MILTON, Mass. – The visiting Golden Bears of Western New England took care of Curry College, 49-10, on Friday evening, spoiling the Colonels' Homecoming celebration. It was the New England Football Conference (NEFC) opener for both schools. The Golden Bears, ranked #1 in New England, improved to 4-0 overall, while Curry slipped to 1-3.
Western New England wasted no time with sophomore Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y.) returning the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
Nearly six minutes later, junior Nick Connell (East Marion, N.Y.) scampered in from three yards out capping off an 11-play, 87-yard drive to put the Golden Bears up 14-0.
The Colonels responded with a field goal after a red-zone trip stalled and freshman Marc Mrozek (Stratford, Conn.) connected from 23 yards out after a 63-yard trip on 10 plays, cutting the score to 14-3.
Western New England would score two more times before the end of the first half, the first coming at the end of an eight-play, 77-yard drive that ended with graduate student Tyler Ward (Wyckoff, N.J.) hitting sophomore Garrett Jones (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) from 13 yards out.
The next score would come on the ground with senior Kevin Degnan (Irvington, N.Y.) running it in from seven yards out, finishing off a nine-play, 59-yard drive that chewed up a little over 3 ½ minutes, and put the Golden Bears up 28-3 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Aiken would score two more times, first from four yards out and later from 15 yards out. Sophomore Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) added a throwing touchdown, as he connected with senior Nick Deternova (Bellmore, N.Y.) from 10 yards out putting the score up to 49-3 in favor of Western New England.
The Curry offense would put one more drive together at the end of the game with sophomore Alex Corvese (Cranston, R.I.) connecting with junior Nate Chartrand (Pelham, N.H.) from 10 yards out, capping off a 69- yard drive on 11 plays that took four-plus minutes to complete.
The Golden Bears offense was led by Ward who threw for 179 yards and a touchdown, while also running five times for 28 yards. Aiken led the game with 91 yards rushing and also scored two touchdowns.
Defensively, sophomores Sam Olsson (Milford, Conn.) and Tim Huffam (Medway, Mass.) led the team with five tackles, and Olsson added one tackle for a loss. Kevin McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was right behind with four and also added a tackle for a loss.
The Colonels were led by junior Mike O'Hearn (Billerica, Mass.) who went 14-33 for 121 yards. Freshman Willy Cowdrey (Marlboro, Mass.) racked up 24 yards on six carries to lead Curry in the ground game. Junior Anthony Nastasi (River Edge, N.J.) hauled in nine catches for 56 yards, and classmate Jake Cawlina (Danvers, Mass.) caught three for 44 yards.
On the other side of the ball, sophomore Steve Grogan (Forestdale, Mass.) and junior Sean Conroy (Hampstead, N.H.) led the game with six total tackles while Grogan also recorded a tackle for loss. Sophomore Devin Williams (Gardener, Mass.) recorded four total tackles, one for a loss, and an interception with an 18-yard return. Senior Curtis Davila (Yorba Linda, Calif.) also totaled four tackles for the Colonels.
Both teams return to action with a 1 p.m. conference game next Saturday with Western New England hosting Nichols and Curry traveling to Salve Regina University.