By Elijah Santos, Staff Writer
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs football team went on the road to Westfield State to take on the Owls underneath the bright Saturday night lights. Coming off of a 52-21 loss to Delaware Valley, the Corsairs had no trouble moving forward, dishing out an impressive 28-9 win against the Westfield Owls. The Corsairs were held scoreless for the first and second quarter but shut down the Owls offense in the second half to secure the comeback.
The first quarter was a bit of a moral killer for Corsairs. Westfield State got on the board only six minutes into the game, after Owl’s junior quarterback Jake Cassidy’s impressive 34-yardscramble.TheOwls then took advantage of the Corsairs’ lack of control as a penalty and fumble handed the ball back over to the Owls. Westfield State junior kicker, Corey Pooler then shot the ball through the uprights to give the Owls a two-score, nine-point lead over the Corsairs. While the Owls kept the Corsairs at bay in the second quarter, the third quarter proved that the Owls lead was temporary and exposed their inability to contain the Corsair pressure. The Corsairs began the third quarter recovering two back to back fumbles, the first of which a strip-sack by Senior Samuel Ejiasi for a 30-yard touchdown, and the second recovered and returned by Sophomore Sean Reall for a 42-yard touchdown. This was followed by another Westfield State fumble on the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by Freshman Javien Delgado and put the Corsairs back in scoring position at the Owls’ 23- yard line. The Corsairs offense would not let their spectacular defense down, as Senior Matt Mitchell found the end zone only two plays later to give the Corsairs their first lead of the game at 14-9.
UMass Dartmouth’s Junior quarterback, Jace Pena, made quick work of the Owls defense later in the game, capping off a seven- play scoring drive with a quick one-yard pass to Sophomore Jacob Francis to solidify UMass Dartmouth’s lead at 21-9. With three unanswered touchdowns, the Corsairs would not look back. The Corsairs scored once more for good measure, finishing off the third quarter with a forced fumble by Senior Jonathan Cistruck that junior Tony Slaughter would take home
This finished UMass Dartmouth’s dominant third quarter scoring streak of four unanswered that would see them head into the final frame up 28-9. Slaughter’s touchdown would be the last one this football game would see however, with a highly defensive scoreless fourth quarter.
UMass Dartmouth let up only 44 rushing yards through in the final three quarters, giving light to the defense’s impressive presence in the game. Some of the most impressive defensive play came from freshman Jacob Burkhead, with eight totals tackles and his fumble recovery, and senior Zach Howard, who made seven tackles, shutting downtheOwls.Onoffense, Pena threw for 76-yards, and freshman Steffan Gravely finished with 75 yards on the ground as the team’s top rusher.
The Corsairs next game is at home against Plymouth State, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup, on the 22nd of September, starting at 5:30 pm on Cressy Field.