Norwich handles WNEC, 35-7, in season opener

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Sophomore QB Kris Sabourin threw for
143 yards and three TDs in the 35-7
season-opening victory over WNEC.
Norwich athletics photo

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Sophomore QB Kris Sabourin amassed 273 yards of total offense and threw for three touchdowns as the Norwich University football team rolled past Western New England College, 35-7, in the team's season opener Saturday afternoon at Sabine Field.

Sabourin passed for 143 yards and the three TDs, while also leading the Cadets' ground game with 114 rushing yards. Norwich piled up 287 rushing yards and 442 yards of total offense, compared to just 124 offensive yards for WNEC.

Norwich (1-0) got on the board late in the first quarter when the Cadets marched 52 yards in four plays. Sophomore WR Chris Denton cashed in the drive when he hauled in a five-yard TD pass from Sabourin. Junior RB Andrew Fulford broke off a 36-yard run to set the Cadets up inside the WNEC 20-yard line. Three plays later, NU was in the end zone.

The Cadets added two more touchdowns in the second quarter to take a commanding 21-0 lead into halftime. Norwich used a 10-play, 67-yard drive, which culminated in a two-yard rushing TD for sophomore RB Danny Triplett. Sabourin took off for a 22-yard run to put the Cadets in position to score.

Norwich scored again with just 46 second remaining in the half as Sabourin found Denton with an 18-yard pass into the corner of the end zone. Denton had to go up and rip the ball away from the defensive back for his second TD of the day.

After holding WNEC to a three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, Norwich increased its lead to 28-0 as Sabourin connected with senior WR Emilio Martinez on a 52-yard touchdown pass. The play came immediately after NU converted a fourth-and-one play on a three-yard rush by Triplett.

WNEC (0-1) finally got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter when James Georges capped an 80-yard drive with a two-yard TD run.

Norwich capped the scoring midway through the fourth quarter when senior RB Kyle Marzeoti scored on a one-yard plunge. The Cadets' final scoring drive was set up by a 49-yard kickoff return by sophomore RB Orwin Etkins. The return, which was almost taken to the end zone, set up the Cadets at the WNEC 37-yard line.

Fulford finished with 56 rushing yards on eight carries, while Marzeoti posted 40 yards on the ground. Martinez was the Cadets leading receiver with six receptions for 88 yards and the one score, while Denton pulled down five receptions for 49 yards and the two TDs.

The Cadets' defense was dominant throughout, holding WNEC to just 59 rushing yards and 65 passing yards. Junior DL Brandon Fowler led the charge with a team-high eight tackles. Senior DB Charles Stiles chipped in with seven stops.

Norwich possessed the ball for nearly 35 minutes in the contest.

The Cadets picked up right where they left off last year, extending their win streak to nine straight games.

Norwich returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 11, when the Cadets travel to Canton, N.Y., to battle longtime rival St. Lawrence University. Kickoff for the non-conference showdown is set for 1 p.m.