Football Rallies From 22-Point Deficit To Outlast Bridgewater State, 33-29

Football Rallies From 22-Point Deficit To Outlast Bridgewater State, 33-29

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Sophomore wide receiver Abiola Aborishade (Attleboro, Mass.) caught a 39-yard touchdown pass with one minute, 22 seconds remaining in regulation as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth football team erased a 22-point halftime deficit to outlast visiting Bridgewater State University, 33-29, in a wild Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) affair this evening at Cressy Field.

The Corsairs (2-3, 2-2 MASCAC) defense sealed their first victory over the Bears since 2008 with an interception by freshman DaVon Fuller (Washington, D.C.) at the UMass Dartmouth two-yard line with just seven seconds remaining in regulation.  The Corsairs' late stand capped an outstanding second-half performance by the UMass Dartmouth defense that generated three Bridgewater State turnovers.

In a see-saw affair over the final five minutes of regulation, the lead changed hands three times. The Corsairs took their first advantage of the contest with four minutes, 52 seconds remaining, when freshman Kevin Wadsworth (Bridgewater, Mass.) hauled in a 7-yard strike from classmate Cullen Hanna (Richmondville, N.Y.) to give the hosts a 25-22 lead.

Bridgewater State responded with a six-play, 62-yard drive, capped by senior quarterback Mike McCarthy's (Edgartown, Mass.) three-yard plunge. The visitors thought they delivered the decisive score, but the Bears left the Corsairs with just over two minutes on the scoreboard.

UMass Dartmouth demonstrated its quick-strike abilities with a three-play, 35 second drive. Hanna connected with Wadsworth for an 18-yard gain, then scrambled for a 22-yard run through the left side of the visitors line to set up the 39-yard, game-winning catch by Aborishade. Following a 15-yard penalty, Hanna tossed an 18-yard strike to Aborishade in the back, right corner of the end zone to complete the two-point play and give the hosts an important four-point cushion with one minute, eight seconds left on the clock.

The Corsairs accounted for 386 total yards of offense, including 271 yards in the second half. Hanna connected on 58.6 percent of his attempts (17-29) to record season-highs of 179 yards and three touchdowns, including his longest completion coming on the final score of the game. The Richmondville, N.Y. product also carried the ball six times for 26 yards and one touchdown. Aborishade posted a game-high 10 receptions for 111 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while freshman Charles Ruffin (Miami, Fla.) averaged 4.8 yards per carry to produce his first career 100-yard rushing game (101).

Sophomore Derek Tarpey (Tewsbury, Mass.) spearheaded the Corsairs defense with a career-high 22 total tackles, including 14 solo stops.  The second-year linebacker was consistently in the Bears backfield, registering five tackles for a loss, one sack, and two forced fumbles.  Freshman Trevor MacNeil (Holden, Mass.)--who recorded seven total tackles--helped the hosts whittle their deficit to three points late in the third with a 63-yard fumble return for a TD.  Senior Jordan McDonald (Brockton, Mass.) had six solo tackles, three defensive hurries, one sack, and a forced fumble.  

McCarthy piloted the Bridgewater State offensive attack, completing 18-for-26 with 276 passing yards and a touchdown.  McCarthy also led the Bears in rushing with 52 yards and two touchdowns.  Junior Matthew Green (Stoughton, Mass.) hauled in seven receptions for a game-high 181 yards and a TD.

Freshman Jerry Thompson (Hanson, Mass.) led the visitors with 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Senior Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) recorded a pick.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, when the Corsairs host MASCAC foe Worcester State University.