by Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
What a way to welcome in the new year with the Corsair’s kickoff at Mount Ida’s Alumni Field as the football team took home the win.
The players were ready to be back on the field again as the team worked together to succeed each quarter.
The Corsair offense was on fire from the start as Senior quarterback Cory Burnham took the Corsairs down a three and a half minute drive, and sent the ball flying to Senior wide receiver Kevin Wadsworth for a five-yard touchdown pass.
Burnham goes on to describe how he felt to be back on the field, saying, “We run a fast pace offense and we were clicking on all cylinders. We had a great game-plan going into Ida. It was cool to throw the first touchdown of the year to my boy Waddy.”
Throughout the second half, the team used fierce defensive structure and a rushing attack between running backs Stephen Roy, Michael Slaughter Jr. and Eddie Sheridan to keep up with the flair of the game.
Roy loved the feeling of being back, “Last weekend’s win at Mount Ida made me feel great about being back on the field. There’s nothing quite like stepping back onto the field after a long off-season. We’ve worked very hard as a team everyday and it made me feel good knowing we went out there and played a solid football game and came out with the win.”
The night ended with a 12-yard reception touchdown with only 7:16 left on the clock as sophomore wide receiver Abbi Bamgbose made the play.
Highlights look over to freshman wide receiver Kevin Gonzalez as he celebrated his first career catch with the team, as he completed it with a touchdown, marking the 40-9 win.
With it only being game one of the 2016 year, Wadsworth is already celebrating his Corsair career record as his 83-yard run marked his longest as he shuttled through 140 total yards with 13 carries.
Currently, UMass Dartmouth has a 5-2 record all-time against the Mustangs leaving them with a third straight win over Mount Ida.
Over the weekend, the Corsair’s took the field again for their home opener on the newly turfed Cressy Field, for a first ever meeting against Hartwick, where they were just edged 48-41.
Hartwick was fast on the touchdowns during the first and second quarters leaving it hard for the Corsairs to catch up.
However, Sheridan took a 42 yard run to bring the team back up to within 10 prior to the break at half time.
The players battled hard in the fourth quarter as Slaughter Jr. made a 40-yard touchdown run and Burchman landed a two-point conversion to bring the game back within range.
Slaughter Jr. like many had nerves for the first home game; however, he did not let them win.
“My first home game, my nerves were off the charts that day. First home game on the new turf in front of old alumni, parents, and friends. First carry just have the feeling in your stomach you don’t wanna screw up; but after that first good carry you get that confidence in there and that I will be having a great running day today,” said Slaughter. “All the nerves are gone and its just football now. It’s like a second nature at that point. Playing this game for 10+ years, I’m calm now and the game slows down and it’s a beautiful thing.”
With only minutes left on the clock, Burnham brought the Corsairs down 71 yards to connect with wide receiver John Beardsley for an 11 yard touchdown pass.
Just before time ran out and the Hawks took the win with two more touchdowns during the fourth by Tito Pichardo.
Although the struggle to stay on top was lost, the boys still made great plays.
Defensive back Tony Slaughter led the way for defense by gathering 11 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles along with a pass breakup.
Running back Johnny Mims and wide receiver Micah Gregory both landed their first career touchdowns for the Corsairs.
As the boy’s head into the conference, defensive end Louis Petrella knows the team is ready: “For our team this is the first real test for our program playing regular conference games from here on out. Westfield was a battle for us last year, but I think this season we’re more mature and game ready having such a large senior class.”
Petrella further discusses how the team is prepared, “Our offense has clicked on all cylinders having a strong offensive line with Cory Burnham at quarterback and Eddie Sheridan in the backfield. On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Faniel has done an amazing job getting us prepared for any offensive scheme we line up against.”
He continues, “Our goals for the season are to come out and prove we’re a powerhouse in the MASCAC and win a conference championship.”
The boys will be back at home next weekend with the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), starting Saturday September 17 with a 1 p.m. kickoff as the Corsairs host Westfield State.
You can follow the season’s schedule online at corsairathletics.com.
It is now time to play some football and make for a great season. Go Corsairs!