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Service, Dietrich Lead Western New England to 59-28 Victory over Curry in NEFC Opener

Service, Dietrich Lead Western New England to 59-28 Victory over Curry in NEFC Opener

Service tosses program record six touchdowns, including three to Dietrich (Photo by Matland Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 24, 2016) – The Western New England University football team opened New England Football Conference (NEFC) play with a 59-28 victory over Curry College this afternoon at Golden Bear Stadium. 

Top Performers
• Junior quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) was spectacular in piloting the Western New England offense, as the reigning NEFC Offensive Player of the Week completed 24-of-32 pass attempts for a career-high 337 yards and a program record six touchdowns. Service connected with 11 different receivers, eight of which had multiple catches.
• Junior wide receiver Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) broke out for career-highs in receiving yards (163) and receiving touchdowns (three), while matching his career mark for receptions with eight. Dietrich's three touchdown catches tie the program record. 
• The Western New England defense recorded four takeaways (all interceptions) and allowed Curry to convert on just 3-of-11 (27%) third down opportunities. Senior cornerback Obi Etuka (Middletown, Conn.) matched the program's career interception record (16) with his pick early in the second quarter.
• Freshman rover Kyle Apgar (Milton, Vt.) registered a team-high eight tackles (five solo).

• Despite throwing four interceptions, Curry junior quarterback Alex Corvese (Cranston, R.I.) led a trio of scoring drives, going 22-of-33 through the air with 271 yards and three touchdowns.
• Senior wide receiver Jake Cawlina (Danvers, Mass.) was Corvese's top target, catching four passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
• Junior linebacker Steven Grogan (Forestdale, Mass.) led the Colonels defensively with a game-high ten tackles.

Game Review
• After forcing a three-and-out on Curry's opening possession, Western New England got the ball back and proceeded to march down the field on a seven-play, 83-yard drive for the game's first score. Service got it started by finding Dietrich for a 26-yard gain across the middle, and junior Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a 31-yard run three plays later. Senior tight end Trent Vasey (Cumberland, R.I.) capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown reception from Service. 
• The Golden Bears made it 14-0 less than a minute later as junior safety Sam Olsson (Milford, Conn.) intercepted Corvese on the second play of Curry's next possession and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
• Service connected with Dietrich for a 13-yard touchdown on the final play of the first quarter, and Western New England opened up a 28-0 lead at the 12:12 mark of the second quarter when senior Mohamed Camara (New York, N.Y.) took a Service pass 73 yards down the sideline for his second touchdown of the season.
• The Colonels rallied late in the first half, scoring three touchdowns over the final three minutes to cut their deficit to 14 (35-21) heading into the break. Corvese capped an eight-play, 47-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown toss to sophomore Dylan Vieira-Owens (Everett, Mass.) with 2:56 on the clock, but Western New England answered on its next possession as Dietrich found the end zone for the second time with an 80-yard reception from Service. Corvese hooked up with Cawlina for a 24-yard score with 54 seconds remaining, and Grogan picked off Service in the closing seconds, scoring on a 63-yard interception return.
• Service threw touchdown passes to Dietrich (six yards) and Aiken (five yards) in the third quarter as the Golden Bears regained their 28-point cushion (49-21) with just under five minutes left in the period.
• Corvese connected with Cawlina for a 53-yard score with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter, capping the scoring for Curry.
• Western New England tacked on ten points in the fourth to extend the final margin to 31. Senior kicker Kevin Patterson (Houston, Tex.) nailed a 21-yard field goal early in the quarter, and junior quarterback Drew Tarantino (Sandy Hook, Conn.) found senior Laron Gunderway (Brockton, Mass.) for a 28-yard touchdown with 6:51 remaining.

Notes
• Western New England compiled 533 yards of total offense (377 passing, 156 rushing), its highest total this season and most since racking up 586 yards in last November's 51-0 shutout of Coast Guard.
• Following today's performance, Service has completed 70-of-102 (68.6%) passes for 961 yards with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
• The Golden Bears picked up 27 first downs, with 15 coming on pass plays, ten on runs and two from penalties.
• Western New England converted on 62 percent (8-of-13) of its third down opportunities.
• Senior running back Nick Connell (East Marion, N.Y.) led the Western New England rushing attack with 50 yards on 11 carries. He was among 13 ball carriers for the Golden Bears today.

Up Next
Western New England (4-0, 1-0 NEFC) will be on the road next Saturday at Nichols, while Curry (2-1, 0-1 NEFC) returns home to host Salve Regina. Both contests are scheduled for 1 p.m.