BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Bridgewater State will conclude its 2013 slate on Saturday when they travel to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to take on the Buccaneers in the 35th Annual Cranberry Bowl presented by Ocean Spray.
The Bears, who enter the contest with a 5-4 overall record, will look to earn their six win of the season, along with their 26th Cranberry Bowl crown. Bridgewater State has won this contest 25 times, according to the game’s program, which includes the two most recent meetings. Massachusetts Maritime has won this contest eight times, including five victories in Buzzards Bay.
After this afternoon’s luncheon concluded, Noontime Sports caught up with Bears head coach Chuck Denune to discuss the contest, as well as his team’s goals.
On preparing for the team’s final game: “Anytime that you’re playing a football game and you’re playing with football players – we’re competitive by nature, so if there’s something to play for it’s pride. It’s a hard thing to play for (pride), but (my) guys have been practicing hard all week and the fact of the matter is that this is going to be the last time a lot of these guys play this game and you want to send them out with that good feeling. You want to take a picture afterwards and smile while they’re doing it.”
On turning the page from Framingham State: “Come Monday, you put everything behind you and you get ready for the next game. That’s probably one of the toughest things about football is that you usually have to wait a week to play another game, but we’ve got work to do, we’re not ready yet, but we’ve got one more practice (tomorrow). There’s no time to dwell because you’ve got to pick up the pieces, you’ve got to correct the mistakes and you’ve got to try and get better.”
On the play of quarterback Mike McCarthy: “A lot of people (have asked about his play over the past few weeks), but he’s been (performing at a high level) all along. The biggest difference between the last two years is that he’s had a lot more talent around him, but since the time he came in and has started for us, he has just been (tremendous). He’s a football player, he’s a good man and I am going to miss him (next season). He’s going to finish one, two or three (in) passing all-time and he’s also the third leading rusher (in our conference), which includes all the running backs and his total offense is off the charts for our program. He doesn’t miss games, he doesn’t miss practices and he’s so unselfish. He’s an outstanding young man.”
On the play of the seniors: “They’ve been a terrific group to be around. Football is football, and it’s one of those things where we’re all supposed to be tough guys and stuff like that, but I don’t think you could have a sole and not get attached to these guys. These guys that have been playing for us – you get attached to them and obviously we’re going to miss them on the field, but we’re going to miss these guys being around every day because they become apart of your life. The hard work and commitment they’ve given us (is great and) you can’t thank them enough.”
On ending the season with a victory, along with the ‘Scoop’ trophy: “It needs to happen. It’s the last game, so besides it being the last game, it is also a statement game, too. Are we ready to go? Are we ready to get back on the horse and move forward? Everybody wants to win and you always want to end it with a win. It is a very important game.”