BRIDGEWATER, Mass. --- Bridgewater State junior Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) hauled in a school-record five touchdown receptions and senior Mike McCarthy(Edgartown, Mass.) accounted for 361 yards of total offense to help lead the Bears to a 51-20 victory over Worcester State on the inaugural weekend of MASCAC play.
Both squads now sport identical 2-1 records on the season while BSU improves its mark to 18-10 in the all-time series. Tonight's victory also marked the 60th for head coach Chuck Denune (60-24, .714)
Green finished with six receptions for 202 yards as he bettered the previous school receiving touchdown mark that had been held by Ben Bascon (Salve Regina - 2004) andAndy Macaione (MIT – 1998). Green also tied Steve Marshall's BSU record for touchdowns in a game with his five scores. Marshall rushed for five TDs in a game against Westfield State in 1990. Green's receiving yardage total is the most since Bascon finished with 204 yards against Mass. Maritime on November 5, 2005.
McCarthy went 14-for-23 with a career-best 263 yards in the air with five touchdowns while he rushed 22 times for 98 yards on the ground and one score. McCarthy equaled the program standard for passing touchdowns that was shared between Paul Bryant (Mass Maritime – 2002) and Adam Cambreco (2004 – Nichols, Salve Regina).
Bridgewater State also eclipsed the team single-game record for passing yardage with 323 yards. The 2006 Bears had originally established the mark of 313 in a Cranberry Bowl win over Mass Maritime.
Offensively for the Lancers, junior Matt Lezama (Milton, Mass.) ended the contest with ten rushes for 39 yards and two TDs while classmate Dana Barry (Hudson, Mass) hauled in a game-best seven catches for 79 yards.
After neither team did anything with their first possession, the Bears were aided by a key 17-yard completion from McCarthy to senior Chris Constantine (Hingham, MA) and a personal foul call that brought the ball into the red-zone.
McCarthy helped the hosts take full advantage with a seven-yard TD burst for the 7-0 score with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
The Lancers responded with a 14-play, 69-yard drive that saw junior Pat Viencek(Bernardston, MA) throw for 46 yards before Lezama tied up the game 7-7 with a one-yard plunge (1:52 – 1st).
Bridgewater State then went three and out on their next series, but caused a turnover on an instrumental strip sack that set the Bears up on the WSU 36-yard line.
McCarthy then flicked a 39-yard scoring strike to Green for the first of his five touchdown catches with 14:53 on the clock in the second quarter.
With a short field after a poor Lancer punt, the Bears increased their margin to 20-7 on a six-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Green at the 10:08 mark (PAT blocked).
The Lancers, however, did not go away quietly by putting together a drive with under 4:28 remaining in the quarter. Aided by a pair of clutch receptions by Barry on third down, Worcester State made it a 20-13 game at the intermission on a three-yard rumble into the end zone by Lezama.
With the ball to start off the second half, the Blue and Gold yielded a safety following a high snap on a botched punt.
On the ensuing free kick, Gentilli put the Bears in great scoring position with a 63-yard kickoff return that put the Bears inside Worcester State 10 yard-line. But the Lancers put up a goal line stand to hold the hosts to a 25-yard Jarred Diorio (Kingston, N.H.) field goal which made the score 25-13 with 12:32 in the third.
After the Lancers failed to get out of their own territory on their next drive, Bridgewater State ballooned their margin to 18 points on a 30-yard pass to Green for his third score of the game.
Worcester State did make an attempt to get back into the game on a one-yard touchdown run by junior Dana Valentine (Roxbury, Mass.) with 6:24 on the clock in the third quarter, but the Bears proved to be too much for the Lancers to handle.
Bridgewater State reeled off 20 unanswered points on a 54-yard touchdown reception from McCarthy to sophomore Michael Viola (Wrentham, Mass.) before Green put his place in the all-time annuls by hauling in back-to-back 60-yard touchdown bombs.
Green grabbed the first from senior John Criscuolo (Guilford, Conn.) following a lateral from McCarthy, and McCarthy tossed the other one with 7:13 remaining in the contest for the final points of the game.
Defensively, junior Adam Toman (Barrington, RI) led the effort for the Bears with a game-best nine tackles (eight solo) including 1.5 TFL and one sack. Senior Rob Ruggiero (Acton, Mass.) also had three sacks for 22 yards, a forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a pair of pass deflections.
For the Lancers, junior Mike Goulden (Rehoboth, Mass.) collected a team-high eight solo stops.
Senior Adam Straughn (Rockland, MA) finished with six solo tackles, one forced fumble and a blocked extra point in the second quarter while classmate Nick Doria (Watertown, Mass.) registered a fumble recovery and five tackles (four solo).
On special teams, senior Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) added 99 yards on kickoffs – in addition to his 46 rushing yards for a total of 152 all-purpose yards for the Bears. SeniorAlex Blakeslee (Shrewsbury, Mass.) averaged 39 yards on four punts for WSU.
Bridgewater State dominated the game offensively with 528 yards of total offense and they had five touchdown plays that went 30 or more yards. BSU also had 205 yards on the ground and limited the Lancers to 35 yards on 39 rushing attempts.
Tonight's points total was the most the Bears have scored in a single contest since a 64-28 triumph over Salve Regina on October 22, 2005. With their total offense tonight, it marked the most since racking up 533 yards against Mount Ida (422 yards rushing) on September 5, 2009.
With his 98 yards rushing, McCarthy moved past Steve Clark (2005-07, 09) and Dung Nguyen (1991-94) into seventh place on the Bears All-Time rushing list with 2,195 yards in his career.
Both squads continue MASCAC play next Saturday at 1:30. Bridgewater State heads to Fitchburg State while Worcester State hosts Mass Maritime.