(Image via @umassdathletics / Instagram)
Volunteer Writer: Nick Stabila
Saturday, November 19th
After winning the MASCAC title for the first time ever, UMass Dartmouth went to Ithaca for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Ithaca College showed why they were Liberty League champions and undefeated at 10-0, as they went on to defeat the Corsairs 63-20.
Ithaca was led by senior QB #15 Max Perry, who threw for 95 yards and a touchdown. Perry also picked up 83 yards rushing and added two touchdowns on the ground.
Senior QB #6 A.J. Wingfield and graduate student DB #16 Michael Roumes also threw touchdowns for the Bombers.
Ithaca College controlled the game through their rush offense, as they ran for 365 yards. The Bombers had three rushers with at least 80 yards: Junior RB #14 Jalen Leonard-Osbourne (89 yards and a touchdown), Perry (83 yards and two touchdowns), and junior RB #45 Jake Williams (80 yards and two touchdowns).
Ithaca’s defense did its part as well, as the Bombers forced five turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions).
UMass Dartmouth junior QB #6 Dante Aviles-Santos threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
The Corsairs picked up 145 yards on the ground. Senior RB #4 Luis Gonzalez rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore RB #9 Jalyn Aponte added 46 rushing yards.
Junior RB #13 Richarno Hylton added 41 yards on the ground.
Gonzalez and fifth-year senior WR #19 Keenan Little caught touchdowns for the Corsairs. Little led the Corsairs in receiving with four catches for 78 yards.
Sophomore WR #5 Angel Sanchez caught eight passes for 77 yards.
Junior WR #7 Antonio Stakely caught four passes for 48 yards.
Sophomore WR #17 Easten Coleman brought in three catches for 30 yards.
The Corsairs’ defense was led by fifth-year senior DB #7 JP Mason, who had 15 tackles on the day.
Junior DB #1 Logan Chappell intercepted a pass for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs went 9-2 overall and 8-0 in MASCAC for the season.
Dante Aviles-Santos won MASCAC Offensive Player of the Year and the New England Football Writers College season Golden Helmet award, which is given to the most valuable player in Division II and III football. Aviles-Santos threw for 3,189 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Aviles-Santos also added 180 yards and three touchdowns rushing.
Coach Mark Robichaud won Coach of the Year for the Corsairs, as they went on to win their first MASCAC title in his 16 years as head coach.
Aviles-Santos, Angel Sanchez, fifth-year senior OL #73 Andrew Paulus, and senior OL #72 Brandon DiChiaro all made MASCAC First Team Offense
Sanchez shined for the Corsairs this season, as he caught 59 passes for 1,181 yards and nine touchdowns in only nine games played. Sanchez, along with Aviles-Santos, made the New England Football Writers Association Division II/III All-New England Team.
Fifth-year senior LB #5 Javien Delgado made MASCAC First Team Defense. Delgado had 56 tackles for the Corsairs on the season. Delgado also had half a sack, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Keenan Little made MASCAC’s Second Team Offense. Little caught 31 passes for 534 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Logan Chappell, fifth-year senior DL #77 Marcus Elysee, and sophomore LB #45 Sam Alicea all made MASCAC Second Team Defense.
Chappell picked up 35 tackles, two interceptions, two and a half tackles for loss, one sack, and four pass breakups for the Corsairs
Elysee had 36 tackles, four and a half tackles for loss, and one and a half sacks this season.
Alicea picked up 45 tackles, 11 and a half tackles for loss, and seven sacks on the season.
Other notable performers this season for the Corsairs were JP Mason and Luis Gonzalez. Mason led the Corsairs in tackles with 64. Gonzalez led the Corsairs with 15 rushing touchdowns.
Jalyn Aponte led the team in rushing with 637 yards and added five rushing touchdowns.
Richarno Hylton had 580 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns this year.
UMass Dartmouth will now look to the 2023 season with high hopes as many of their starters will be back after this historical season.