Resolve is one key piece -- hard work is another

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Curry quarterback Alex Corvese has helped his team to a 3-0, not surprising for a player who "hates to lose."
Curry athletics photo

By Tom Haley

Some guys just have that intangible. Call it what you want: Heart, intestinal fortitude, the will to make that key play. It shows up on Friday nights and Saturdays and through hot summer months when those guys do the extra workouts.

Curry quarterback Alex Corvese has it and so do a couple of guys named Harris -- one at Framingham State, the other at Castleton.

Middlebury quarterback Jared Lebowitz has it, and it allowed him to negotiate a long, winding road and then to lead the Panthers to a season-opening victory on on Saturday.

Corvese threw two touchdown passes and ran for another two scores in leading Curry to its 47-20 victory over Anna Maria. He has helped take the Colonels to a 3-0 start.

"The kid has a strong will to win. He hates to lose," Curry coach Skip Bandini said the next morning. "He has never had any doubt about his own ability."

Bandini said "the kids have been playing well" about the 3-0 start, but he knows that guarantees nothing about the season.

"Last year we started 2-0, and it didn't end so well," Bandini said.

He also knows that if resolve counts for anything, his quarterback will do everything he can to make certain the Colonels don't take that downward turn again this year.

The Framingham-Bridgewater State game is one of those contests that had been anticipated long before the start of the season. It was a MASCAC showdown between the teams expected to contend for the title.

And in the biggest game to date, Jaquan Harris made the biggest play for the Rams, intercepting a Bridgewater pass on the Framingham 5-yard line with just over a minute remaining to preserve a 19-13 victory.

Harris was a disruptive force all day on defense. That was his second interception and he also recovered a fumble and broke up three passes.

There must have been times this summer when Castleton's Moe Harris wondered whether or not all the hard work and mundane existence was worth it. He would go into work at Walmart back in New Jersey at 10 p.m., and when he got off at 7 in the morning, it was straight to the gym for an intense workout.

"It was the same each day. Repeat, repeat, repeat," Harris said after his big day Saturday.

He had 149 yards and two touchdowns to show for his 35 carries as the Spartans won the annual Maple Sap Bucket trophy game against Norwich, 28-14.

It was a long itinerary for Lebowitz to get to the Middlebury campus. After two years of high school just 30 miles north of Middlebury, he traveled 3,000 miles to finish his high school career in California with the objective of getting more exposure to fulfill a goal of earning a scholarship at a Division I school.

The heart of quarterback Jared Lebowitz is in his home in Middlebury, though he had to travel across the country to be certain of that.
Photo courtesy of Will Costello

It worked. It landed him at UNLV.

But a change of heart brought him back east to Middlebury.

During a practice last week, he looked around at the setting and said, "This means the world for me. It's the best place in the world for me. I love the campus, and I love the community."

He has a special relationship with his receivers.

"We watch a lot of film on our own," Lebowitz said.

Saturday, he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in a 30-27 win over Wesleyan.

Running wild

What is Lightning without Thunder? A pretty good show lighting up football fields throughout the Northeast.

Last year Salve Regina coach Kevin Gilmartin referred to his prolific backfield tandem of Sam Pascale and James Dawson as Thunder & Lightning.

Thunder has graduated, but Lightning is doing just fine on his own with 287 yards in two games. This week he helped Salve defeat Dean 27-0.

Springfield also continued to pile up the yards on the ground. This time 469 of them in a 66-20 rout of Mount Ida. Jordan Wilcox and Hunter Belzo led the way by combining for 213 yards and five touchdowns.

And speaking of lightning, there was a quick strike for UMass-Dartmouth. DaVon Fuller took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score. That was the beginning of a 51-26 rout of Westfield State. Stephen Gacioch threw four touchdown passes, two to Abbi Bambgbose who had a huge day with 185 receiving yards.

Fleeting on fire

Western Connecticut's Quinn Fleeting has it going on. He threw for 375 yards and five touchdowns in a 37-29 win over Plymouth as the Colonials went to 2-0 in their MASCAC opener. Fleeting over the two games is 62 for 88 for 786 yards and two touchdowns.

Western Connecticut coach Joe Loth called it "a great team win," and it was sealed by Ryan Jarzavek's interception.

History on the water

SUNY Maritime went to 3-0 for the first time in program history by pulling out a 38-31 victory against its rivals across the water, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The Privateers trailed 31-24 entering the fourth quarter.

Thomas Wright passed for 323 yards and three touchdowns. His hot receiver was again Brandonn Drumgole with 13 catches for 164 yards and two scores.

Matt Murphy continues to boom the ball for the Privateers. He had a career-long 48-yard field goal and sent the ball into the end zone for touchbacks on four of his seven kickoffs.

Exciting times for the NESCAC

The NESCAC has added a ninth game this season meaning the conference got to begin a week early.

"The players were ecstatic. It's another opportunity to play," Middlebury coach Bob Ritter said.

Another opportunity for a coach and a parent, too.

His son Bob Ritter Jr. had an interception against Wesleyan.

"When we got the news about the ninth game we were super happy," Lebowitz said.

Winning the other NESCAC openers were Amherst, Trinity, Williams and Tufts.

Olllie Eberth threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers in Amherst's 38-17 win over Bates.

Sonny Puzzo had 224 passing yards and two scoring strikes for Trinity in its 35-0 win over Colby.

Bobby Maimaron passed for 283 yards and two scores for Williams in a 28-14 win over Bowdoin. Frank Stola was on the end of both touchdown passes.

Ryan McDonald threw for 267 yards and two scores for Tufts which had to go to overtime to beat Hamilton 35-28.

Quick kicks: Quoron Wright rushed for 144 yards for Framingham. ... Sam McAllen ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass for WPI in a 38-0 thumping of Becker. ... Patrick Crowley, Michael Goldsworthy and Colby Coco had interceptions for Coast Guard in a 13-0 win over Nichols. ... MIT's Udgam Goyal passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in leading MIT to a 31-26 win over Endicott. ... Worcester State trimmed Fitchburg State 42-26 in a MASCAC opener with Noah Brum throwing three touchdown passes and running for another score. Mass. Maritime won the Admiral's Cup, beating Maine Maritime 34-25 with Richie Phillips rushing for 146 yards and two scores.

The big games

Growing up, Coast Guard vs. Norwich was always called The Little Army-Navy Game and it was special.

Coast Guard coach Bill George says it might take a few years for the current players to sense just how much this game means, but he knows exactly how much it means to the alumni -- and it's a lot.

It does mean plenty to the current edition of Norwich and Coast Guard football because it marks the beginning of play in the NEWMAC, a new conference.

The Bears and the Cadets are also playing for The Mug.

Salve Regina's trip to Western Connecticut is a nonconference contest but one of the most attractive games in the region.

Tom Haley

A seven time Vermont sportswriter of the year, Tom Haley has been with the Rutland Herald since 1987. He was inducted into the Castleton State College Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Contributor to Football Award from the National Football Foundation's Vermont Chapter. He has been D3football.com's Around the Northeast columnist since 2007.

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