Late Fumble Recovery Preserves 27-23 Western New England Win Over Curry
MILTON, Mass. – A fumble recovery by sophomore James Georges (Stamford, CT) on his own 1-yard line with 48 seconds remaining stopped Curry from scoring the game-winning touchdown and preserved Western New England College's 27-23 win over the Colonels. The Golden Bears improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division action. Curry dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in division play.
The first score of the game came on a 24-yard field goal by WNEC senior Jake Field (Long Valley, NJ). Curry responded on its next possession with a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior Harold Rose (Buzzards Bay, MA) to senior Dennis Void (Brookhaven, PA). That gave the Colonels a 7-3 edge through one frame.
The second quarter began with an interception by Golden Bears' senior Dave McCarten (Little Compton, RI). WNEC capitalized on the turnover by driving 72 yards on 13 plays, and regained the lead on a 5-yard scramble by junior Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT). Four minutes later, a 20-yard run by sophomore Mike Graham (Norwalk, CT) pushed the Golden Bears' lead to 17-7. The Colonels responded with a 10-play, 61-yard drive that was capped off by a nine-yard scoring strike from junior Mark Gilson (Mansfield, MA) to sophomore Robert Bambini (Westwood, MA) that pulled Curry to within three, 17-14, at the half.
Early in the third quarter, Colonels' freshman Jonas Duffrene (Waltham, MA) blocked a punt that went out of the visitors' end zone for a safety. Seconds later, freshman Leon Barnes (Boston, MA) returned the ensuing free kick 70-yards for a touchdown to give the hosts a 23-17 edge.
With time expiring in the third frame, WNEC retook the lead for good, 24-23, wrapping up a seven-minute drive with a 5-yard touchdown catch by junior Kenny Muhlack (Groton, CT). At 8:42 of the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears tacked on three more points, thanks to a 35-yard field goal by Field.
The Colonels got the ball back with just over five minutes remaining at their own 20-yard line. Curry marched down the field, reaching the WNEC six-yard line with 54 seconds on the clock after a 19-yard pass by Gilson to Bambini. But on the next play, Void fumbled the ball at the one-yard line and Georges recovered, allowing the Golden Bears to run out the clock.
WNEC held edges in possession time (40:56-19:04), total offense (370-247) and first downs (20-12). Brown went 12-for-16 for 178 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a team-high 88 yards on 23 attempts. Muhlack made five catches for 93 yards. Defensively, the Golden Bears were led by seniors Dylan Chandler (Durham, ME) with five solo tackles and Justin Bailey (Northborough, MA) with five total tackles (four solo).
Gilson went 10-for-17 for 97 yards. Void led the rushing game for Curry with 80 yards on 15 attempts. Bambini recorded six receptions for 70 yards. Seniors Kevin McCarthy (Foxboro, MA) and Bobby Driscoll (Milton, MA) led the Colonels on defense with eight solo tackles apiece.
WNEC resumes play next Saturday hosting M.I.T. at 1:00 p.m., while Curry travels to Salve Regina for a 12:00 p.m. kickoff.