DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Sophomore quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) threw for 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns as UMass Dartmouth limited Massachusetts Maritime to 94 yards of total offense in posting a 20-0 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
Gacioch provided the host Corsairs (5-4, 4-3 MASCAC) with the only score they would need when he connected with junior Kevin Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) from 13 yards out with 4:07 remaining in the opening stanza, and he extended that margin to 14-0 at the break by finding fellow sophomore DJ Machado (Swansea, Mass.) on a 34-yard touchdown pass with just over three minutes to play in the half. The contest, played in gusting winds for most of the second half, turned into a battle for field position over the final 30 minutes of play, as UMass Dartmouth accounted for the final margin on a one-yard scoring plunge from junior Connor Russ (Middletown, R.I.) on the last play of the third quarter that came after a fumble recovery by senior Tom Janicki (Albion, R.I.).
Gacioch completed 28-of-48 pass attempts and added 27 rushing yards to account for all but 11 of the hosts’ 406 yards of total offense on the day, as the Corsair defensive unit allowed just six net rushing yards in shutting out the visiting Buccaneers (2-7, 1-6 MASCAC) for the second time in three seasons. Massachusetts Maritime had a trio of scoring chances inside the UMass Dartmouth 30-yard line, as the visitors missed a 27-yard first quarter field goal and turned the ball over on downs on those occasions.
Machado finished with 10 catches for 166 yards in the triumph for the Corsairs, as he has collected 276 receiving yards in the last two weeks alone. Sophomore Leroy Brown (Milton, Mass.) and Gonzalez combined for 11 receptions and 125 yards for UMass Dartmouth, which recorded seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss as a team on the afternoon. Senior Jonathan Cistrunk (Alpharetta, Ga.) notched six total tackles and 1.5 sacks for the hosts, who received a sack and three tackles for losses of 15 yards from junior Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.).
Sophomore Colin McCabe (Dartmouth, Mass.) registered a game-high 10 tackles (eight solo) to go with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the setback for the Buccaneers, who received eight stops from junior Austin Stahmer (Wareham, Mass.) along with 1.5 sacks and a blocked kick from junior Kamil Bak (Southampton, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth hosts Fitchburg State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outing next Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field beginning at Noon, while Massachusetts Maritime travels to Bridgewater, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Bridgewater State in the 40th Annual Ocean Spray Cranberry Bowl that also kicks off at Noon.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '20)