Football Falls At Westfield State In MASCAC Opener
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The UMass Dartmouth football team fell to Westfield State, 36-7, in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference opener on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The big plays and UMass Dartmouth miscues sparked Westfield, which rolled to a 26-0 halftime lead. The Owls scored three minutes into the game on a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Erik Washburn (Lisbon, Conn.) to receiver Kevin Nicol (Wolcott, Conn.).
Westfield tacked on 19 points in the second period, led by backup quarterback Tim Rich (Chelmsford, Mass.) who was playing due to an injury Washburn suffered early in the stanza. On his second Rich scampered 59 yards for a touchdown.
Westfield increased its lead to 17-0 when sophomore Michael Orellana (Springfield, Mass.) booted his first of two field goals, a 38-yarder with 1:57 remaining in the first half.
The Owls scored nine more points in the final two minutes of the first half as they recorded a safety following a bad snap by UMass Dartmouth. Westfield took advantage of the miscue on the ensuing possession when Rich found a wide-open Terilli for a 58-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds left in the half.
Terilli then scored on the first play of the second half on an 87-yard kickoff return, giving the Owls a 33-0 lead.
UMass Dartmouth was able to score with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter. Westfield cornerback Joey Shisler (Hanover, Mass.) had the ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of Corsair receiver Abio Aborishade (Attleboro, Mass.) for a 26-yard TD reception.
Westfield tallied its final points early in the fourth quarter when Orellana split the uprights for a 37-yard field goal from the left hash mark.
For the second straight game, the Owls did not have a turnover. UMass Dartmouth officially committed two turnovers (interceptions) but lost huge yardage on three fumbles.
Westfield had 365 yards in total offense, with 198 of those yards coming on four big plays, including three touchdowns.
The Corsair offense was limited to 201 total net yards. Quarterback Cullen Hanna (Richmondville, N.Y.) completed 10 of 17 passes for 118 yards and rushed for 31 yards on seven carries.
UMass Dartmouth defensive back Cody Merritt (Plymouth, Mass./ Plymouth North) posted a game-high 12 tackles and Jordan Guyton (Canton, Mass. / Canton) had 10 stops, including two for losses. Joe Teixera (Seekonk, Mass.) had eight tackles, a sack, a pass breakup, and a quarterback hurry.
The Corsairs dropped to 0-2 with the loss. UMass Dartmouth will be back in action when they host Plymouth State on Saturday Sep, 28.
(Contributions from Westfield State sports information)