Service completes 19-of-24 pass attempts for 288 yards and four touchdowns
WESTFIELD, Mass. (September 8, 2017) – The Western New England University football team established a 21-0 first quarter lead and didn't look back on its way to a 38-6 victory over Westfield State University on Friday night at Alumni Field, in the process retaining the Presidents' Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
• Senior quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) completed 19-of-24 (79%) pass attempts for 288 yards and four touchdowns.
• Freshman wide receiver Steven Fedorchak (Guilderland, N.Y.) caught four balls for 99 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
• Junior Kurtis Jolicoeur (Windham, N.H.) led the Golden Bears defensively, recording a team-high ten tackles (3.5 for a loss of 15 yards) one forced fumble, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry that resulted in a Westfield State turnover on downs.
• Westfield State senior quarterback Phil Cohen (Old Lyme, Conn.) went 24-for-38 with 262 yards. His top target, junior receiver Evan Cain (Marlborough, Mass.), made eight receptions for 145 yards.
• Junior Brandon Rivera (Amherst, Mass.) paced the Owl defense with a game-high 12 tackles.
• Western New England received the opening kickoff and proceeded to march right down the field for the game's opening touchdown with a ten-play, 65-yard drive. Service went a perfect 5-for-5 through the air during the possession, which was capped by a two-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) on a slant route.
• The Golden Bears would get the ball back less than a minute later as Jolicoeur got into the backfield and forced a fumble that junior defensive lineman Ryan Smith (Weston, Vt.) recovered on Westfield State's second offensive play.
• Western New England capitalized on the takeaway four plays later, as sophomore running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) took a handoff up the middle 19 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 with 9:58 on the clock.
• The Owls drove all the way to the Western New England 24-yard line on their next possession with the help of a 40-yard pass from Cohen to Cain, but the home team turned the ball over on downs as Jolicoeur applied heavy pressure and forced an errant throw on fourth down.
• Western New England continued to roll offensively, putting together a six-play, 76-yard scoring drive that spanned 1:52 to open up a three-touchdown lead. Service completed a 28-yard pass to sophomore wing Chris Renaccio (Littleton, Mass.) to get the ball across midfield, before evading pressure and finding sophomore running back Chris Jusczyk (Wilbraham, Mass.) down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-14 play.
• Service connected with Fedorchak for an 80-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, and sophomore kicker Kieran Lombard (Dover, N.H.) booted a 44-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the period as Western New England led 31-0 at halftime.
• The Golden Bears added one more touchdown late in the third quarter on a five-yard toss from Service to Renaccio, before Westfield State finally broke through midway through the fourth when junior Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn.) found the end zone on a seven-yard rush.
• With Friday night's win, Western New England now owns a 15-14 edge in 29 all-time meetings with Westfield State. The Golden Bears have won four straight in the series and seven of the last eight contests overall between the local rivals.
• Western New England picked up 25 first downs, with 12 coming through the air, 11 on the ground, and two via penalty.
• With 32 career passing touchdowns, Service is now three shy of matching Tyler Ward (35) for third all-time, and needs eight to pass Justin Walz (39) for the most in program history.
Western New England (1-1) will be on the road next Saturday for the program's first ever meeting with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., while Westfield State (0-2) travels to UMass Dartmouth for its MASCAC opener.