BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Junior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for a score to lead the Bridgewater State University Bears to a 19-7 Homecoming win over Worcester State University in New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division action on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
The Bears improve to 6-1 on the season and 3-1 in the NEFC Bogan Division with the win. The visiting Lancers fall to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in divisional play.
McCarthy ran for a pair of one-yard second quarter touchdowns and also connected with junior tight end Nick Jablonski (Assonet, Mass.) on a nine-yard TD pass to cap off the scoring in the fourth quarter. McCarthy also recorded 102 yards through the air as he finished with 232 yards of total offense.
The Bridgewater State defense was terrific throughout the day as they limited the Lancers to just two yards rushing and forced the Lancers to throw the ball 50 times. The Bears came up with just one turnover on an interception, but sacked Worcester senior quarterback Corey Spencer (Malden, Mass.) four times, forced the Lancers to punt seven times, and blocked one of those seven punts.
Despite turning the ball over on each of their first three possessions, the BSU offense still finished with 334 yards of total offense. The Bears ran the ball 57 times for 211 yards led by McCarthy's 130. Senior tailback Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) added 52 yards on ten carries.
McCarthy capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to give the Bears a 6-0 lead with 7:49 remaining in the second quarter. The drive last over seven minutes. McCarthy would find the end zone again from a yard out with 47 seconds left before halftime to up the BSU advantage to 12-0. The 12-play, 49-yard drive took 4:47 off the clock. After missing their first PAT, Bridgewater went for two after the second touchdown, but the pass fell incomplete.
After a scoreless third quarter, Worcester finally cracked the scoreboard on a four-yard touchdown pass from Spencer to junior wide receiver AJ Scerra (Marlboro, Mass.) with 9:46 remaining in the final period. The 12-play, 80-yard drive was easily the Lancers' best of the afternoon. Their next longest drive netted just 32 yards.
After Worcester cut the deficit to 12-7, Bridgewater responded with a seven-play, 62-yard drive which resulted in Jablonski's first collegiate touchdown.
The Lancers would march down the field and have a first and goal from the BSU four on their final drive. The Bears defense would keep Worcester out of the end zone, however, forcing back-to-back incomplete passes and then stopping the Lancers on fourth down on a goal line stand.
Sophomore linebacker David Silvia (Barrington, R.I.) paced the Bridgewater defense with eight solo tackles, including two for loss. Senior tackles Paul Melicharek (Glen Rock, N.J.) notched seven tackles (five solo) with 1 ½ sacks and 2 ½ tackles for loss. Senior linebacker added six solo tackles with two of those going for loss. Junior safety Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) paced the BSU secondary with six tackles (five solo), an interception and a pass breakup.
Jablonski led all BSU receivers with three catches for 69 yards with a long of 48.
Spencer completed 29 of 49 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown for the Lancers. Scerra hauled in a game-high nine receptions for 49 yards. Sophomore receiver Jack Sprague (Maynard, Mass.) had six catches for 67 yards while freshman wideout Taylor Cason (Holyoke, Mass.) finished with four receptions for 66 yards.
Junior safety Adam Straughn (Rockland, Mass.) notched a game-high ten tackles for Worcester. Junior linebacker Matt Begley (East Bridgewater, Mass.) had six solo stops to go along with an interception. Junior safety Pat Conrad (Forestdale, Mass.) also picked off a pass and added five solo tackles.
The kicking game was a struggle for both teams as they combined to miss four field goals, all from less than 40 yards. Bridgewater also missed a PAT.
In NEFC Bogan Division action next Saturday, Bridgewater travels to Fitchburg State University to take on the Falcons at 1:30 PM, while Worcester entertains Coast Guard Academy also at 1:30.