Volunteer Writer: Nicholas Stabila
On Saturday, September 17th, the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs football team took on the Framingham State Rams at Cressy Field. Entering this game, the Corsairs had not defeated Framingham State since 2016. But, not even a minute in, it was clear that it would be going differently.
Junior Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Sophomore wide receiver Mike Vincent, instantly setting the tone for the Corsairs in their first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game of the season.
This was the beginning of a 46-21 blowout victory for the Corsairs. Not only did the Corsairs end their losing streak to Framingham State, but they also ended the Rams’ 20-game conference winning streak.
Sophomore wide receiver Angel Sanchez made his debut for the team and did not fail to impress in his first game. Sanchez caught five passes for 161 yards, including two touchdown receptions.
Vincent caught five passes as well, racking up 88 yards and the game’s first touchdown.
Fifth-year senior wide receiver Keenan Little caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and finished the day with three catches for 35 yards.
Aviles-Santos put on a great performance, completing 18 passes for 321 yards, 4 TDs, and 1 interception. Aviles-Santos also added 22 rushing yards on the day. This performance from Aviles-Santos was good enough to earn MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week.
The Corsairs’ rushing attack was also in full force in this matchup. The balanced running game was led by sophomore running back Jalyn Aponte, who rushed for 58 yards on 19 carries.
Freshman running back Jacob Gibbons and junior running back Richarno Hylton also contributed to the running game, getting 46 and 45 yards on the ground, respectively. Hylton was able to punch in a score on a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter, giving the Corsairs a 46-14 lead.
The Corsairs tallied up 187 rushing yards total, contributing to a well-balanced attack on offense.
UMass Dartmouth wasn’t only efficient offensively Saturday. The defense was swarming all game and didn’t allow Framingham State to get into any groove offensively.
The defense was led by fifth-year senior cornerback JP Mason. Mason was all over the field, totaling ten tackles and forcing a fumble in the second quarter as Framingham State was nearing the red zone. Mason received MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week after this game.
Mason wasn’t the only defensive player to have a great day for the Corsairs. The Corsairs allowed no passing success for the Rams, only allowing 12 passing yards and getting three interceptions. Junior defensive backs Trell Best and Shane Meerbott both intercepted passes.
Freshman defensive back Gary Poyser picked up his first career interception for the Corsairs as well. Poyser brought the interception 55 yards, all the way to the one-yard line, before fumbling and allowing sophomore linebacker Sam Alicea to recover the ball for a touchdown.
Fifth-year senior Mekhi Geter had a great all-around game himself, totaling 8 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
The Corsairs ended the game with two sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles, leading to a blowout victory.
On Saturday, September 24th, UMass Dartmouth football traveled to Worcester State for their second MASCAC game of the season. Much like their first conference game of the season, they dominated from start to finish for a 41-20 victory.
The offense for the Corsairs continued to produce. The Corsairs established a balanced attack on the day, tallying 250 rushing yards and 407 passing yards for 657 total yards. The rushing game accounted for all four touchdowns in the first half.
Senior running back Luis Gonzalez scored the first rushing touchdown from three yards out.
Junior running back Richarno Hylton ran for two first-half touchdowns and added another rushing TD in the fourth quarter, totaling 3 TDs.
Sophomore RB Jalyn Aponte also added a one-yard TD run, giving the Corsairs a 28-0 commanding lead in the first half.
Junior quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos continued his great start to the season. Aviles-Santos completed 26 passes for 354 yards and a passing touchdown.
Junior wide receiver Isaiah Cole had caught the 10-yard TD pass from Aviles-Santos in the third quarter, giving the Corsairs a 35-7 lead.
Sophomore wide receiver Angel Sanchez had another great game, catching five passes for 120 yards, leading the team in receiving.
Fifth-year senior wide receiver Keenan Little caught two passes for 62 yards, including a 53-yard catch in the second quarter.
The defense for the Corsairs showed up for the second straight week. Limiting Worcester St. to only 214 total yards on offense, the Corsairs didn’t allow the Lancers to get anything going.
UMass Dartmouth racked up 9 sacks on the day, including 2.5 sacks by senior defensive linemen Josh Lacerte and 2 sacks by sophomore linebacker Sam Alicea.
Junior defensive backs Logan Chappell and Trell Best also recorded a sack each. Fifth-year senior JP Mason forced a turnover for the second week in a row, this time getting an interception.
The victory for UMass Dartmouth gives them a 3-1 record and 2-0 in MASCAC games. Worcester St. is now 1-3 overall on the season and 1-1 in MASCAC.
The Corsairs will take on Western Connecticut at Cressy Field on Friday, September 30th for a white-out game.
UMASSD FOOTBALL’S REMAINING SCHEDULE
October 6th 7:00 PM Vs. Mass. Maritime (Away – Buzzard’s Bay, MA)
October 15th 4:00 PM Vs. Westfield State (Home)
October 22nd 12:00 PM Vs. Fitchburg State (Away – Fitchburg, MA)
October 29th 12:00 PM Vs. Bridgewater State (Home)
November 12th 12:00 PM Vs. Plymouth State (Away – Plymouth, NH)