– Western New England will host Nichols at 1:00 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 24) during Homecoming Weekend in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division opener for both teams.
The Golden Bears have a 2-1 record after winning their second straight President's Cup trophy with a 20-10 decision over host Westfield State on September 16.
WNE forced seven turnovers (five interceptions) and compiled nine sacks in the contest in winning at Westfield State for the first time since 1999.
"It was great to bring the Cup home to Springfield. I had never done that before," said Western New England coach Keith Emery
. "Westfield State is always a well-coached team and I'm happy we stepped up our game defensively."
Senior quarterback Bryce Brown
(Guilford, CT) and senior running back JJ Jachym
(Milford, CT) each ran for touchdowns while freshman Nick Fox-Edele
(Springfield, MA) kicked his first two college field goals (23 and 31 yards) for the Golden Bears' points. Senior linebacker Todd Krolikowski
(Bristol, CT) had seven tackles (including four for losses) and three sacks to pace the defense. Sophomore linebacker Brandon Ormsby
(Windsor, CT) also had seven stops.
Junior defensive back Alex Miller
(Seekonk, MA) had the first two interceptions of his career and made the weekly NEFC honor roll for his performance.
Brown leads Western New England with 544 yards (310 passing, 234 rushing) in two games and has accounted for five touchdowns, including three on the ground. Ormsby and sophomore tackle Kevin Soule
(Medfield, MA) are one-two in tackles with 21 and 20, respectively. Junior linebacker Nolan Rickard
(Southington, CT) has 19 stops with Miller and junior defensive end James Georges
(Stamford, CT) each have 18.
WNE's kicking game is doing well as Fox-Edele is fourth in the conference with 14 points, including a perfect eight-for-eight in extra points. Sophomore backup quarterback John Krafick
(New Milford, CT) is fourth in punting with a 36.4 average with a long of 60 that is the second best in the league.
The Golden Bears, who held the Owls to minus one yard rushing and just 147 yards, are second in the 16-team NEFC in total defense (247.0 avg.) and second in pass defense (95.7).
Western New England is seventh in the league in total offense (343.3), tied for seventh in scoring defense (17.7), and ninth in scoring offense (20.7).
Nichols dropped to 0-3 following a 49-3 loss at Worcester State on September 17. The Bison have allowed 124 points this season while scoring only 36 points, which both ranked near the bottom of the conference.
Junior quarterback Dan Snyder
(Stoughton, MA) and sophomore Jacob Shoup
(Boca Raton, FL) have combined for 334 yards passing and a touchdown. Freshman fullback Felipe Njiem
(Stoughton, MA) has a team high 108 yards rushing with a touchdown while sophomore running back Irie Perry
(West Palm Beach, FL) is right behind with 107 yards. Junior linebacker Peter Curto
(Braintree, MA) leads the squad with 27 tackles.
Nichols rookie coach Kevin Loney
is a 1999 graduate of Dickinson College, the same alma mater of Emery who graduated from the Pennsylvania school five years earlier. Both coaches were football standouts for the Red Devils during their undergraduate careers.
"I have great respect for Kevin and I'm looking forward to facing him and his team on the field. Nichols has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and has the potential to explode at any time. It's our job to make sure they don't do that," stated Emery
This is will be the 27th meeting between the schools with Nichols leading the series (which began in 1981) by a 14-12 margin. Western New England has won the last four meetings after claiming a 28-10 victory last year in Springfield.