North Dartmouth, MA --- Bridgewater State took advantage of five turnovers by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth football team and came from behind to defeat the Corsairs, 31-17 and spoil their 2007 home opener at Cressy Field Saturday afternoon.
Trailing, 10-7 in the first quarter, the Bears scored 17 consecutive points to take the lead, and then put the game away when reserve quarterback Steven Clark ran 13 yards for a score on an option keeper with 2:09 remaining.
UMass Dartmouth broke on top when junior quarterback Alex Garro (Mattapoisett, MA) connected with junior running back Aaron Russo (Johnston, RI) on a three-yard touchdown pass to cap a 98-yard, 14-play drive early in the second quarter. The Corsairs forced a punt on BSC’s ensuing drive, but freshman James Green (Lynn, MA) muffed it, the Bears recovered at the UMass Dartmouth three-yard line, and starting quarterback Greg Borsari scored from a yard out to tie game less than two and a half minutes later.
Green returned the ensuing kickoff to the Corsair 49, and UMD drove 39 yards in eight plays, with sophomore George Vasiliadis’ (Worcester, MA) 29 yard field goal putting UMass Dartmouth ahead, 10-7. Bridgewater then drove 78 yards in 12 plays, all on the ground, with Teigan Pina (New Bedford, MA) scoring from seven yards out to make it 14-10, BSC, at halftime.
UMass Dartmouth stopped BSC on their first possession of the third quarter, but a personal foul penalty set the Corsairs back and Bridgewater started their next possession on the UMD 47 after a 41-yard punt by Vasiliadis and Chris Joyce’s (nine-yard return. Bruce Burley (Mansfield, MA) raced 35 yards for a score on the sixth play of the drive to make it 21-10 with 8:11 remaining in the third quarter.
The Corsairs got the ball back but Garro was hit and fumbled at the UMass Dartmouth 20 on the second play of the drive, and Brian DiCristoforo (Hope, RI) kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 24-10.
In the fourth quarter, BSC drove to the UMass Dartmouth 23
before turning the ball over on downs. Three plays later, Garro
connected with junior wide receiver John Henry
(Tenafly, MJ) for 65 yards and a touchdown to make it 24-17m with
9:18 to play. The teams exchanged punts, and BSC drove 63 yards in
seven plays, with Clark scoring from 13 yards to make the score
31-17 with 2:09 remaining.
Bridgewater State gained 310 yards on offense, 285 of them on the ground. They did not turn the ball over, and didn’t commit a single penalty. Burley had 120 yards in 21 carries, while Clark rushed 13 times for 96 yards.
The Corsairs gained 452 yards on offense, 222 on the ground. Junior running back J.T. Harold (North Andover, MA) rushed 24 times for 135 yards, Garro completed 14 of 22 passes for 130 yards, Henry caught five passes for 108 yards, and senior tight end Charles Gryska (Medfield, MA) caught three passes for 72 yards.
UMass Dartmouth fell to 0-2 with the defeat, while the Bears improved to 1-0, winning their 2007 season opener. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Fitchburg State next Saturday afternoon, while Bridgewater will host Salve Regina next Saturday.