Seahawks spoil Homecoming weekend for Bison, 32-0
DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College football team suffered a 32-0 loss to Salve Regina University on Homecoming weekend Saturday afternoon in New England Football Conference (NEFC) action at Vendetti Field.
The Bison (1-3, 0-2 NEFC) were outgained 482-93 offensively and shut out for the first time since a 23-0 loss at MIT in 2011. Sophomore Qullian Respass (Huntington, N.Y.)rushed for 27 yards and completed 8-of-19 passes for 50 yards while senior captain Mario Pires (Malden, Mass.) caught a 23-yard pass on a fake punt in the first half.
Senior Richie Edwards (Trumbull, Conn.) rushed for a game-high 133 yards on 16 carries to spark the Seahawks, who won their fourth-straight against Nichols and improved to 3-1 (2-0 NEFC) on the season. Junior signal caller Steven Wilken (Ringwood, N.J.) threw for 217 yards and three scores – including a 62-yarder to classmate Matthew Traynor (Secaucus, N.J.) – that gave the Seahawks a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
"This game was tough on our offensive line. We had a bunch of linemen out against the 18th ranked defense in the country," said Nichols head coach Kevin Loney. "We'd have had our hands full against those guys with everyone healthy. Salve is who we want to be. It didn't happen overnight for them."
Edwards hauled in a 10-yard scoring pass from Wilkins midway through the first half to give SRU a 7-0 lead. Wilkin's second TD pass of the afternoon – an eight-yard hookup with sophomore Alex Hulme (Hopkinton, Mass.) – capped a 13-play, 78-yard drive and doubled the Seahawks lead (14-0) with 7:47 to go in the second quarter.
Following Traynor's touchdown, Wilkin snuck in from one-yard out on fourth down to end the first half and send Salve Regina to the locker room with a 27-0 lead. A safety with 6:04 to go in the third pushed the lead to 29-0, and a 43-yard field goal by sophomore Christian Clark (Williamsport, Pa.) closed the scoring late in the third.
"Defensively, it was a 14-0 game and our kids were playing hard on both sides of the ball, and then we gave up two terrible scores," said Loney. "We weren't ready to play on one of them, and we jumped off-sides on the other. That's on us. We have to control what we can control, and those are things we can control – high effort, high intensity, and attention to detail. Those are all things we will continue to work on."
The Seahawks overcame 16 penalties for 155 yards to record their third shutout in their last 15 games (12-3 record). Junior Matt Conroy (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the visitors with seven tackles (all solo) while sophomore Hayden Stanton (Wallingford, Conn.) recorded two of the Seahawks five sacks. Nichols was led defensively by sophomore Connor Richard (Londonderry, N.H.) with a game-high 10 tackles (four solo) – including 2.5 tackles for loss. Junior Orlando Vega (Homestead, Fla.) tallied six tackles and the only Bison sack of the day.
The Bison return to action next Saturday when they host Endicott at 1 p.m. The Seahawks welcome Western New England to Gaudet Field at noon.