Bears Fall to Western Connecticut, 49-26

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BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Octavias McKoy rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns to lead visiting Western Connecticut State University to a 49-26 win over Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.

The Colonials improve to 3-1 on the season with the win and 2-1 in the MASCAC, while the host Bears slip to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play. The game marked the first meeting between the two teams since 1997.

Western Connecticut took control of the game with a 28-point first quarter as the Colonials took advantage of three BSU turnovers in the opening period which all led to touchdowns.

Western opened the scoring on a 33-yard TD pass from Will Arndt to Alex Altermatt just 2:39 into the game.  After back-to-back three and outs, Jacobson Jean-Baptiste picked off aMike McCarthy pass at the BSU 39-yard line and returned it 28 yards to the 11. Three plays later, Arndt ran it in from six yards out to give the Colonials a 14-0 lead.  Following a fumble on the ensuing kick-off, McKoy found the end zone on a 15-yard scamper to make it 21-0.

The Bears went three and out on their next possession and, to make matters worse, a bad snap on a punt went all the way to the goal line were it was recovered by Michael Nicol in the end zone for a touchdown and a 28-0 WCSU lead.

After a 34-yard McCarthy TD run got the Bears on the board early in the second quarter, McKoy would add touchdown runs of three and 15 yards to give Western a commanding 42-7 advantage. McCarthy would rush for an 18-yard touchdown with 4:29 remaining to close out the first half scoring as WCSU led 42-13 at the intermission.

McCarthy TD runs of eight and four yards were sandwiched around a McKoy one-yard touchdown run to account for all of the second half scoring.

McCarthy rushed for a team-best 106 yards on 21 carries and scored a career high four touchdowns in the loss.  He also completed 8 of 19 passes for 144 yards but was intercepted three times.  All told, Bridgewater turned the ball over five times.

Arndt was very efficient under center for the Colonials as he completed 10 for 14 passes for 166 yards and a score. Altermatt finished with a game-high five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.  Western Connecticut rushed for 204 yards, led by McKoy's 163, and recorded 383 yards of total offense.

The Colonials held the MASCAC's leading receiver Matt Green to just four catches for 68 yards.  Blaise Branch rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries for the Bears who totaled 195 rushing yards as a team and 339 yards of total offense.

Rob Ruggiero paced the BSU defense with six tackles (five solo), including 4 ½ for loss and a pair of sacks.  He also broke up a pass and blocked a field goal.  Ruggiero now has ten sacks over the first five games.  Adam Toman added eight solo tackles for the Bears while Stephen Jacobs finished with seven solo stops.

Louis Gannon posted a team-best six tackles (five solo) for Western Connecticut.  Jean-Baptiste notched four solo tackles in addition to his interception.  Tommy Lacey and Travis Treibt also picked off passes for the Colonials with Myers adding for solo stops.

Bridgewater holds a 10-7 advantage in the all-time series, but Western Connecticut has won each of the last six meetings.

The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams next week. The Bears will travel to UMass Dartmouth for a Friday night game with the Corsairs at seven, while the Colonials entertain Massachusetts Maritime Academy at noon on Saturday.

Notes: The 49 points are the most the Bears have allowed in a game since a 64-21 setback  to Springfield College in 1998...McCarthy moved past Clint Cabral (1989-1992) into sixth place on the Bears' all-time rushing list as he now has 2,363 for his career...McCarthy also tied Justin Fuller (2009-2011) for fifth place on the BSU rushing touchdown list with 32 and moved past Andy Brems (2000-2003) for ninth place on the Bears' all-time scoring list with 192 points.

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