Football’s Fourth-Quarter Comeback Effort Falls Short Against Bridgewater State

Football’s Fourth-Quarter Comeback Effort Falls Short Against Bridgewater State

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Despite outgaining the Bears in total offense and senior Michael Slaughter, Jr.'s (Springfield, Mass.) season-high 138 yards rushing, Bridgewater State managed to escape the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's comeback efforts in the fourth quarter on Friday evening.

The Basics
Score: Bridgewater State 24, UMass Dartmouth 22
Records: Bridgewater State (2-5, 2-3 MASCAC) | UMass Dartmouth (2-4, 2-2 MASCAC)

How it Happened
After the Bears missed a field goal on the opening drive of the contest, UMass Dartmouth made quick work to slice up the visiting defense. On second down with the ball on the Corsairs' own 23 yard line, sophomore quarterback Jace Pena (Middletown, R.I.) connected with junior Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.), who made good on a 77-yard catch-and-run for the early lead.

An uneventful remainder of the first quarter gave way Bridgewater State scoring in the second, kicking off 17 unanswered points. The Bears capped a six-play, 80-yard drive with Stefano D'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) completing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jack Lavanchy (Pembroke, Mass.) to even the margin at seven.

Later in the quarter, the Bears earned the ball back off a Jonathan Marrero (Boston, Mass.) interception, and carried their first lead into half when Russell Bolarinho (Acushnet, Mass.) converted a 26-yard field goal. Bridgewater State's opening drive of the second half extended the visitors' lead even further, when Nick Santavicca (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) rushed two yards for his first collegiate touchdown.

UMass Dartmouth then mounted its comeback in the fourth, beginning with 33-yard James Tooker (Harwich, Mass.) field goal to cut the game to one possession. Just three plays later, junior Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.) snatched the ball back for the Corsairs with an interception of D'Emilia. With just nine yards to traverse, Pena found freshman Leroy Brown (Milford, Mass.) for an endzone pass, but Tooker's extra point attempt sailed wide, keeping the hosts down 17-16.

Santavicca scampered in another touchdown for the Bears on the response, putting BSU's advantage at 24-16, but with 2:48 remaining UMass Dartmouth's Jeremy Jackson (Middletown, R.I.) took a reception 43 yards to put the Corsairs in the red zone. Bamgbose then scored again, this time on a shovel pass, edging the score to 24-22 in favor of the Bears.

After UMass Dartmouth's first attempt on the two-point conversion was called back on a penalty, the Corsairs were then unable to complete on the second try, leaving room for the Bears to eventually run out the clock after the kickoff.

Inside the Numbers

  • With the victory, the Bears improve their all-time series record to 18-12 against the Corsairs.
  • The Corsair offense compiled 388 total yards on the evening, its second-highest total of the season behind just a 448-yard performance against Westfield State.
  • Senior Marvey Mathurin (Woburn, Mass.) set a new single-game career-high in total tackles, bringing down the opposition on 15 different occasions, including 13 unassisted tackles.
  • Slaughter, Jr.'s 138 rushing yards sets a single-game high for UMass Dartmouth in the category this season, and ranks as the third-highest single-game mark on his career.
  • UMass Dartmouth's defense held Bridgewater State to just 151 passing yards.
  • Pena set a career-high in total yards with 262 on 15-of-29 passing, with two touchdowns and a career-long 77 yard touchdown pass.

Up Next

The Corsairs will travel to Worcester State next Saturday as MASCAC play continues, with kickoff slated for 2 p.m. Bridgewater State will host Western Connecticut for Homecoming on the same day, starting at 4 p.m.