DARTMOUTH, Mass. – On the back of junior Eddie Sheridan's (Chelmsford, Mass.) 203-yard rushing performance, UMass Dartmouth scored 40-plus points for the third straight contest to open MASCAC play, rolling past Westfield State on Saturday, 41-21.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 41, Westfield State 21
Records: UMass Dartmouth (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC) | Westfield State (1-2, 0-1 MASCAC)
How it Happened
An evenly-played affair occurred throughout the first quarter of play, with both teams trading touchdowns to enter the second stanza with the Owls holding a 14-13 lead after Brandon Rivera (Amherst, Mass.) secured an interception in UMass Dartmouth territory, returning the ball 25 yards for the score.
The Corsairs then exploded for the next four scores spanning two quarters, beginning with Sheridan's six-yard run and first of two touchdowns on the afternoon. On the ensuing Corsair kickoff, senior Sam Bullock (Lakeville, Mass.) scooped and scored, stripping the ball from the Westfield State returner and dashing 35 yards.
Sheridan then capped his team's powerful quarter, breaking free at the Owl 10-yard line with less than a minute on the clock and taking the ball 87 yards for his second score. At halftime, Sheridan already owned 175 of UMass Dartmouth's 280 rushing yards over the first two periods.
The second half was relatively quiet in comparison, but the Corsairs tacked on their fifth touchdown near the end of the third, when senior quarterback Cory Burnham (Essex, Mass.) found freshman Kevin Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) for a 12-yard touchdown pass. UMass Dartmouth's defense silenced any Westfield State resurgence on the Owls' next drive, as junior Marvey Mathurin (Woburn, Mass.) snagged his fifth career interception.
The Owls would register one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, when Justin Beck (Billerica, Mass.) capped a five-minute drive with a four-yard scramble, but UMass Dartmouth's 520 yards of total offense were more than enough to seal the deal.
Inside the Numbers
- Saturday marked Sheridan's first 200-plus yard rushing outing, and the first for the UMass Dartmouth offense since Shawn Theriault put up the program record 239 yards on Oct. 25, 2003 against Western New England.
- As a unit, the Corsair running backs tallied 412 net yards, surpassing 400 yards for the first time since Sept. 28, 2013 against Plymouth State.
- Sheridan and fellow back Stephen Roy (Northborough, Mass.) are ranked first and second, respectively, in the MASCAC in all-purpose yards.
- Mathurin was all over the field on defense, registering a forced fumble, an interception, a team-high eight tackles (including 3.5 for loss) and two QB hurries.
- Bullock's fumble recovery was the third on his career, and sophomore Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.) gathered his first career interception on the game.
- UMass Dartmouth has never previously scored 40-plus points in three-straight games since the program began playing at the varsity level in 1988.
The Corsairs are back on the road next Saturday, Sept. 24, traveling to 3-0 MASCAC foe Plymouth State for a 1 p.m. kickoff.