By Staff Writer Benjamin Pfeffer.
Last week, on November 3rd, the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs’ football team hosted and defeated the Massachusetts Maritime Buccaneers by a score of 20-0. This put them at a record of 5-4 with one game left, which meant that they could not have a losing record even if they tried.
The Corsairs had one final opponent, the Fitchburg State Falcons, to beat in order to have a winning record. The Falcons are 1-8, which should mean an easy victory for our Corsairs.
However, both the Corsairs and the Falcons were given a challenge. The final game of the season is senior day. This means that all seniors have to play in the game regardless of how talented the underclassmen are. This means that records mean less, and the tides of the game could shift completely and cause an upset.
On Saturday, November 10, at noon, the Corsair football team had its final game of the season. It was a slightly cooler, 45-50 degrees, brisk fall day with slight winds of about 15mph. It would have been perfect weather even if it was a hurricane because these seniors were ready to put everything on the line for the final game of their life. Nobody wanted their last game of their life to be a loss, but which team’s seniors would come out on top for their final game?
The first quarter started off with a fast pace. The Corsairs scored a touchdown first and scored 7 points, then the Falcons immediately answered back with a 71-yard rush but failed when they attempted a two-point-conversion, only scoring 6 points. Toward the end of the first quarter, the Corsairs scored again and had the lead at 14-6 after the first quarter.
During the second quarter, the momentum picked up for the Falcons. While the momentum picked up for the Falcons, it completely shut down for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs had a difficult time defending against the big run plays made and the Falcons ended up scoring another huge rushing touchdown, 64 yards, however missing the two-point-conversion again which made the score 14-12 in favor of the Corsairs. Toward the middle of the quarter, the Falcons scored another rushing touchdown, but again missed the two-point-conversion. Toward the end of the half, the Falcons had a receiving touchdown for the first time all game and finally converted a two-point-conversion.
The score by the end of the first half was 26-14 in favor of the Falcons.
The third quarter of this game was not nearly as eventful as the second. There was only one touchdown all quarter and it was by the Falcons, but again they missed the two-point-conversion. Going into the fourth quarter, the Corsairs were down 32-14. They needed 18 points to make any changes in this game.
The Corsairs knew this and were ready to follow through with it. They drove down the field with the ball and unfortunately fumbled it within 5 yards of the end zone, and it was recovered by the Falcons.
This did not stop the Corsairs’ spirit and motivation. They did everything exactly as they needed to throughout the rest of the game, apart from a few fouls. The Corsairs scored a touchdown and extra point to make the score 21-32 and deplete the lead to 11. Next, they forced a punt and then scored again, but this time attempted a two-point-conversion and succeeded.
The score was then 29-32 Falcons with the Corsairs kicking off and 31 seconds on the clock. All they needed was a field goal and they could have completed the comeback. To get a chance at a field goal they needed to attempt and recover an onside kick.
The onside kick was powerful; it went all the way near field goal range. The Corsairs raced down the sideline to recover the, then eligible to recover, ball. A Corsair dives on the ball in bounds and that’s it! The Corsairs have a field goal chance to win! Right?
No. Not right. The referees give the ball to the Falcons. They knee it and it is game over.
The Corsairs end the season with a .500 record (5-5). They do not have a winning record, but they also do not have a losing one either. Things have been quite a bit better this year than last year, so things are looking up for Corsair football in 2019.