mass./Cathedral) forced a fumble, which was recovered by the Corsairs at the Golden Bears 21-yard line. The Corsairs drove down to the WNE 8-yard line, but failed to reach the end zone, settling for a 25-yard field goal from junior kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, N.J.), cutting the UMD deficit to 7-3 with 1:16 left in the first quarter. The four-point gap was the closest the Corsairs would come to Western New England in the contest.
The Golden Bears scored on their next three possessions of the game. On second down at the UMD 42-yard line, Brown rushed 40 yards to the 2-yard line, and then punched it into the end zone on the next play, pushing WNE's lead to 14-3 with 14:22 left in the first half. After a three-and-out by the Corsairs, Osols punted the ball down to the Golden Bears 10-yard line. On the first play of the drive, WNE junior wide receiver Mike Graham (Norwalk, CT/Brien McMahon HS) took a handoff and bolted downfield for a 90-yard touchdown run, making it 21-3. The Golden Bears took possession with 10:33 to play in the second quarter, and on second-and-nine, Brown connected with freshman wide receiver Kareem Hines (S. Burlington, VT/S. Burlington HS) on a 74-yard touchdown pass, increasing the WNE lead to 28-3, which was the score at halftime.
The Corsairs finally reached the end zone on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that opened the fourth quarter. Junior Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Bridgton Academy) found senior wide receiver John McNeil (Randolph, MA/Randolph HS) open in the middle of the field for a 25-yard gain, down to the WNE 17-yard line. Four plays later, sophomore running back Darrius Wood (Canton, MA/Canton HS) pounded the ball into the end zone from a yard out, pulling the Corsairs to 28-10 with 8:43 left in the game.
After an intercepted pass by McNeish, Western New England took control on their 49-yard line, but on the first play of the drive, UMD junior defensive lineman William Cardello (Everett, MA/Pope John XXIII HS) forced a fumble and recovered the loose ball at the UMD 49-yard line. On the following possession, the Corsairs drove 51 yards in nine plays. The final scoring drive for UMD was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Furr, who checked in at running back for the play and scored the only touchdown of his UMD career.
"I'm proud of the team, they hung in there and battled together today," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We had a good second half. I wish we could take back four or five plays in the first half, they had some big plays and we turned the ball over a couple times. In the second half, we had success throwing the ball, which opened up our run game. We had some great things this year, we beat two teams for the first time since I've been here in Curry and Plymouth State, and the team is confident. They'll play with anyone and I have 60 kids that can't wait to get back on the field next year."
McNeish led UMass Dartmouth offensively, completing 12-of-28 passes for 120 yards with three interceptions, and running for 65 yard on 14 carries. Junior wide receiver Joe Luiz had a game-high six receptions for 43 yards. For Western New England, Brown rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns and completed 5-of-9 passes for 120 yards and a score. Graham chipped in with 90 yards on three carries with a touchdown.
Cordasco had a game-high 14 tackles, six solos and three for a loss of 9 yards, to lead UMD. Sophomore linebacker Joe Texeira (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk HS) added eight tackles while Bizcaino notched seven tackles with a forced fumble. WNE junior linebacker Nolan Rickard had a team-high seven tackles, while junior defensive backs Corey Brown (Worcester, MA/Holy Name HS) and Nicholas Silvester (Weatogue, CT/Simsbury HS) each made an interception along with six and five tackles, respectively.
For Western New England, the win tied a school record of eight consecutive victories. Their nine wins this season ties a school record. This season was also the first time the Golden Bears have gone undefeated in Boyd Division play.
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 5-5 and 4-3 in the Boyd Division with the loss, while Western New England improved to 9-1 and 7-0 in divisional play with the win. The game was the final action of the season for UMass Dartmouth. Western New England will host Framingham State next Saturday in the NEFC championship game.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL