September 12, 2013

Western New England Looks to Retain Presidents' Cup Win Streak Intact (Game Notes vs. Westfield)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--The Western New England University football team will make the short trip on the Mass Pike on Friday (7 p.m. kickoff) when the Golden Bears square off against host Westfield State at Owls Alumni Field in the annual Presidents' Cup game. Here are some Week 2 notes:

MULTIMEDIA: Westfield Athletics plans to have live video Watch and real-time play-by-play accounts Live Stats of the game by using your computer, tablet or Smartphone with a strong Internet connection, so please click on the "watch" and "live stats" links.

RECORDS: Both squads are 0-1 come in at heartbreaking losses on opening day last Saturday. Western New England fell 49-40 to Springfield at home in the first-ever meeting between the schools separated by just 2-and-a-half miles, while Westfield got clipped by Nichols on the road, 28-27 in overtime.

THE COACHES: Keith Emery (Dickinson '94) is the winningest WNE coach in the program's history with a 45-37 record (.549) spanning nine seasons, including a 25-8 mark the previous three years. The Enfield, Conn., native earned New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division Coach of the Year honors for a second consecutive year in 2011 after guiding the Golden Bears to a 10-2 overall record, the NEFC title (and back-to-back division crowns) and NCAA Division III Football Championship appearance--all school records.

Steve Marino '71 is in his 24th year at the helm of his alma mater. He is 114-111-1 at the school, holding Owls records for seasons coached, victories, losses and games (226).

ALL-TIME SERIES: The Owls hold a slight 13-11 advantage since the schools first met in 1982 (a 34-0 WNE win), but the Golden Bears have been victorious in the last three meetings: 35-10 in 2012, 20-10 in 2011 and 17-10 in 2010. Western New England is 4-4 versus Westfield during the Emery coaching era.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Western New England will seek its fourth Presidents' Cup trophy in a row, after earning a convincing 35-10 triumph last season in Springfield. Quarterback John Krafick finished passed for 230 yards on 19 of 34 attempts against no interceptions and a pair of touchdowns. Alex Miller tied a WNE record with three interceptions and made five tackles to lead a defense that limited Westfield State to 283 total yards. Freshman Nathan Fleming added nine tackles for WNE to lead all players. 

CRAFTY KRAFICK: Senior signal caller John Krafick completed 70.3 percent of his passes on 26-of-37 attempts for 284 yards and three touchdowns (6 yards, 9, 32) and ran for another 28-yard score in WNE's first game of 2013 against the Pride. This is his second season as a starter leading the offense, and he set school records for pass completions (176), attempts (306) and tied another benchmark for touchdown passes (14) last fall. He owns a solid .590 career completion rate. Krafick is a NEFC honorable mention offensive player of the week nominee.

TEAM CAPTAINS: Krafick and fellow senior Kevin Soule, a defensive lineman, are the Golden Bears' captains this season. Krafick is a two-year captain who majors in sport management, while Soule is a criminal justice major.

KICKIN' IT: Ian Kennedy boomed a personal-record 60-yard punt last week that was downed to the Springfield 14. The junior, who averaged 39.1 yards a season ago, kicked seven times against the Pride for an average of 43.3.

LET'S GO FOR A WALZ: Last year's leader in receptions (37), receiving yards (463) and catching TDs (5), junior wide receiver Andrew Walz caught a 6-yard TD pass from Krafick in Week One. He finished with two catches for 26 yards.

BEEN THERE, DUNNE THAT:  Adam Dunne picked up where he left off last season against Springfield. The junior wing had a strong 2013 opener after an injury caused him to miss four games last year, but he still managed to catch 28 balls for 328 yards and a score. Last week, he had game highs of nine receptions and 89 yards along with a 9-yard score that gave WNE its biggest lead versus the Pride at 33-23 at the 12-minute, 56-second mark of the third quarter.

SOLID IN RETURN: Senior Brandon Ormsby, who last played for WNE in 2011, had an impressive return to the program on Saturday when he led all tacklers with eight solos and 13 total stops. As a sophomore, he tied Kevin Soule for the team lead with 70 tackles (36 solo, 34 assisted).

MOVING THE CHAINS: The WNE offense, which recorded 25 first downs versus Springfield, also had four scoring drives of 70 yards or more. Tucker Schumitz had a 32-yard TD reception that brought the Golden Bears within striking distance at 43-40 with 1:59 left, capping a 10-play, 86-yard drive in 3:50.

WORTH NOTING: In the Springfield game, the teams combined for five missed point-after touchdown attempts...the Golden Bears blocked three PATs or punts, including Walter Lewis, Robert Sihlanick and Scott Maille...freshman Isaiah Arthur-Brown was credited with a 6-yard punt return TD after Sihlanick got a hand on the punt block...Western New England had three takeaways...the Golden Bears are 3-for-3 in both Red Zone scoring chances and fourth-down conversions.
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