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Westfield State 43, Nichols 21

More news about: Westfield State

WESTFIELD, Mass. - — Senior receiver Evan Berneche had five catches for 166 yards and a touchdown and also threw for a score, and senior defensive back Dave Jolicoeur scored two touchdowns, including a 90-yard interception return, to lead Westfield State University to a wild 43-21 season-opening football victory over Nichols College on Friday night, Sept. 3.

The opportunistic Owls, who led the nation in turnover margin last season, intercepted five passes, recovered two fumbles scored twice on offensive special teams play to overcome a 7-0 deficit after one quarter.

Westfield's first score - a one-yard run by Luke Johnson - was set up when sophomore defensive end Chris Walker recovered a fumble at the Nichols 8. Westfield took a 10-7 lead with 5:48 remaining in the first half on a 17-yard field goal by Chris Stengel.

The field goal followed a 56-yard pass reception by Berneche to the 1-yard line. The Owls were unable cross the goal line on three attempts and opted to take the three points.

Westfield took a 16-7 lead with 2:53 remaining on Jolicoeur's electrifying 90-yard interception return. Down lineman Keith Bateman set up the big return when he batted the ball high into the air on a first down pass attempt. Jolicoeur broke a tackle and outraced the Bison offensive for the thrilling TD.

Senior linebacker Bryan Anderson set up Westfield's next score with a brilliant diving interception at the Bison 38. On the first play, junior quarterback Tyler Dow and Berneche hooked up for a 38-yard scoring strike.

Nichols closed within eight points, 22-14, midway through the third period when it took advantage of one of two Westfield's turnovers, recovering a fumble at the Owl 27. Randy Hunter then caught a 17-yard TD pass from Sean Vaughan.

Westfield's longest scoring drive, 17 plays covering 77 yards, was capped with a touchdown on a perfectly executed fake field goal attempt. Berneche, Westfield's regular holder, took the snap, rolled to his right, and threw a 16-yard TD pass to Scott Erhardt, the Owls' starting middle linebacker.

Westfield took a 36-21 midway through the fourth quarter on freshman running back Kane Terilli's 29-yard touchdown run. This score was set up when Ryan O'Connell returned an interception 31 yards to the Bison 29.

Vaughan threw his third touchdown pass with 3:24 remaining, a 28-yard scoring strike to Mark Parker.

Westfield closed out the scoring with 1:46 remaining when Jolicoeur took an inside handoff on a fake punt attempt and sprinted 31 yards for a touchdown.

Dow completed 13 of 27 passes for 219 yards and no interceptions in his first college action. Westfield only had 89 net yards rushing on 32 attempts.

Vaughan completed 18 of 41 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns but he had the four picks. Reggie Belizaire had five catches for 110 yards and Daquain Yarrell was the game's leading rusher with 71 yards on 14 carries.

Erhardt was the game's leading tackler with 11 stops, including eight solos.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
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Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats