By Brian Willwerth
BRIDGEWATER, MA — Bridgewater State hosted its first-ever night game at its newly renovated stadium Friday night, but Westfield State decided to spoil the party.
In a game dominated by the defenses, the Owls edged the Bears, 10-7, in an NEFC [New England Football Conference] matchup before a crowd of 2,000 at Swenson Field.
The tone was set early in this one, when Westfield State intercepted Bears’ quarterback Mike McCarthy in the endzone. The teams were scoreless after one quarter, although the Owls scored all of their points in the second quarter, as Kennan Startzell capped off the first scoring drive with a 34-yard field goal. Then following an interception by Ryan O’Connell, the Owls converted the turnover into their only touchdown of the game. Quarterback Tommy Leung found Jeff Winchell in the right side of the endzone to make it 10-0 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Bridgewater State finally got on the board in the fourth. Justin Fuller ran it in from 11-yards-out, capping a 92-yard drive. That made it 10-7. But in a game in which points were at a premium, the Bears were unable to get in position to tie the score.
Westfield State was outgained in total yards, 369 to 216, but the Owls’ defense forced four turnovers, while their offense did not commit any. Westfield State did fumble several times, but recovered all of them.
The Owls improve to [1-1] in the conference, [2-3] overall, while the Bears fall to [0-2] in the conference, and [2-2] overall.