Late Nichols Comeback Sends Football to 13-10 Defeat

Late Nichols Comeback Sends Football to 13-10 Defeat

Oct. 24, 2009

Final Stats

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Sophomore quarterback Sean Smith-Vaughan (Cumberland, ME/Greely HS/Salve Regina) threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Mike Seiger (Pittsfield, MA/Monument Mountain) with 4:27 remaining to lift visiting Nichols to a 13-10 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Cressy Field Saturday afternoon.

The play capped a 98-yard, 10- play drive that gave the Bison the lead for the first time in the game.

The Corsairs took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Nichols 49, but senior running back James Moore was stopped on fourth down at midfield. UMass Dartmouth held, and got the ball back at their own 25 with 23 seconds left. They drove to the NC 37-yard line, but time expired.'

UMass Dartmouth took the early lead, going 53 yards in three plays in the first quarter. Freshman quarterback Brendan McNeish (Springfield, Mass. /Bridgton Academy) hit senior wide receiver Marc Fiore (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) for 32 yards on the first play of the drive, and Moore scored from 20 yards out two plays later. Freshman kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) converted.

The Corsairs took a 10-0 lead after taking over at the Bison 35 following a 13-yard punt. They drove 23 yards in six plays before stalling at the NC 12, and Osols kicked a 29-yard field goal.

Nichols came back in the second quarter, getting on the board after a McNeish pass was intercepted by junior defensive back Brandon Wallace (Windsor, CT/Windsor HS) and returned to the UMD 15. The Corsairs held the Bison to six yards in three plays, and freshman kicker Dave Wyrick (Avon, CT/Avon HS) booted a 25-yard field goal.

An interception by sophomore linebacker Chris Kerrigan (Hyde Park, MA/Catholic Memorial HS) gave Nichols the ball at the UMD 49. The Bison drove to the UMD nine-yard line before the Corsairs held, and Wyrick's 26-yard field goal made it 10-6 at halftime.

Nichols drove deep into Corsair territory at the end of the third quarter, but Smith-Vaughan's pass was intercepted by sophomore defensive back Luke Poirier (Marshfield, MA/Marshfield HS) and returned 54 yards to the NC 41. The Bison held, but a punt by senior George Vasiliadis (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian HS)m was muffed by freshman Jonathon Turner (Boston, MA/Hyde School-Maine) of the Bison, and junior Eric Pacy (Rowley, MA/Triton HS/Dean) fell on it for the Corsairs at the NC nine. A personal foul and two running plays helped UMD move the ball to the Bison one, but McNeish was stopped on a third-down sneak by senior defensive lineman Bill Hassett (Oxford, MA/Oxford HS) and freshman linebacker Justin Ward (Orlando, FL/Dr. Phillips HS), and a bad exchange ruined the Corsairs' chances on fourth down. The Bison took over at their own two-yard line, and began their game-winning drive.

"We played our best game of the year, by far," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We worked hard all week, but we didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had. Our defense played very well, but that drive at the end obviously hurt. We had trouble moving the ball in the first half, we threw three interceptions but we only allowed two field goals. On the plays down on the goal line, we weren't in sync, that will come with time and experience."

Moore rushed 12 times for 52 yards for UMD, while McNeish completed 15 of 25 passes for 110 yards, six to Fiore for 61 yards. Freshman Anthony Terenzi (Londonderry, NH/Londonderry HS) rushed 25 times for 85 yards for Nichols, while Smith-Vaughan completed 16 of 35 passes for 233 yards, four to Seiger for 62 yards. Senior linebacker John Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury HS) had 14 tackles for the Corsairs, shared a sack and a tackle for lost yardage for seven yards, and intercepted a pass. Hassett had nine tackles for Nichols, including two for lost yardage.

The Corsairs fell to 0-8 and 0-5 in the NEFC Boyd Division with the defeat, while the Bison improved to 4-4 and 3-2 with the victory. UMD will return home next Saturday to host Endicott. Nichols will host Curry next Saturday.

"We have a similar opponent in Endicott coming in next week," said Robichaud. "We need to keep working hard."