BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) rushed for two touchdowns and passed for one, and junior wide receiver Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) caught seven passes for 164 yards and a score, to lift the Bridgewater State University football team to a 41-24 victory over visiting William Paterson University on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
McCarthy, who registered 284 yards of total offense (188 passing, 96 rushing), ran for a pair of one-yard touchdowns and connected with Green on a 49 yard scoring strike.
William Paterson opened the scoring on a 58-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ryan Gresik to sophomore running back Darius Kersey (Dover, N.J.) on the game's opening drive.
On the ensuing possession, the Bears were forced to punt. However, on the punt, the ball was unintentionally kicked into the end zone by a member of the return team where it was recovered by BSU sophomore A.J. Pascuzzo (Wallingford, Conn.) for a touchdown.
A Blaise Branch (Brockton, Mass.) two-yard TD run with 7:19 remaining in the opening quarter gave the hosts a 13-7 lead (the PAT was missed). McCarthy increased the Bears' advantage to 20-7 on a one-yard scoring plunge just four seconds into the second quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 38-yard pass from senior Dillon-Huber Parker (Longmont. Colo.) to senior tight end Nick Jablonski (Assonet, Mass.) on a botched field goal snap.
With 7:59 remaining in the second period, McCarthy connected with Green on the 49-yard scoring strike to give the Bears what seemed to be a commanding 27-7 lead.
The rest of the quarter, however, belonged to the Pioneers who took advantage of a pair of BSU turnovers and scored the final 17 points of the period.
Gresik connected with senior wideout Brian Winfield (Newton, N.J.) on a five-yard touchdown pass and followed that up with a 12-yard TD pass to Kersey. Junior kicker Robert Sinegra(Wharton, N.J.) closed out the half with a chip-shot 18-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 27-24.
The second half was a different story as the Bears held the Pioneers to just 86 yards of total offense over the final 30 minutes including minus-ten rushing yards.
Branch capped off a nine-play, 82-yard drive to open the second half with a six-yard touchdown run to give the hosts a 34-24 advantage. Branch rushed for 35 yards during the series while a 30-yard pass from McCarthy to Green also highlighted the drive.
McCarthy would put the finishing touches on the victory as he scored from a yard out with just 3:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. McCarthy rushed for 17 yards during the 11-play, 72-yard drive and complete passes of seven and ten yards to Green. Bridgewater was also aided by a pair of William Paterson personal foul penalties.
The Bears outrushed the Pioneers by a margin of 240-44 and also held a decided advantage in time of possession (37:50 to 22:10).
Branch finished with 90 yards on the ground, while Green's 164 receiving yards set a career high.
The BSU defense forced three turnovers in the game including a pair of interceptions by Huber-Parker and junior linebacker David Console (Malden, Mass.). Console also added six solo tackles including two for loss and a sack. Huber-Parker's interception and subsequent 28-yard return set up the Bears' second touchdown of the game.
Sophomore linebacker Stephen Jacobs (Tyngsboro, Mass.) paced Bridgewater State with a team-high seven tackles (five solo) with two going for loss. Bridgewater finished with three sacks in the game and eight tackles for loss.
Gresik completed 25 of 42 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns but was also picked off twice. Kersey and junior wideout Mike Vannucci (Bethpage, N.Y.) were his two main targets. Kersey finished with 94 yards on four catches while Vannuci caught five balls for 71 yards.
Pioneer junior linebacker Ben Allen (Ventnor, N.J.) led all players with 11 tackles (ten solo) with two going for loss. Freshman safety Mike Nyantakyi (Brentwood, N.Y.) added seven tackles (five solo) including a sack.
In upcoming action, the Bears will host Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) foe Worcester State University on Friday night at seven. The Pioneers travel to SUNY-Cortland next Saturday for a noontime New Jersey Athletic Conference game with the Dragons.
Notes: McCarthy moved past Jason Imlach (2,031 yds) into ninth place on the Bears' all-time rushing list as he upped his career rushing total to 2,097…McCarthy also moved past bothPaul Bryant (2,723 yds.) and Kevin Cobban (2,902 yds.) into fourth place on the Bears' all-time passing list as he has thrown for 2,904 career yards…McCarthy also passed Steve Washkevich (160 pts.), Matt Carroll (154 pts.) and Mark Hull (152 pts.) on the Bears' all-time scoring list. McCarthy is tenth all-time in program history with 162 points.