Oct. 17, 2009
MIDDLETOWN, RI-The first trip by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team to Salve Regina's new home field was not an artistic success.
The Seahawks scored with 12 seconds left in the first quarter, 15 second before the end of the first half and again on the last play of the third quarter and went on to defeat the Corsairs, 49-14, in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Gaudet Field Saturday afternoon.
After SRU drew first blood on a one-yard run by quarterback Jeff St. Onge, UMD came right back, driving 65 yards in seven plays to tie the score on a one-yard run by freshman quarterback Brendan McNeish (Springfield, Mass./Bridgton Academy) midway through the first quarter. Sophomore running back Josh Marsh (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS/Iona) rushed three times for 33 yards on the drive, and picked up 36 more on a screen pass. Salve Regina responded by driving 79 yards in 17 plays, eating up 7:29 and scoring on a 13-yard pass from St. Onge to Michael Dargan with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Seahawks increased their lead when St. Onge raced 62 yards from scrimmage on a third and one at the SRU 38 with 5:18 left in the second quarter, then went up 28-14 The SRU quarterback then orchestrated a 42 yard, eight play drive that ended with Trey Scales' four-yard scoring run with 15 second left in the first half and gave Salve a 28-7 halftime lead.
UMass Dartmouth started the second half by driving to the Salve 29 yard line and turning it over when they fell short on fourth down. After an SRU punt, the Corsairs were stopped again, but took over at the Seahawk 25 when Nolan McGarrity muffed a punt by senior George Vasiliadis (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian). Two plays later, UMD was in the end zone when McNeish connected with senior wide receiver Marc Fiore (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) for a 16-yard touchdown to make it 28-14 with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter.
Salve Regina scored again just as the quarter ended. Taking advantage of having the wind at his back, St. Onge connected with Matt Shubert for 43 yards to make it 35-14 as time expired in the third period.
The Seahawks added a pair of scores in the fourth quarter. The first was set up when McNeish's pass was intercepted by Maxwell Shubert and returned to the Corsair five-yard line. Scales scored on the next play to make it 42-14. Matt Wierzbicki scored on a six-yard run with 2:04 remaining to account for the final score.
"They scored early, we came back and had a great drive, and they we gave up two more before the end of the half," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We came back with a nice drive, then we scored again, and we were playing pretty well, but they scored at the end of the third quarter and got two picks in the fourth quarter and ran one almost all the way back, and that put the game out of reach. Jeff St. Onge is a very good quarterback, he makes good decisions. When you cover well, he runs the ball, and he is a very effective runner. We had some success. Josh Marsh had some nice runs and (senior wide receiver) Blake Brown (Milton, MA/Milton HS) had a couple of nice catches."
Marsh rushed 15 times for 67 yards and caught two passes for 37 yards, McNeish completed seven of 18 passes for 99 yards, and Brown caught two passes for 38 yards. St. Onge completed 19 of 28 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed 16 times for 116 yards and two scores. Eight of his completions went to Nick Piscitelli, for 54 yards,
Sophomore defensive back Luke Poirier (Marshfield, MA/Marshfield HS) led UMD with 16 tackles, 10 of them solos. Shane Lange had 14 stops, including five solos, for the Seahawks.
"We played hard, and I was proud of our effort," said Robichaud. "There are definitely some things we can build on. We learn a little more and improve a little more each week, and we will get there."
The Corsairs fell to 0-7 and 0-4 in the NEFC Boyd Division with the defeat, while the Seahawks improved to 3-4 and 2-2 with the victory. UMD will return home next Saturday to host Nichols.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL