DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Junior quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) threw for 338 yards and a school-record six touchdowns to lead UMass Dartmouth to a 54-7 non-league college football victory over Alfred State in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
Gacioch connected with senior Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.) from 30 yards out just 65 seconds into the contest for the host Corsairs (1-0), and he added four more scoring strikes in the second stanza that included a pair to junior Brendan Cuthill (Fall River, Mass.). Seniors Jacen Hudson (Hudson, N.H.) and Jeremy Jackson (Middletown, R.I.) were on the receiving end of respective 24 and 11 yard second quarter touchdown receptions that extended UMass Dartmouth's lead to 33-0 at the break, and Gacioch hooked up with junior Leroy Brown (Milton, Mass.) on his record setting toss from 62 yards out on the hosts' first possession of the second half. The Corsairs received rushing scores from junior Olawale Junaid (Boston, Mass.) and freshman Luis Gonzalez (Greenacres, Fla.) from 17 and 24 yards out to close out their scoring, and the visiting Pioneers accounted for the final margin with just under 12 minutes to play in the contest when senior Darrius Nichols (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hauled in a 38 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dashown Wilson (Bronx, N.Y.).
Gacioch completed 19-of-28 pass attempts on the day for UMass Dartmouth, which amassed 579 yards of total offense despite holding the ball for just over 25 minutes. Brown hauled in four catches for 134 yards to go with his score for the Corsairs, who received seven receptions and 76 yards from junior DJ Machado (Swansea, Mass.). Junaid and junior Jacob Francis (Middletown, R.I.) combined for 101 rushing yards for the hosts, who have scored a combined 103 points in two series meetings with the visitors.
Alfred State collected 170 yards of total offense for the contest, as Wilson threw for 71 yards and his score while sophomore Ronnie Clark (Philadelphia, N.Y.) rushed for 96 yards on 15 carries. Senior Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.) registered seven total stops to lead a balanced Corsair defensive performance, which included six sacks and a pair of interceptions from sophomores Jay Bast (Cranston, R.I.) and Cedric Gutierrez (Beverly, Mass.). Freshman Andrew Pierre-Paul (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made nine solo stops in his collegiate debut for the Pioneers, who received three sacks from sophomore Elijah Rimpel (Queens, N.Y.).
UMass Dartmouth hosts Husson in a non-league outing next Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field that kicks off at Noon, while Alfred State entertains Hartwick in a non-conference clash next Saturday afternoon in Alfred, N.Y. that kicks off at 5:00 pm.