Defense comes up big in Corsair victory

By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer

After a terrible loss to the Panthers of Plymouth State, the men of UMass Dartmouth Football recovered nicely this past week with a huge win over previously undefeated Western Connecticut State Colonials.

Over the course of this year West Conn. Has been putting up huge numbers offensively.

This made them a difficult match-up for the Corsairs as it has been the tale of two defenses for them this year.

In each of the Corsairs wins they have been nothing short of impressive by smothering opponents, giving the offense numerous chances to score with turnovers, and consistent three and outs.

However, in their second loss they looked something similar to the Patriots defense this season as they let up 37 against Plymouth.

That being said, this weekend the whether it was feeding off the energy of Homecoming weekend or just plain determination, the Corsairs came to play.

West Connecticut’s first possession was nothing short of embarrassing as the Corsairs smothered the Colonial offense for a turnover on down.

The offense made sure not to waste the opportunity they had been given by the defense.

Freshmen quarterback Stephen Gacioch lead a beautiful 66-yard drive down field and capped it off with a stellar 26- yard touchdown pass to Abbi Bamgbose.

The Corsair defense was evidently playing with something to prove.

West Conn. Brought D3’s fifth best passing attack in the entire country and through their first three possessions, it looked as if the West Conn. Coaching staff was playing checkers, while the Corsairs’ was playing chess.

In the second quarter though, West Conn. Did manage to put up some points in the form of a 28-yard field goal making the score 7-3 Corsairs.

While the Corsairs played fantastic defense the first half, it is ignorant to think that you can keep an offense as good as West Conn.’s quiet an entire night.

Early in the fourth quarter a lapse in coverage led to a massive 73- yard touchdown run for the Colonials giving them a 13-7 lead.

Gacioch would not be denied though as he managed to get the offense in motion a bit later in the fourth quarter. Gacioch managed to find a seam on the ground and rumbled forward for a huge 33-yard gain, which he followed up with a missile of a pass that would put the Corsairs in the red-zone.

Gacioch would do it again later in the drive as he connected with Jeremy Jackson for 10-yard touchdown pass and Gacioch second of the night giving the Corsairs a one point lead.

The Colonials managed to put up a great drive into UMass territory.

However, they simply could not convert due to brilliant play by the UMass Dartmouth defense.

Tony Slaughter managed to make the play of the game as he recovered a fumble within the Corsairs own ten-yard line.

Gacioch put together another brilliant drive that was capped off by a fantastic kick by James Hooker. Hooker nailed a 31-yard field goal to give the Corsairs a 17-13 lead.

The Corsair defense had another set of great stops to seal the game for UMassD and the win brought the Corsairs back to a .500 record and if nothing else proved that this team has the talent to win big games as well as beat high-powered teams.

The Corsairs are back to work this Saturday against Curry College at Katz Field.

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