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Golden Bears Run Past Salve Regina in CCC Football Opener, 41-14

Junior running back Pete Hoff topped the 200-yard mark in Western New England's 41-14 triumph at Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Thomas Henry)
Junior running back Pete Hoff topped the 200-yard mark in Western New England's 41-14 triumph at Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Thomas Henry)

Hoff rushes for career-high 204 yards and one TD

NEWPORT, R.I. (September 29, 2018) – Western New England University used a potent ground attack and a stout defensive effort to earn a 41-14 victory over Salve Regina University on Saturday afternoon in the Commonwealth Coast Football opener for both teams at Toppa Field.

Top Performers
Junior running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) spearheaded Western New England's strong offensive showing, as he broke out for a career-high 204 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.

Junior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.) completed 17-of-30 pass attempts for 203 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing five times for 18 yards and one score.

Senior Evan Cain (Berlin, Mass.) and sophomore Steven Fedorchak (Guilderland, N.Y.) caught one touchdown each and combined for 110 receiving yards.

Defensively, senior linebacker Mike Chirco (Weedsport, N.Y.) made a team-high 11 tackles (1.5 for loss) and senior cornerback Tommy Ganley (Delmar, N.Y.) intercepted two more passes, bringing his total to five picks through five games this season.

Salve Regina junior wide receiver Brendan Nunes (Attleboro, Mass.) caught six passes for 67 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore linebacker Matt Messner (Midland Park, N.J.) posted a game-high 12 tackles.

Game Review
Western New England was forced to punt on its first two possessions, but the Golden Bears came away with points on their third drive as Coleman found the end zone with a 20-yard rush to make it 6-0 with 6:49 left in the opening quarter.

After a Salve Regina three and out, the Golden Bears got the ball back and marched 58 yards over six plays in just under two minutes to expand their advantage to 13-0. Coleman connected with Fedorchak for 28 yards to get Western New England to the Salve four-yard line, and two plays later junior Byron Jones (West Hartford, Conn.) scored on a three-yard run.

The Seahawks broke through early in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Tyler McGovern (Attleboro, Mass.) found Nunes for a 15-yard touchdown, capping a nine-play, 56-yard drive.

Western New England was able to regain a two-score cushion (20-7) before halftime as Coleman orchestrated a nine-play, 76-yard drive late in the second quarter. Hoff picked up a 22-yard chunk on the ground early in the possession, and Coleman connected with junior receiver Jared Wolfe (Seaford, N.Y.) for 20 yards on the next play before eventually finding Fedorchak for an eight-yard touchdown with just 32 seconds on the clock.

The Golden Bear defense was dominant in the third quarter, as Salve Regina punted on its first two drives of the period before having the third halted by Ganley's second pick of the game. Just two plays after the interception, junior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.) broke free for a 29-yard touchdown to give Western New England a 27-7 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears looked to add to their advantage with a 34-yard field goal attempt by Angelo Martino (Oxford, Conn.), but the kick was blocked by Salve Regina junior Nicholas Poillucci (Hopkinton, Mass.) and returned 77 yard for a touchdown by sophomore Matt Sylvia (East Greenwich, R.I.) to cut the Seahawks' deficit to 13 (27-14).

The home team would get no closer, however, as Western New England answered with an eight-play, 69-yard drive that culminated in a seven-yard touchdown throw from Coleman to Cain that restored the Golden Bears' 20-point cushion (34-14).

Hoff put the finishing touches on Western New England's statement victory with a 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to extend the final margin to 27.

• Western New England outgained Salve Regina 530-267. The Golden Bears averaged 6.7 yards per play, while the Seahawks averaged 3.3 yards per play.
• Western New England has won its last five meetings with Salve Regina.
• The Golden Bears have topped the 300-yard mark on the ground in two straight games.
• Following his two-pick effort, Ganley is tied for the CCC-lead with five interceptions.

Up Next
Western New England (4-1, 1-0 CCC Football) will be off next weekend, before returning home to host Curry on Saturday, October 13. Salve Regina (2-3, 0-1 CCC Football) plays its fourth straight home game next Saturday against Becker.