By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise (Brockton)
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University football team had its hopes for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title dashed two weeks ago.
A painful loss to undefeated Western Connecticut State University in four overtimes took the Bears out of contention on a night when they could have moved into first place.
With two games remaining, though, Bridgewater State is still hoping there is something to play for down the stretch.
The Bears could land the MASCAC’s berth in one of two New England Bowl games that are played, but they would probably need both Western Connecticut State and Framingham State to earn spots in the NCAA Division 3 tournament.
All Bridgewater State can do is take care of business on the road Saturday against Worcester State University at noon and then the following weekend against the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the 40th annual Cranberry Bowl.
“If we win out we might get a chance at something, who knows?” said coach Joe Verria, whose team is coming off a bye week. “That’s the goal.
“The kids are hungry as heck to get back (playing). They’ve had a great week of practice. We talked about it having something to play for. But it’s all about us doing our job and not looking ahead. We’ve just got to stay the course and keep scoring points and we should be all right.”
The Bears held a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter against Western Connecticut State, which rallied to force overtime. Then, Bridgewater State needed just an extra-point conversion in the first OT to move into the top spot, only to have the kick blocked.
The teams went back and forth until Western Connecticut State won it with a two-point conversion run in the fourth OT.
“That was tough because they’re good and we’re getting better every week,” said Verria. “Every single week we’ve playing better and better and better and that game was no different. It just came down to a couple of plays.”
BSU senior wide receiver Travis Bassett is one of 30 nominees nationally for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Bassett missed last season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his hip and then a torn labrum in his shoulder. Bassett has 41 catches for 501 yards and six touchdowns this season, including eight catches for 117 yards and three TDs against Western Connecticut.
Stonehill on road: Stonehill College (1-7, 1-6 Northeast-10 Conference) travels to Springfield to play American International College (0-7, 0-7) in a matchup of struggling teams Saturday at noon.
The Skyhawks, who have dropped six straight games, made a bid to upset first-place New Haven in the rain last weekend before losing, 12-7. Stonehill will conclude its season next Saturday night, hosting Assumption College.
AIC owns a 21-1 record in the series with the Skyhawks’ lone win coming in last year’s season finale, 38-27.
Lennox Green Jr. of Stoughton is the Yellow Jackets’ leading receiver with 22 catches for 368 yards and four touchdowns. He had nine receptions for 193 yards and two TDs against Saint Anselm College.
Defensive back Darien Keith of Brockton has made 23 tackles with three for a loss and has an interception and four pass breakups for AIC.
Gallagher top tackler: Sophomore Blake Gallagher of Raynham is the leading tackler for Northwestern University (5-3, 5-1 Big Ten).
Gallagher, a linebacker, has 78 tackles, including four for a loss, and has at least 10 tackles in five of the eight games.
Northwestern hosts unbeaten Notre Dame Saturday night on ESPN.
- Boston College 27, Virginia Tech 24: The Eagles win on the road.
- Notre Dame 28, Northwestern 21: The Irish stay perfect.
- Alabama 31, LSU 21: The Crimson Tide remain No. 1.
- Bridgewater State 35, Worcester State 20: The Bears clinch a winning season.
- Stonehill 21, AIC 17: The Skyhawks break the losing streak.
LAST WEEK: 5-0 | SEASON TOTAL: 34-11