– For the first time in its 30-year history as a varsity
program, the Western New England College football team has a 4-1
record after a 10-5 Homecoming victory over Salve Regina University
before 1,655 fans Saturday (Oct. 2).
This was the fourth straight victory for the Golden Bears who
remained perfect in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd
Division with a 2-0 mark.
Junior running back JJ Jachym (Milford, CT) ran
six yards for the game's only touchdown and senior Jake Field
(Long Valley, NJ) drilled a career best 43-yard field goal to
account for the Western New England College points.
The Seahawks took a 3-0 lead when sophomore Brendan
Deasey (Quincy, MA) booted a 20-yard field goal with 21
seconds left in the first period. The points came after sophomore
strong safety Matthew Markese (West Hartford, CT)
blocked a WNEC punt and freshman defensive back Joe
Michanczyk (Tolland, CT) returned it 10 yards to the
Golden Bears' 35.
Western New England College's defense stopped SRU three times
from the two-yard line to set-up Deasey's kick.
Jachym put the hosts ahead with his fourth touchdown of the season
on a fourth-and-one at the 9:10 mark of the second quarter to
cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive. Field then gave the hosts a
seven-point advantage with his third field goal in as many attempts
Salve Regina (1-4, 0-2 Boyd) couldn't take advantage of a
WNEC turnover late in the third period having a run attempt stopped
on fourth-and-goal at the two by senior linebacker Justin
Bailey (Northborough, MA). The Seahawks did gain two
points on a safety two plays later when Jachym was tackled in the
end zone by junior linebacker A.J. Albert
(Franklin Park, NJ) five seconds into the final quarter.
SRU used a 22-yard punt return by junior Michel
Dargan (Meriden, CT) to start a drive at the WNEC 30 with
10:48 left, but the Golden Bears' defense again took over on
downs at its own 29 with 7:31 left in the contest.
With time running down, Field delivered another key kick with a
45-yard punt to the SRU 31 with a minute to play.
The Seahawks quickly drove to the WNEC 28 before the game ended
when sophomore James Georges (Stamford, CT) sacked
junior defensive end quarterback Jimmy Connelly
(Berlin, CT) with an assist from junior nose guard Nate
Kuzmeski (Tolland, CT) on the final play of the game.
Western New England College had a slight 208-186 advantage in total
yards as the two defenses forced 16 punts (nine by Salve
Junior quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT)
completed 10-of-15 passes for 125 yards and didn't have any
interceptions despite being sacked six times. Junior receiver
Kenny Muhlack (Groton, CT) had five receptions for
Connelly struggled in his second career start completing only
13-of-31 passes for 91 yards. He didn't allow an interception
as well, but was sacked four times. Senior receiver Nick
Piscitelli (North Haven, CT) also had five catches for 35
yards. Sophomore running back Trey Scales (Boston,
MA) had a game-high 58 yards on the ground in 12 carries.
Georges (who had three-and-a-half stops for losses) and Bailey each
finished with seven tackles while freshman linebacker
Brandon Orsmby (Windsor, CT) contributed six
stops. Bailey also added a sack.
Albert recorded nine tackles for Salve Regina while sophomore
defensive back Maxwell Shubert (West Chester, PA)
had eight stops along with a pair of forced fumbles. Junior strong
safety Jeff Bartek (North Haven, CT) chipped in
with three sacks among his four tackles.
Western New England College has won nine of 10 contests dating back
to last season.
This also was the first 10-5 game the Golden Bears' played in
347 NCAA Division III contests dating back to 1981.