Sept. 19, 2009
FITCHBURG, MA-Host Fitchburg State scored 20 unanswered points in the second and defeated the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team, 23-7, in a New England Football Conference crossover game at Elliot Field Saturday.
The Corsairs, who were outgained, 331 yards to 243 and committed four turnovers to the Falcons' one, took a 7-0 lead on their second drive of the game. After stopping FSC on downs at their own 28, they drove 72 yards in 11 plays. Senior quarterback Chris Pinheiro (Norton, MA/Norton HS) completed three passes on the drive for 58 yards. The first went to senior wide receiver Marc Fiore (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS), a 39-yarder that brought the Corsairs to the FSC 35. The third went to senior tight end George Vasiliadis (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian HS), covered eight yards and put UMD on the board. Freshman Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) converted to give the Corsairs a 7-0 lead.
UMD reached the Falcon 48 on their next drive and had to punt, and Osols missed a 35 yard field goal on the Corsairs' ensuing possession. Fitchburg State got on the board on their final drive of the half, moving 66 yards in eight plays over the final 1:19 of the half. Evan Georgopoulos' 27 yard field goal as time expired in the first half sent the teams to the locker room with UMD ahead, 7-3.
It only took FSC three minutes and 23 seconds to take lead for good. They went 75 yards in seven plays on the first drive of the second half, taking a 10-7 lead when quarterback Jordan Cannava hit Carlos de la Rosa from 24 yards out. The Corsairs went three and out, and the Falcons went 69 yards in eight plays to take a 17-7 lead on Cannava's one-yard sneak with 6:45 left in the third quarter. Georgopoulos kicked field goals from 31 and 25 yards in the fourth quarter to account for the final score.
"We had the lead, and we let them run them run their two minute offense right at the end of the half, and get on the board, and that gave them some momentum," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We don't yet have that belief in ourselves that we have to develop when he have an opponent on the ropes. We need to do a better job of instilling that type of attitude, and that's something that is a product of youth and inexperience. We did get banged up, and some of our younger players came in and did a nice job. We have to do a better job of scoring points when we have the opportunity, and not turn the ball over. Our defense got worn down at the end, but they have some good players, including their quarterback and their running back, Steve Austin."
Sophomore running back Matt Brune (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS/Bridgewater State) led the Corsairs with seven carries for 37 yards, while Pinheiro completed 15 of 27 passes for 215 yards. Fiore caught four passes for 69 yards, senior receiver Blake Brown (Milton, MA/Milton HS caught four for 69 yards, and Vasiliadis caught four for 53. Austin rushed 23 times for 104 yards for the Falcons, and Cannava completed 16 of 26 passes for 185 yards. De la Rosa caught five passes for 85 yards.
The Corsairs dropped to 0-3 with the defeat, while the Falcons improved to 2-1 with the victory. UMD will host Plymouth State next Saturday in the annual Homecoming Game.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL