FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State football team hosted the Bears of Bridgewater State at Elliot Field this afternoon, falling 44-14 in New England Football Conference Bogan Division action.
Bridgewater State jumped out to a 21-0 lead with scores from Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.), Jake Scott (Somerset, Mass.), and Nick Pistacchio (Johnston, R.I.) before Fitchburg State got on the board at the 7:15 mark of the second quarter.
McCarthy opened the Bears scoring in the first quarter, capping an 11 play, 67 yard drive with a two-yard TD plunge. Scott hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Caleb Gelsomino (North Scituate, R.I.) late in the opening period, while McCarthy hooked up with Pistacchio on a 30-yard TD scoring strike with 8:56 remaining in the second quarter.
Spencer ended the Falcons scoring drought with a 15 yard TD reception from Christian Lopez (Bronx, N.Y.), but Bridgewater State closed the second quarter with a 39 field goal from kicker Jarred Diorio (Kingston, N.H.), his first of three field goals on the day, for a 24-6 advantage at the break.
In the second half, Bridgewater State wasted no time increasing its lead, using a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown from Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) to post a 31-6 margin.
The Falcons quickly answered as junior Jordan Burris (New Bedford, Mass.) took the ensuing kick-off 72 yards to set Fitchburg State up, first and ten at the Bears 18 yard line. Seven plays later, Burris connected with Lopez for a five-yard TD strike.
Fitchburg State would not inch any closer over the final 26 minutes of action however, as the Bridgewater State defense kept the Falcons off the board for the remainder of the contest. The Bears offense tacked on 13 more points with a pair of kicks from Diorio and a four-yard TD plunge for McCarthy to secure their seventh victory of the season.
On the game, running-back Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) led all rushers, posting 118 yards on 15 carries, while McCarthy threw for 145 yards with one passing TD and two rushing TD's. McCarthy added 56 yards on the ground on 12 attempts.
Freshman Luis Feliz (Clinton, Mass.) led all Fitchburg State rushers with 84 yards and 13 carries, while Lopez tacked on a pair of scores and 84 yards on the day.
The Bridgewater defense was outstanding all game long as the Bears picked off three passes and forced four turnovers. Along with Huber-Parker's pick six, junior safety Eddie Jewel (Amherst, Mass.) also intercepted a pair of passes.
The Bears defense limited the Falcons to just 212 yards of total offense, including just 84 yards through the air.
On the defensive side of the ball, juniors Talib Barksdale (Hudson, N.Y.) and Alex Alcala (Leominster, Mass.) paced the Falcons with ten stops apiece, while Andrew Anderson (Portsmouth, R.I.) led a balanced Bears approach with five solo efforts.
Fitchburg State (2-6, 1-4 NEFC) will be back in action next Saturday as it visits Worcester State University at 1:30 p.m. Bridgewater State (7-1, 4-1 NEFC) will host Maine Maritime Academy next Saturday at 12