DANBURY, CT - Sophomore running back Anthony Via (Washingtonville, NY) rushed 19 times for 102 yards and scored a six-yard touchdown, but the Western Connecticut State University football team dropped a 28-12 decision to visiting University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Westside Athletic Complex on Saturday night.
The created a tie for third place between the two clubs, which each are 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, with two games remaining. Framingham State, 16-6 winners over Massachusetts Maritime on Saturday, remain undefeated atop the conference table. Bridgewater State, 28-10 winners over Plymouth State University today, hold onto second place behind the Rams.
Freshman running back Luis Gonzalez (Greenacres, FL) led the Corsairs rushing attack with 29 carries for 140 yards and two scores. Both of his touchdowns were from two yards out and came in the final 7:39 on the game, to seal the victory.
Classmate Ryan Qualey (Woburn, MA) came off the bench in relief of injured starting quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, RI) and finished the night completing 9-of-21 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his TD strikes were to senior receiver Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, MA). The first open the night's scoring from 23 yards out with 8:19 remaining in the first quarter. Their second hook up came with 4:34 remaining before intermission and was from 20 yards away.
WestConn's other score came in the opening minutes of the final stanza when Thomas Walsh (Great River, NY) connected with Chris Pascall (Pennsauken, NJ) from five yards out. After a block extra-point attempt, that score capped off a 6-play, 80-yard drive and drew the Colonials within two points, 14-12.
The Colonials' passing game never got rolling on Saturday as senior signal caller David James (Stamford, CT) completed just 7-of-27 passes for 96 yards. His leading targets, Will Daniels (Bethel, CT) and Nick Kimball (New Milford, CT) each were smothered down field and caught just three passes apiece.
Defensively, Vincent Scancarello (Monroe, NY) led the Colonials with 13 tackles, including nine solo take downs.
Tony Slaughter (Springfield, MA) also made 13 tackles, 12 of them primary, and registered a pair of sacks and three tackles for a loss.
WestConn's quarterbacks were sacked six times in the loss.
The Colonials take to the road next Saturday, November 9 to take on Fitchburg State University. Game time against the Falcons is set for 12 noon.
The Corsairs play host to Mass. Maritime on their Senior Day. Kick-off against the Buccaneers is slated for noon in North Dartmouth.