Mass. College Football: Curry 27, Coast Guard 24

Curry College earned its second win of the season on Saturday against Coast Guard! (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth)

Curry College earned its second win of the season on Saturday against Coast Guard! (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth)

By Brian Willwerth 

MILTON, MA – After losing three straight games to open the season, the Curry College Colonels are now riding a modest two-game winning streak.

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, they used a 275-yard effort in the running game to hold off Coast Guard Academy, 27-24.

“I think we’re doing some good things there. We’ve got a bunch of young guys.  They’re working their tails off. They’re starting to believe themselves in the team,” said Colonels head coach Skip Bandini, whose team improved to 2-1 in the New England Football Conference (NEFC.)

Curry took the lead on its opening possession with a 13-play, 76-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. It ended with quarterback Kevin Fruwirth finding Tyran Harrigan in the end zone from nine yards out. The Colonels led 6-0 after the extra point hit the right upright.

In the second quarter, the Bears took advantage of a muffed punt by Curry, and turned it into a 26-yard field goal from Tyler Henning. It stayed 6-3 until the closing seconds of the half, when Fruwirth found a wide-open Jordan Shairs on the right side, and Shairs went untouched into the end zone to give the Colonels a 13-3 lead at the intermission.

In the second half, the rain picked up, and so did both offenses. The third quarter began with a surprise onside kick attempt by Curry that did not fool the Bears.  They marched down the field, and scored their first touchdown of the game on an eight-yard pass from Derek Victory to Nick Fredericksen.

But Curry came right back, with the running game really asserting itself. Shairs broke through the middle of the line, and was off to the races – 59 yards for the touchdown to make put the home team back up by 10. Shairs finished with 17 carries for 161 yards and two scores, one rushing and one receiving.

Yet, the Bears wouldn’t go away. Victory led a 70-yard drive, and capped it off with an eight-yard pass to Blake Thompson to make it 20-17. Victory finished 28-of-50 for 235 yards, but was also intercepted twice, and had two other picks nullified by Curry penalties.

Midway thru the fourth quarter, Phil Bigelow’s two-yard plunge on 4th-and-goal turned out to be the deciding score. With 2:37 to play, Coast Guard scored its own touchdown on a 4th-and-goal, with Jake Wawrzyniak taking the pitch on the option and finding the end zone from two yards out. Curry recovered the ensuing onside kick, picked up a first down, and was able to run out the clock.

Fruwirth finished 15-of-24 for 120 yards, but did not make any mistakes to cost his team. While Curry had 275 yards rushing, Coast Guard had just 38.

“We’re a young team, we got a long way to go,” said Bandini. “We’re making some mistakes, but that’s part of the game…so if they don’t do the right thing, it’s my fault.”

Curry hosts Salve Regina on Friday night – a team Bandini called one of the better teams in New England, not just the NEFC. Coast Guard returns home to face Maine Maritime on Saturday.

Mass. College Football: Afternoon Roundup

By Brian Willwerth 

Here’s this afternoon’s roundup.

Merrimack 26, LIU Post 21Joe Clancy was 39-of-66 for 381 yards and three touchdowns as the Warriors won on the road. Jere Brown had nine catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

American International 31, Stonehill 10 – It was a dominant defensive performance for the visiting Yellow Jackets, who held the Skyhawks to 189 yards of total offense. Maurice Easterling rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown for AIC.

Bentley 32, St. Anselm 27 – In Waltham, Falcons’ QB Danny Guadagnoli scored on a 13-yard run with under three minutes remaining to seal the victory. He also threw a touchdown pass. Keith Charles rushed for a pair of touchdowns for the Knights.

Framingham State 21, UMass-Dartmouth 14 – Melikke Van Alstyne ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams earned their third conference win.

Western Connecticut 49, Bridgewater State 26 – Bears quarterback Mike McCarthy accounted for 250 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t enough as the visiting Colonels jumped out to a big early lead, and never looked back.

Fitchburg State 40, Mass. Maritime 17 – Steph’fon Teague had 29 carries for 175 yards and one of his team’s five rushing touchdowns as the Falcons won on the road.

Westfield State 31, Plymouth State 0 – Westfield quarterback Tim Rich threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, and Michael Mercadante rushed for two more scores, as the Owls rolled to a win.

Bowdoin 13, Tufts 10 – Jack Doll threw for 259 yards, but it wasn’t enough for the Jumbos as they fell at home.

Bates 14, Williams 10 – The Ephs also lost on their home turf, despite 112 yards rushing from Alex Scyocurka.

Amherst 37, Middlebury 16 – The Lord Jeffs’ Max Lippe and Jake O’Malley hooked up twice on scoring passes as Amherst remained in first place in the NESCAC.

Curry 26, MIT 21 – The Colonels picked up their first win of the season, as quarterback Kevin Fruwirth threw two touchdown passes.

Endicott 53, Maine Maritime 28 – The Gulls’ Drew Frenette threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns. Spencer Walsh rushed for 191 yards and two scores.

Salve Regina 32, Nichols 0 – The home-standing Bison were held to under 100 yards of total offense.  Steven Wilken threw three touchdown passes for the visiting Seahawks.

Coast Guard 41, Western New England 38 – Tyler Henning kicked the game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining as the Bears won at home.

Galludet 7, Mount Ida 6 – Jawad Yatim threw for 284 yards and a touchdown, but a missed PAT doomed the Mustangs in a low-scoring battle.

SUNY-Maritime 35, Anna Maria 24 – The AMCATS fell on the road, despite a brilliant rushing performance by Robert Small (21 carries, 173 yards and two touchdowns).

Norwich 20, Becker 9 – Neither team amassed 200 yards of total offense.  Becker’s lone touchdown came on a pass from Robert Baker to Dejahn Dawkins.