PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior quarterback Danny Higgins (Manahawkin, N.J.) threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third Saturday afternoon to lead Bridgewater State University to a 45-19 victory over Plymouth State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football game at Currier Field.
Higgins completed 16-of-21 passes for 207 yards and two scores, and ran for 56 yards and a TD. Sophomore Alex McLaughlin (Littleton, Mass.) also ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears ran up 547 yards of total offense. BSU won its third straight game to improve to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Sophomore Travis Bassett (Littleton, Mass.) hauled in six catches for a season-high 118 yards and a touchdown, while senior Michael Viola (Wrentham, Mass.) grabbed a career-high eight receptions for 86 yards and a score.
PSU freshman quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) threw a pair of touchdown passes, including a 62-yard completion to classmate Mitch Banuskevich (Milford, N.H.) in the second quarter but PSU fell to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the MASCAC.
Bridgewater scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions. Higgins connected with Bassett on a 22-yard TD pass just three minutes into the game. McLaughlin scored on a 10-yard run to cap an 85-yard drive midway through the opening quarter to give the Bears a 14-0 lead.
McLaughlin went into the end zone from 17 yards out just nine seconds into the second quarter to extend the margin to 21-0. That score was set up when senior Nicholas Salois (Warwick, R.I.) intercepted Edwards and ran it back to the PSU 31 yard line.
Plymouth State got on the board just 44 seconds later when Edwards scrambled in the backfield and found a wide-open Banuskevich down the right sideline for the 62-yard scoring play. PSU mishandled the snap on the extra-point attempt and had to settle for six points.
BSU came right back with a nine-play, 70-yard drive, capped by Higgins' one-yard run, putting the Bears ahead, 28-6. The visitors had another chance to score in the second quarter but a field goal attempt was blocked and PSU took over at its own 41 with 1:54 on the clock. Edwards guided the team into scoring position and connected with sophomore Jake Becker (Portsmouth, N.H.) on a 19-yard TD pass with 15 seconds left in the half. The extra point kick failed, leaving BSU with a 28-12 lead at the break.
Higgins connected with Viola on a 19-yard TD pass midway through the third quarter as BSU pulled away to a 35-12 lead. Senior Carlton Williamson (North Easton, Mass.) added a 15-yard TD run for the Bears on the first play of the fourth quarter, and junior Liam Murphy (South Hadley, Mass.) booted a 30-yard field goal with 9:52 remaining to round of the scoring for BSU.
Williamson finished with 91 rushing yards on 15 carries.
PSU added a late touchdown on a three-yard run by freshman Matt Ordway (Walpole, Mass.) with 33 seconds remaining. Ordway gained 28 yards on four carries on the scoring drive, and led PSU with 48 rushing yards on the day.
Sophomore Ronnie Shephard (Walpole, Mass.) led the BSU defensive effort with seven tackles, including six solo stops, while senior Marty Voorhis (Nashua, N.H.) made four stops. The Bears held PSU to 130 yards for the game.
Both teams play MASCAC games again next Saturday, as PSU visits league-leading Framingham State University for at 12 noon and Bridgewater State returns home to host Westfield State University at 4:00 p.m.
Notes: Higgins became just the fifth quarterback in BSU football history to reach the 3,000-yard passing milestone (3,052 yards)...Bassett became the 11th player in program history to reach the 1,000-yard receiving plateau (1,027 yards)...Bassett also moved into ninth place on the Bears' career receptions list with 63.