- The Western New England College football team defeated MIT
27-10 for its school record sixth consecutive victory Saturday
afternoon (Oct. 16) during Family & Friends Weekend. The Golden
Bears raised their record and remained unbeaten in the
New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division with
a 4-0 mark.
WNEC is now tied with Plymouth State for the division lead after
the Panthers posted a 10-3 decision over Endicott today. The Golden
Bears visit PSU next Saturday in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Western New England College overcame to slow start to finish with
484 yards, including 371 on the ground. It was its second best
total of the season in both categories.
Junior quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT)
continued his fine play by rushing for a season high 111 yards
on 14 carries (7.9 avg.) and two touchdowns. He also completed
12-of-18 passes for 113 yards and no interceptions.
MIT (1-5, 0-4 Boyd) provided a strong challenge taking a 3-0 lead
on its second possession when freshman Matthew
Peterson (Klein Oak, TX) kicked a 22-yard field goal at
5:24 of the opening period. The Engineers thwarted a scoring drive
near the end of the quarter stopping the hosts on a fourth down
play at the MIT 18.
Western New England College scored its first touchdown when
sophomore free safety Phil Tsopanides (Fairfield,
CT) recovered a fumble and returned it two yards to the MIT 36
with 1:18 left in the stanza. Six plays later sophomore running
back Mike Graham (Norwalk, CT) (14 carries, 74
yards) scored from the one just seven seconds in the second
After forcing a punt, the Golden Bears scored again on their next
possession to take a 13-3 advantage when Brown raced 35 yards
on fourth down for a score at the 8:05 mark.
The Engineers quickly answered going 61 yards in two
plays starting when senior receiver Mike
Fitzgerald (Wilmington, MA) caught a
nifty 57-yard pass from freshman quarterback John
Wenzel (Mandeville, LA) who then ran four yards to cut the
margin to three just 39 seconds later.
That was the score at halftime and the Golden Bears' defense kept
the visitors off the board the rest of the way
MIT again stopped a scoring drive when a fourth-down pass
by Brown from the visitors' four fell incomplete in the end
zone on the first possession of the third quarter. Brown
later hit the end zone on a three-yard run to cap a
four-play, 53-yard drive with 6:13 left in the period.
Western New England College scored its final touchdown when
freshman running back Brody Brandstatter (Ansonia,
CT) burst through the middle and rambled 20-yard for his first
collegiate touchdown on his first collegiate carry with 6:29 left
in the contest.
Junior running back JJ Jachym (Milford, CT) added
74 yards rushing on 11 carries while Brandstatter had 46 yards on
three carries. Junior receiver Kenny Muhlack
(Groton, CT) had a game-high seven receptions for 56 yards.
The Golden Bears put together another solid defensive showing as
freshman defensive tackle Kevin Soule (Medfield,
MA) compiled eight tackles, which included a sack.
Freshman linebacker Brandon Ormsby (Windsor, CT)
added seven tackles while senior linebacker Dylan
Chandler (Durham, ME) and junior defensive end Rob
Kampson (West Islip, NY) each contributed five
MIT finished with 269 total yards as Wenzel was 9-of-15 passing for
129 yards as he and senior Kyle Johnson (Fairview,
NC) alternated quarterback. Johnson started the contest and
ran for a team high 32 yards on 10 carries while completing 5-of-8
passes for 74 yards. Fitzgerald had five catches for 117 yards.
Freshman linebacker Jake Laux (Dousman, WI)
compiled a game best 14 tackles. Junior linebacker Peter
Gilliland (Grand ledge, MI) had 13 stops. Freshman
defensive back Matt Merlino (Vancouver, WA)
chipped-in with 11 tackles and a pair of pass breakups.
Before the game, Western New England College coach
Keith Emery accepted an award on behalf of his
team from Colleen Loveless, the Executive Director
of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together, for their
community service efforts. WNEC Athletics Department Community
Outreach Director Jenn Kolins assisted with