Golden Bears will play for NEFC title next Saturday at Salve Regina
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 29, 2016) – Western New England University opened up a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter on its way to a 48-25 victory over Maine Maritime Academy this afternoon in New England Football Conference (NEFC) action at Golden Bear Stadium.
• Junior quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) completed 9-of-17 pass attempts for 130 yards and three touchdowns, in the process breaking the program record for single season passing touchdowns (19) set by Tyler Ward last fall. Service also carried the ball four times for 46 yards, finishing with 176 yards of total offense.
• Senior running back Nick Connell (East Marion, N.Y.) gained 76 yards on 15 rushes (5.1 avg.) and scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground.
• Senior wing Mohamed Camara (New York, N.Y.) caught three passes for 29 yards and two scores.
• Junior defensive back Sam Olsson (Milford, Conn.) led the Western New England defense with a team-high 11 tackles and one pass breakup.
• Sophomore bear Kurtis Jolicoeur (Windham, N.H.) added ten tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of seven yards, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
• Maine Maritime's triple option attack was led by junior fullback James Ferrar (Cumberland, Maine), who piled up a game-high 136 rushing yards on 31 carries (4.4 avg.). Classmate Jacob Doolan (Fairfield, Maine) also topped the 100-yard mark (108) on just nine carries (12.0 avg.) and scored a touchdown.
• Sophomore defensive back John Bennett (Chelsea, Maine) recorded a team-high 12 tackles for the Mariners to go with a pass breakup.
• Western New England won the opening coin toss and elected to receive, before embarking on a nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive that culminated in a five-yard touchdown toss from Service to Camara.
• After Maine Maritime lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Golden Bears were given a short field to work with. Connell got the drive started with an 18-yard rush, and capped the possession five plays later with a two-yard touchdown run.
• The Mariners turned the ball over yet again on the second play of their next drive, as Jolicoeur was able to deflect Maine Maritime junior quarterback Corey Creeger's (Biddeford, Maine) option pitch and recover the fumble. Four plays later, Service connected with senior wing Laron Gunderway (Brockton, Mass.) for a ten-yard touchdown as the Golden Bears opened up a 21-0 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
• Maine Maritime got on the board with 3:51 on the clock when senior Cody Chapman (Bangor, Maine) blocked Vinny Lalumia's (Maywood, N.J.) punt and freshman Spencer Baron (Mariaville, Maine) returned it 14 yards for a touchdown.
• The Golden Bears answered immediately, however, as junior Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y.) found the end zone on the ensuing kickoff with a 93-yard return.
• Maine Maritime scored its first touchdown on offense in the closing seconds of the first quarter on a 34-yard run by Creeger, capping a seven-play, 65-yard drive.
• Service's third passing touchdown of the half came on Western New England's next drive, as the junior hit Camara for the second time for an 11-yard score. The Golden Bears took a 34-13 lead into halftime.
• A four-yard touchdown run by Connell with 9:38 on the clock represented the only score of the third quarter for either team.
• Freshman running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) scored on a 12-yard rush early in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring for Western New England.
• Maine Maritime added a pair of rushing scores later in the quarter, bringing the final margin down to 23.
• Western New England improves to 11-5 in 16 all-time meetings with Maine Maritime.
• Following his performance today, Service has thrown 21 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season.
• Both teams had success on third down, as Western New England converted on 6-of-11 attempts (55%) and Maine Maritime went 8-for-16 (50%).
• The Golden Bears outgained the Mariners 397-372, with 349 of Maine Maritime's yards coming on the ground.
Western New England (8-0, 5-0 NEFC) will look to capture its second consecutive NEFC title next Saturday, when the Golden Bears travel to Rhode Island for a showdown with Salve Regina (7-0, 5-0 NEFC). Maine Maritime (1-6, 0-5 NEFC) returns home to host Nichols.