Mike Graham heads down right sideline on an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Freshman running back Kevin Cook (Hamburg, NJ) ran for a season high 91 yards and scored the first two touchdowns of his college career as Western New England defeated Curry 37-20 in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division contest before 1,375 fans Saturday afternoon (Oct .8).
The Golden Bears took advantage of five turnovers (three that led to 23 points) to remain perfect in the division with a 3-0 mark while improving to 5-1 overall. The Colonels are now 3-3 and 1-2 in Boyd action.
Curry took a 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game when senior quarterback Mark Gilson (Mansfield, MA) fired a 47-yard pass to junior receiver Rob Bambini (Westwood, MA) 3:01 into the contest.
Sophomore special teams standout Ryan Connolly (Cheshire, CT) recovered a fumble on a punt that led to a seven-yard run by Cook at the 10:58 mark. Freshman Nick Fox-Edele (Springfield, MA) missed the extra point attempt.
The Colonels lost the ball on another botched punt return that junior defensive back Alex Miller (Seekonk, MA) recovered at the visitors 44. Three players later senior quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT) fired a pass that freshman receiver Andrew Walz (Groton, CT) made a nice catch for a 31-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Curry pulled within 13-10 when freshman Chris Frissore (Wilmington, MA) connected on a 30-yard field goal with 7:47 left in the second period.
Western New England answered immediately when junior running back Mike Graham (Norwalk, CT) returned the kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown and 20-10 advantage. Junior Josh Lamson (Southington, CT) made a key block along the right sideline that contributed to the score.
Junior free safety Nicholas Silvester (Weatogue, CT) intercepted a pass by senior quarterback Anthony Carnevale (Oradell, NJ) (7-for-13, 44 yards) at the WNE 32 with 5:35 left that led to another score.
The Golden Bears held the ball the rest of the way and took a 23-10 at the break when Fox-Edele kicked a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the half
Curry bounced back dominating the third quarter and getting within 23-20 starting when Frissore drilled a 29-yard field goal at the 6:56 mark. Bambini (6 catches, 111 yards) hauled in his second score, this time on a well-executed 34-yard scoring pass from Gilson (7-of-16, 139 yards) on fourth-and-three with 1:31 left in the period.
After a Western New England punt, Miller intercepted a Gilson pass at the Curry 39 to set up another touchdown. Senior running back JJ Jachym (Milford, CT) ran five yards for a key first down on fourth-and-two at the Curry 26. Brown completed a 14-yard pass to freshman Kareem Hines (South Burlington, VT) and then ran12 yards for his seventh touchdown of the season to give the hosts a 30-20 lead with 9:51 left in the game.
Curry again had problems when sophomore Richard Johnson (Framingham, MA) muffed the ensuing kickoff with the ball going out-of-bounds at the one. The Colonels could only move to their 14 and punted with the Golden Bears taking over at the Curry 40 with 6:33 to play.
Cook ran six consecutive times and hit the end zone on a four-yard run with 3:21 left to complete the scoring.
The Colonels had a slight 307 to 290 edge in total yards, but couldn't overcome a rash of mistakes.
Brown completed 8-of-16 passes for 108 yards with three sacks and was held to only 32 yards rushing. Walz again had an outstanding effort with a team-high three receptions for 53 yards.
Senior linebackers Todd Krolikowski (Bristol, CT) and Mike Valentine (Newington, CT) each compiled eight tackles with Krolikowski also recording one of the team's four sacks.
Curry sophomore running back Phil Bigelow (East Orange, NJ) ran for a team-high 72 yards while freshman defensive tackle Parrish Rogers-Reed (Westfield, MA) had eight tackles, with three for losses along with a pair of sacks.