Nichols falls in season-finale to Golden Bears, 62-37

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DUDLEY, Mass. – Junior Kris Williams (East Hartford, Conn.) electrified the crowd with a pair of 85-yard kickoff returns in the first quarter – one of which went for a touchdown - in Nichols College's 62-37 loss to Western New England University in the season-finale for both New England Football Conference (NEFC) institutions Saturday afternoon at Vendetti Field.

Williams 310 return yards on the afternoon broke the previous Nichols single-game record of 255, which was set by Lawrence Scott against Curry on November 1, 2008. Sophomore Quillian Respass (Huntington, N.Y.) rushed for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Bison (1-8, 0-7 NEFC) while sophomore Andre Rickerson (Boston, Mass.) and freshman Xavier Livingston (Huntington, N.Y.) also found the endzone for Nichols. Sophomore Tyrell Todd (Central Islip, N.Y.) threw for 102 yards and one score in his first collegiate start in place of an injured Respass, but was also intercepted three times.

Junior Kevin Cook (Hamburg, N.J.) rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns as the Golden Bears finish the season with a 4-6 record (3-4 NEFC). Senior John Krafick (New Milford, Conn.) tossed for 324 yards and three scores – all of which went to junior Tucker Schumitz (Milford, Conn.) – while classmate Andrew Walz (Groton, Conn.) hauled in four receptions for a game-high 110 yards. Western New England piled up 654 yards of total offense, compared to 435 for the Bison, but also committed 10 penalties for 141yards.

A pair of field goals from freshman Kevin Patterson (Houston, Texas) and two touchdown runs from Cook gave the Golden Bears a 20-10 lead after one. Rickerson's two-yard scoring run in the second was sandwiched around two Schumitz touchdown receptions – one from 15 yards out and another from five – and gave WNE a 34-16 halftime lead.

Senior Mario Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) recovered a fumble early in the third quarter for the Bison, and on the next play, Todd hooked up with Livingston for a 27-yard touchdown to bring them to within 11 points at 34-23. The Golden Bears answered with a seven-play, 91-yard drive that was capped by freshman Nick Connell's (East Marion, N.Y.) three-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 41-23. Following Schumitz' third touchdown of the afternoon – an 11-yard hookup with Krafick – Cook closed the third-quarter scoring with a 53-yard touchdown to extend the Golden Bears lead to 55-23.

Respass scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth – one from five yards out and another from four – while Krafick's nine-yard run accounted for the Golden Bears' points in the final stanza.

Williams led the Nichols defense with 13 tackles (eight solo) while and senior A.J. Farina (Barrington, R.I.) tallied 11 (seven solo) and one sack in his final game in Dudley. Pires, meanwhile, finished with 10 and one pass breakup. Senior Brandon Ormsby (Windsor, Conn.) and sophomore Dean Soucie (North Easton, Mass.) paced the visitors with eight tackles apiece (six solo).  

Junior Chad Weeks (Enfield, Conn.) made his first appearance of the season for Nichols on special teams and defense in the fourth quarter.

A replay of today's game can be seen on Charter TV3 in the Worcester Area this evening at 7 p.m.

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