By Nicole Belair, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth was held to only 278 total yards on Friday night away at Bridgewater State, in stark contrast to their season average of 465 total yards per game.
UMass Dartmouth mustered only 177 rushing yards on the night, which was just one more yard than their season-low performance of 176 yards against Plymouth State two weeks ago.
Bridgewater State ended up taking a 27-19 victory against the Corsairs on Friday, holding on to their first place lead in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.
UMass Dartmouth now stands at 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Conference.
Score-wise, Friday’s game was a close one.
Right away, the Bridgewater State University Bears weren’t wasting any time; return man Malik Garrett ran the opening kick back for 62 yards, setting the Bears up at the Corsairs’ 18-yard line.
Six plays later, the Bears found paydirt when Malik caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Danny Higgins. The PAT was blocked by defensive lineman Marcel Flynn.
UMass Dartmouth did not have a quality scoring opportunity until there were six minutes left in the first quarter, when senior cornerback Scott Tupper intercepted a Bridgewater State throw on the 26-yard line.
Following the interception, Johnny Mims punched it in for a five-yard touchdown.
The score was tied at six at the start of the second quarter, but the Bears scored again just three minutes in.
The Corsairs were starting to feel more confident when they tied the game at 13 halfway through the second quarter. Cory Burnham found John Beardsley for a 34-yard touchdown reception, and the kick for the extra point was good.
Bridgewater State running back Alex McLaughlin scored his team’s third touchdown with under a minute and 30 seconds left in the half, sending the Bears into the third quarter with a 20-13 lead.
The third quarter was uneventful for both teams overall, but the Corsairs hadn’t given up hope and were preparing themselves to come back strong in the fourth quarter.
With just under seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, UMass Dartmouth’s John Beardsley collected his second touchdown pass of the night from Cory Burnham. This time, for 28 yards.
The Corsairs were relying on that extra point to tie it up. However, the kick attempt for the extra point fell short, leaving the score at 19-20 with the Corsairs still trailing and only six minutes left to go.
With the clock at 2 minutes and 11 seconds, Bears’ Malik Garret rushed for twelve yards to get his second touchdown on the night, and UMass Dartmouth reclaimed possession with 2:06 remaining. Junior Eddie Sheridan then broke free for a 25-yard dash.
Things were looking up for the Corsairs, but an offensive pass interference call pulled the visitors back.
On the next play, Bridgewater State’s Juan Gonzalez intercepted a pass from Cory Burnham, leaving the Corsairs unable to catch back up.
Without the time to score another touchdown, the game ended with a final score of 27-19 with the Bears coming out on top.
UMass Dartmouth will stay on the road next Saturday, heading to Worcester State for a 2 p.m. kickoff.