Football Downs Fitchburg State in Opener

Sept. 4, 2010

Final Stats

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team exploded for 21 points in the second quarter and went on to defeat visiting Fitchburg State, 37-15, in the 2010 opener for both teams Saturday afternoon.

The Corsairs, who ended a 12-game losing streak and won for the first time since defeating Endicott, 53-35 November 1, 2008, broke on top after a scoreless first quarter. Sophomore quarterback Patrick Orlando (Manchester, MA/Essex HS/Saint Anselm) took the snap and burst up the middle, scoring from 36 yards out to put UMD on top.

FSC went three and out on their next possession, and the Corsairs doubled their lead. Orlando completed a third down pass to sophomore wide receiver Joe Luiz (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) for 27 yards to set up a first and goal at the nine. A penalty moved the ball to the three, and senior running back Eric Pacy (Rowley, MA/Triton HS/Salve Regina/Dean) carried twice, scoring from a yard out on his second try to make it 14-0.

Fitchburg State came right back, driving 80 yards in 10 plays to score. Senior quarterback Jordan Cannava (Woburn, MA/Melrose HS) connected on three passes during the drive for 62 yards. Senior running back Darren Wilson (Lowell, MA/Lowell HS) scored from six yards out to make it 14-6. The extra point kick by junior Lenny Masciangioli (Leominster, MA/Leominster HS) was blocked.

The Corsairs expanded their lead when they took the subsequent kickoff and went 66 yards in just four plays. Orlando connected with sophomore Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Bridgton Academy) for 43 yards. Two plays later, the pair connected from 33 yards out to make it 21-6. The Falcons came back, taking advantage of a 63-yard kickoff return by freshman running back Johnathan Gomez (Fitchburg, MA/Fitchburg HS) to drive to the UMD 26. Masciangioli 26 yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half made it 21-9 at the break.

Osols capped a 51 yard, eight play drive when he drilled a 34-yard field goal with 6:10 to play in the third quarter. The Falcons took the ensuing kickoff and drove 67 yards to score on Cannava's 12-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jeremy Kimber (Fitchburg, MA/Fitchburg HS), but Masciangioli kick was blocked to leave the score at 24-15.

UMD then drove 73 yards on five plays. Orlando started the drive with a 40-yard completion to McNeish, and he finished it with a 15-yard completion to McNeish that made it 31-15 just prior to the end of the third quarter.

Fitchburg State threatened in the fourth quarter, with Cannava connecting with Kimber for 53 yards to put the ball on the Corsair 31 yard line. Two plays later, UMD junior linebacker John Cordasco (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Knolls HS) intercepted Cannava's pass and raced 76 yards down the sideline to cap the scoring and make it 37-15.

"We're still young offensively, and it took us a little while to get going," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "At halftime, I told them that we had to stay focused, and we came out and did a great job. This was the reverse of what happened to us all of last season."

Orlando completed 16 of 29 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 12 times for 76 yards and a third score. McNeish caught eight passes for 155 yards and two scores, while Hargrove carried 18 times for 80 yards.

"We wanted to get the ball and get settled down," said Robichaud. "Patrick's first throws were tight, but he got comfortable and he got better as the game progressed."

Cannava was 13 of 32 for the Falcons for 235 yards and a score, Wilson rushed 21 times for 73 yards and a touchdown, and Kimber caught four passes for 77 yards and a score.

Defensively, Cordasco had eight tackles for UMD, including a tackle for four yards of lost yardage, and the interception he returned for a score. Senior linebacker Christian Guzman (Lawrence, MA/Lawrence HS) had 11 tackles for Fitchburg State, including three tackles for lost yardage.

The Corsairs improved to 1-0 with the victory, while the Falcons dropped to 0-1 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will visit Bridgewater State next Saturday, while Fitchburg State will host Curry.

UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL