Western New England Stifles UMass-Dartmouth on both sides of the ball on Senior Day
Box Score SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Western New England University shined on both sides of the ball as the host Golden Bears routed UMass-Dartmouth, 38-12, on Senior Day in New England Football Conference-Boyd Division action at Golden Bear Stadium on Saturday. With their fifth consecutive win in the series, the Golden Bears end the regular season with a 6-4 record and 4-3 in the NEFC Boyd standings. The Corsairs finish at 1-9 and 1-6.
Before the game, the WNE senior class and their parents/family were recognized at midfield. The 2013 graduating Golden Bears are the winningest class in the program's history at 31-12. Coach Keith Emery improves to 5-3 lifetime versus UMD.
Western New England rolled up 499 yards of total offense, evenly distributed between the running game (267) and through the air (232). Kevin Cook ran for 125 yards on 29 carries, and John Krafick completed 16 of 32 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
The Golden Bears defense was equally as dominant, holding UMD to only 79 total yards and seven first downs. Alex Miller, who this season broke Jim Churchill's 1981 record of seven interceptions with an NCAA-leading eight, led the team with seven tackles this afternoon. Nathan Fleming added six tackles and a fumble recovery.
It was an offensive struggle for both teams in the first quarter. On its first possession following a WNE turnover, UMD had a chance to take the lead but Edgar Osols missed a 23-yard field goal to the left. Western New England went up 3-0 on a 31-yard try by Nick Fox-Edele after the Golden Bears recovered muffed punt return at the UMD-21.
In the second quarter, Osols kicked a couple of field goals from 42- and 35 yards to give the Corsairs a 6-3 lead. The Golden Bears went ahead for good at the 6:48 mark when Kareem Hines caught a 61-yard pass from Krafick, who eluded two pass rushers and threw off-balance to Hines in stride, for a 10-6 advantage. Hines scored another touchdown when he recovered a WNE fumble in the end zone and the Golden Bears went into halftime with a 17-6 lead.
UMD's Derek Tarpey led all tacklers with 21 stops, including eight solo among his three for loss. Joe Texeira (12), William Bizcaino (12) and Joune Fraser (11) each posted double figure tackles.
Fraser returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown that helped bring the Corsairs within 17-12 to open the scoring in the third quarter, when WNE decided to run a play on 4th down and 9 at the UMD 19-yard line. That return was 21 yards more than UMD had for its entire offense, which averaged only 1-1/2 yards on 51 plays.
After the "pick-six", Western New England responded with a 7-play, 81-yard drive that was keyed by a 44-yard run by Cook. Krafick doubled the lead with a 19-yard scoring run to wrap up the third.
The Golden Bears put the game away in the final stanza on TD receptions less than 5 minutes apart by Tucker Schumitz of 15 yards and Rob Cannata for 13.
It was a sloppy contest as the teams combined for 11 turnovers and 23 penalties for 220 yards.