Western New England College hosts UMass Dartmouth in Senior Day contest

More news about: Western New England
WNEC Football Seniors (2010)
Congratulations to the 2010 Seniors for a job WELL DONE!
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – In a season filled with memorable record-breaking performances, the Western New England College football team looks for another successful showing against UMass Dartmouth in its annual Senior Day contest starting at 1:00 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 6).

This is the final game of the regular season and an important one for the Golden Bears who are 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference (NEFC) following a 23-15 defeat at Endicott this past Saturday night (Oct. 30).

Western New England College trailed 23-7 midway through the final period before a gallant comeback fell just short. The Golden Bears scored with 4:23 remaining and drove to the Gulls' eight-yard line in the final minute before losing the ball on downs.

"The Endicott game was disappointing," said Western New England College coach Keith Emery. "We gave great effort, but just didn't play very good football. Even as poorly as we did, the boys fought the whole way and still had a chance to tie it up at the end."

WNEC and Endicott have the same overall and division records, and are tied for first in the Boyd race with EC holding the edge in the tiebreaker. The Golden Bears can still win the division by beating the Corsairs and hoping for Endicott to lose to visiting MIT.

Western New England College also could make a post-season appearance for the first time with an invitation to an ECAC Division III Bowl Game.

Before the game Saturday, Western New England College will honor the 13 seniors on the squad.

They are linebackers Joe Begnal (Waterbury, CT), Justin Bailey (Northborough, MA), Dylan Chandler (Durham, ME), and Dave McCarten (Little Compton, RI), tight end Dan Crane (Waterbury, CT), and kicker/wide receiver Jake Field (Long Valley, NJ).

Also, defensive backs Pat Lesko (Seymour, CT) and Ben Ross (Pawling, NY), wide receiver Matt O'Brien (South Windsor, CT), and offensive linemen Brad Medeiros (Little Compton, RI), Chris Mullins (Oakville, CT) and Tom Tousignant (Naugatuck, CT), and running back Andrew Rogers (Londonderry, NH).

One of the big reasons for Western New England College's success this fall has been the play of its defense, which is third in the conference in points allowed (14.2 avg.) and total yards (271.9).

Bailey leads he team with 62 tackles followed by sophomore free safety Phil Tsopanides (Fairfield, CT) with 61 stops. Chandler is next with 55 tackles and holds the school record with 318 stops. Tsopanides and Chandler are among two of four players who have two interceptions.

A trio of juniors are making their impact felt on the offensive side of the ball.

Running back JJ Jachym (Milford, CT) is ninth in the NEFC with 698 yards and five touchdowns. He went over the 1,000-yard mark for his career against Endicott. Quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT) is second on the squad with 484 yards and eight scores. He also has 810 yards passing and three touchdowns and seventh in the league in total offense (143.8). Wide receiver Kenny Muhlack (Groton, CT) is eighth in the conference with 35 catches for 388 yards and one TD.

The Golden Bears are ranked second in the NEFC in rushing (208.1) and fourth in the in total offense (315.4).

UMass Dartmouth fell to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in Boyd action after dropping a 28-10 decision against visiting Curry. The Corsairs started the season with an impressive 37-15 home victory over Fitchburg State before losing three straight contests. UMD's other wins were on the road against MIT (14-6) and Nichols (9-7).

Sophomore quarterback Patrick Orlando (Manchester, MA) is among the league leaders with 728 yards passing and four touchdowns. Four players have rushed for over 250 yards with freshman running back Jason Hargrove (West Roxbury, MA) leading the way with 313 yards and a TD. Senior running back Eric Pacy (Rowley, MA) has 271 yards and four scores.

On defense, junior defensive back Ross O'Toole (Weymouth, MA) has a team-high 77 tackles and two of the Corsairs' 10 interceptions. Junior linebacker John Cordasco (Rockaway, NY) has 69 tackles (10 for losses) with four forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Another player to watch is sophomore kicker Eric Osols (Summit, NJ) who has converted six-of-seven field goals.

"The plan against UMass Dartmouth is try and get back on track, get back to playing the game well and give a great send-off to our seniors. UMD is a very young, athletic, and talented team led by a very tough defense. They are big up front on offense and run the inside zone very well," Emery stated.

This will be the 14th meeting between the schools with UMass Dartmouth leading the series (which started in 1988) by an 11-2 margin. WNEC has won the last two meetings (38-31 in 2008 and 31-9 last year).
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