Norwich Opens ECFC Play with Home Win

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NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University football team racked up 479 yards of total offense in rolling past Becker College 38-20 in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference action Sept. 24 in front of a large crowd at Sabine Field. Coach Mark Murnyack's team jumped out to a 28-0 lead midway through the third period en route to the win.

"I was happy for the guys today," Murnyack said. "They really earned this win with a hard week of practice. It was a great start… getting out to the21-0 lead at halftime. The offense was really clicking early, and our defense looked very strong in the first half."

Senior Andrew Fulford (Gloucester, Mass.) and freshman Derrick Pitts (Schenectady, N.Y.) both gained over 100 yards on the ground for the Cadets. Fulford finished with 117, while Pitts turned in 116. Junior quarterback Kris Sabourin (Georgia, Vt.) added two touchdown passes as part of 169 yards of total offense.

Norwich (1-3, 1-0 ECFC) opened the scoring when junior running back Danny Triplett (Haverhill, Mass.) bounced the ball outside and ran into the end zone untouched.  The score capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive and put the Cadets up 7-0 with 8:52 left in the opening frame. The Maroon and Gold would strike again in the opening stanza when Sabourin hit freshman wide receiver Brandon Metz (Parkland, Fla.) wide open in the flat for a four-yard score.  The play finished an eight-play, 84-yard drive. NU pushed its advantage to 21-0 when Pitts found the end zone on a 54-yard scamper just before halftime.

The home team scored on their opening drive of the third quarter when Fulford plowed into the end zone to make it 28-0. Becker (0-4, 0-1 ECFC) answered with 20 of the next 30 points to make the final 38-20.

"I'm a little concerned about the troubles we had finishing in the second half, but we got a good win to start conference play," Murnyack said. "It's a matter of building from this point."

Defensively, the Cadets were led by sophomore linebacker Jimmy Labell (Stanhope, N.J.) with four tackles including a sack. Classmate Stephen Gilmore (Norton, Mass.) also added three tackles, while senior linebacker Jason Springer (Fall River, Mass.) and sophomore defensive back Dan Gogan (Keansbury, N.J.) registered three stops apiece.

Connor Duhaime and Melvin Booker paced BC's defense as both players piled up eight tackles apiece. Quarterback Robert Baker was the offensive star of the day for the Hawks going 20-for-33 for 251 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 58 yards rushing.

Norwich looks to continue its strong ECFC start when Mount Ida visits Sabine Field for a 2 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 1. The game highlights Homecoming 2011 festivities.