BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University football team limited visiting UMass Dartmouth to just 120 yards of total offense and two first half field goals as the Bears downed the Corsairs, 31-6, in New England Football Conference (NEFC) action on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
Bridgewater improves to 2-0 on the season with the win, while UMass falls to 0-2.
Junior wide receiver Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) led the way offensively for the Bears as he caught five passes for a career high 112 yards and two touchdowns. Green, who averaged 22.4 yards per catch, hauled in TD receptions of 47 and 15 yards.
Senior defensive tackle Paul Melicharek (Glen Rock, N.J.) had a monster performance on the defensive side of the ball as he registered 11 tackles (nine solo), including 4 ½ for loss . Melicharek also recorded 1 ½ sacks and forced a fumble.
The Bears opened the scoring with 7:07 remaining in the first half as senior quarterback Caleb Gelsomino (North Scituate, R.I.) connected with Green on the 47-yard touchdown.
UMass would manage just 41 yards of total offense in the opening half, but were aided by three BSU turnovers. Senior kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, N.J.) booted field goals of 39 and 23 yards in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 7-6. The second field goal was set up by a Joune Fraser (Barnstable, Mass.) interception and subsequent 47 yard return.
BSU sophomore placekicker Jarred Diorio (Kingston, N.H.) closed out the scoring in the first half with a 26-yard field goal as the Bears took a 10-6 lead into the intermission.
It would be all Bridgewater State in the second half. Junior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) gave the Bears a 17-6 advantage on a eight-yard touchdown run on BSU's opening possession of the third quarter. Later in the period, senior tailback Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) capped off an eight-play, 76-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run. Green would cap off the scoring with 1:07 left in the third as he and Gelsomino would connect on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The Bears racked up 392 yards of total offense and outrushed the Corsairs by a margin of 171 to 18.
Gelsomino completed 9 of 16 passes for 149 yards and two scores while adding 20 yards on the ground on three carries. Along with his 112 receiving yards, Green also added a 39 yard run on an end around which set up Diorio's late first half field goal.
In addition to Melicharek's outstanding defensive performance, sophomore linebacker David Silvia (Barrington, R.I.) added six solo stops, while junior defensive end Tate Doehler (Lakeville, Mass.) chipped in with six tackles including 1 ½ for loss. Junior safety Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) registered four solo tackles to go along with an interception.
The UMass defense was paced by junior safety William Bizcaino (Dorchester, Mass.) who notched 11 tackles (nine solo). Fraser finished with eight tackles (one for loss) in addition to his interception. Junior linebacker Joe Texeira (Seekonk, Mass.) added five solo stops along with a forced fumble, an interception and a pass breakup.
In upcoming action, Bridgewater hosts Endicott College next Saturday at noon, while UMass travels to Framingham State for a one o'clock game with the Rams.