Trio helped Golden Bears clinch conference title with 42-28 win at Curry on Saturday
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 5, 2017) – Three members of the Western New England University football team were recognized with weekly awards from Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) for their efforts in helping the Golden Bears clinch the conference title with their 42-28 victory at Curry College on Saturday at Walter M. Katz Field.
Senior running back Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while junior linebacker Mike Chirco (Weedsport, N.Y.) earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season and freshman cornerback Zhaire House (Greenwich, Conn.) received Defensive Rookie of the Week accolades for the second straight week and third time during his rookie campaign.
With Saturday's win, the Golden Bears secured the first CCC Football title, and the program's third consecutive conference championship overall following New England Football Conference (NEFC) titles in 2015 and 2016.
Western New England scored 28 second quarter points and led by two touchdowns at halftime before going on to win by the same margin with the help of three late interceptions.
Aiken spearheaded a Western New England rushing attack that compiled a season-high 338 yards on the ground, as the senior ran for a career-best 152 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries (5.4 avg.). Two of his four scores came during the second quarter when the Golden Bears took the lead for good, while his final two touchdowns helped seal the contest in the second half.
In six games this season, Aiken has rushed for 312 yards (10th in CCC Football) on 76 carries (4.1 avg.) with seven touchdowns (second in CCC Football). He has appeared in 28 career games, compiling 1330 yards on the ground with 19 touchdowns on 264 attempts (5.0 avg.).
Chirco adds another CCC Football honor to his resume after leading the Western New England defense with a team-high nine tackles on Saturday. He currently ranks fourth in CCC Football with 77 total stops (37 solo).
Rounding out Western New England's weekly honorees is House, who continues to make an impact during his first season with the program. The freshman cornerback recorded three solo tackles, a pass breakup, and an interception early in the fourth quarter that helped seal the victory.
Western New England (7-2, 4-0 CCC Football), which has now won six consecutive games after starting the season 1-2, wraps up its regular season schedule at home against Nichols on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 1 p.m.