Western New England College looks for first win against Massachusetts Maritime

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England College football team goes after its first win of the season at 1:00 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 11) with a non-division contest against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

The Golden Bears fell to Norwich 35-7 in their season opener last Saturday (Sept. 4) in Vermont.

"We started off on fire, but couldn't sustain the intensity," said Western New England College coach Keith Emery. "We played tentatively and unsure after the opening drive. We had success at times on both sides of the ball and we need to build on that."

The Golden Bears forced a turnover on the opening series when defensive end Scott Wojciechowski (Adams, MA) intercepted a pass and returned it 17 yards to the Cadets' 18. Norwich then took over on downs after stopping sophomore quarterback Josh Lamson (Southington, CT) twice on rushing attempts from the one.

Trailing 28-0, Western New England College got on the board following a two-yard run by sophomore running back James Georges (Stamford, CT) early in the fourth quarter that capped an 80-yard, 12-play drive. It was his first collegiate touchdown.

Senior Jake Field (Long Valley, NJ) had a solid outing averaging 40.9 yards (with a long of 55) for nine punts, including four inside the 20. Sophomore defensive back Phil Tsopanides (Fairfield, CT) and senior linebacker Justin Bailey (Northborough, MA) compiled 14 and 10 tackles, respectively.

Emery expects a better performance from his team against the Buccaneers who lost at New York Maritime (15-12) in their opening contest.

"We need to learn from game one and get better for game two," he said. "Massachusetts Maritime is a well-coached team. They have an impressive running back in Nathan Sherr. We don't have a great look at them on defense because of the nature of the offense they played against last week, but they pursue to the football and tackle well."

Junior Nathan Sherr (Lynnfield, MA) rushed for a game-high 140 yards on 36 carries (his third career 100-yard outing) and added a fourth quarter one-yard touchdown in the three-point Chowder Bowl setback. He made the weekly New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division honor roll along with junior linebacker Mike Bois (Lakeville, MA) who contributed a career best 10 tackles.

This will be the first meeting between the schools in 24 years. The Buccaneers lead the series (which started in 1981) by a 5-1 margin after posting a 44-14 decision in 1986.