BRIDGEWATER, MA - Senior quarterback David James (Stamford, CT) threw for 283 yards on 18-of-23 attempts and four touchdowns to lead the Western Connecticut State University football team to a 42-33 victory at Bridgewater State University in the MASCAC opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field. Sophomore wide receiver Will Daniels (Bethel, CT) caught eight of those passes for 162 yards and two TD's. With the win, the Colonials improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 league play while the Bears dropped to 0-3 and 0-1.
After James connected with Daniels to convert on a 3rd and 17, the dynamic duo hooked up on the ensuing down. This time for a 27-yard scoring strike to put the visitors ahead, 7-0, midway through the first quarter.
The hosts retaliated with 75 yard drive on 12 plays which was capped off when signal caller Stefan D'Emilia threaded a pass to Colin O'Brien for a 20-yard touchdown just before time expired in the first.
As was the case on many possessions throughout the day, WestConn would begin its next drive with excellent field position at its own 42. James would rack up his second touchdown of the day when he found classmate Devon Smith (Wethersfield, CT) for a 20-yard score early in the second stanza.
The Bears countered with a long drive and deadlocked the count at 14-14 when Nick Santavicca bulled into the end zone from two yards out. He would have a stellar day carrying the ball as he rushed for 200 yards on 30 attempts to go along with a trio of touchdowns.
In addition to tossing four TD's, James ran one in from five yards out to once again put the Colonials ahead, 21-14. Moments later, Santavicca scurried in from six yards away. However, the ensuing point-after kick was blocked, setting the score with the Colonials ahead, 21-20, at halftime.
"Offensively, we were really efficient all game. David James had an outstanding day. Actually, it was probably his finest game as a WestConn player," said Colonial head coach Joe Loth. "It also marked the third game in a row our special teams unit blocked a kick," he added.
Bridgewater took its first lead less than five minutes into the third when Santavicca burst over the goal line from four yards out for his third rushing touchdown of the day. The Colonials responded late in the period when Smith found pay dirt from two yards away, giving the visitors a 28-27 advantage heading into the final quarter.
D'Emilia lofted a pass to O'Brien for their second touchdown connection of the afternoon less than six seconds into the fourth. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Bears with a 33-28 lead.
The Colonials struck back quickly. Less than three minutes later James zipped a 28-yard pass to senior Nick Kimball (New Milford, CT) giving the visitors the lead for good.
The WestConn defensive unit shut down Bridgewater for the remainder of the contest. On a 4th and 9 attempt deep in Bridgewater territory, James would find Daniels for his final scoring strike with 1:02 remaining to round the count out at 42-33.
"I was really proud of the way we played today. Our defense really stepped up in the fourth quarter," Loth concluded.
WestConn will seek to remain undefeated when they travel to Worcester State for yet another league matchup on Saturday, September 28 at 2:30 p.m.