Football Visits Fitchburg State Saturday

Sept. 17, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team will play on the road for the first time this season when they visit Fitchburg State in a New England Football Conference crossover game Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Falcons' Elliot Field.

The teams have a single victory between them, with the Corsairs at 0-2 and coming off a 42-6 loss to Bridgewater State last Saturday, FSC is 1-1 and defeated Anna Maria last weekend, 48-12 after dropping their opener to Springfield by a 55-7 score.

"Fitchburg opened against Springfield, which is arguably the best Division III team in New England, and then came back against Anna Maria, which was playing their second game ever," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "Like us, they are strong offensively and young defensively, but they are very aggressive and very well-coached on both sides of the ball."

The Corsairs were 3-2 away from home last season, and Robichaud is hoping his team can replicate the success they had on the road last year. "Our first experience here at home wasn't good, and with a lot of young players, it's important that we get some wins," said Robichaud. "Maybe a change of scenery and a change of routine will be good for us."

UMD hopes to get off to a good start. "We need to get the ball in the hands of our best players, and we're working on things with that in mind," said Robichaud. "We have played better in the second half than we've played in the first half in each of our games. We've gotten ourselves into a deep hole the first two weeks, and it's hard to climb out with a young team."

The Falcons have some weapons on offense. "Steve Austin is a good, hard runner and a tough kid," said Robichaud. "He did a nice job against Anna Maria. Their quarterback, Jordan Cannava, has a very good arm, and seems to make excellent decisions, and their offensive line is very good. They are capable of scoring a lot of points."

The Corsairs hope to limit their mistakes. "We need to avoid turnovers and big plays, and take advantage of the opportunities that they give us," said Robichaud. "In two games, we've scored one touchdown and kicked two field goals, and we need to get more production out of our offense. Our offensive coordinator, Tim McCarthy, is working hard on finishing drives, and we need better production in the red zone this week."

UMass Dartmouth will return home next weekend when they host Plymouth State in the annual homecoming game.

UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL