Caddell, Jr registers first collegiate interception for Green and Gold in MASCAC setback
North Dartmouth, Mass.– The Fitchburg State University football team dropped a 37-13 decision to the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth this afternoon in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action from Cressy Field.
Score: Fitchburg State 13, UMass Dartmouth 37
Records: Fitchburg State (1-2, 0-1 MASCAC) | UMass Dartmouth (3-0, 1-0 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Junior Jacob Francis (Middletown, R.I.) rushed for 63 yards and three touchdowns, as UMass Dartmouth limited Fitchburg State to 195 yards of total offense en route to a 37-13 victory in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
The host Corsairs, who are 3-0 for the first time since the 2003 squad's 9-2 campaign, grabbed a 13-0 lead in the opening 10-plus minutes of play on a pair of three-yard touchdown runs from junior John Francis (Middletown, R.I.).
UMass Dartmouth extended that margin to 20-0 in the closing seconds of the first quarter when junior quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) connected with fellow junior Leroy Brown (Milton, Mass.) from four yards out, but Fitchburg State settled in during the second stanza and closed its gap to 20-6 at the break on a pair of field goals off the foot of junior Melchior Lynch (Roxbury, Mass.) from 26 and 30 yards.
That margin held up until midway through the third quarter when Gacioch hooked up with junior Brendan Cuthill (Fall River, Mass.) on a three-yard scoring strike, and Francis capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive with his third visit to the end zone from two yards out with 75 seconds remaining in the frame.
Junior James Tooker (Harwich, Mass.) closed out the Corsair scoring by booting a 28-yard field goal midway through the final quarter of action, but the Falcons answered on the ensuing possession when senior quarterback Connor Fitzsimons (Flushing, N.Y.) found fellow senior Jesse Brown (Yonkers, N.Y.) on a 49-yard touchdown pass that accounted for the final score.
Inside the Numbers
This afternoon's contest marks 23rd meeting between the two squads on the gridiron with the Falcons 8-15 all-time when taking on the Corsairs
Fitchburg State had won three of the previous four matchups with UMass Dartmouth, including a 32-29 decision last season at Cressy Field
Offensively for the Falcons, Fitzsimons completed 10-of-35 passes for 146 yards and one score, while junior Fernando Santiago (Merrimack, N.H.) and sophomore Steven Lawton (Ayer, Mass.) combined for 89 yards on the ground on 25 carries
Brown and senior Joshua Nelson (Providence, R.I.) combined for five grabs for 112 yards and one touchdown
For the Corsairs, Gacioch finished 14-for-28 with 189 yards and two TD's, while Francis ran for 63 yards on 13 rushes and a trio of touchdowns
Defensively, junior Richard Austin (Wareham, Mass.) tallied a team-best 11 tackles on nine solo stops and two assisted tackles as well as four TFL's, one sack, one fumble forced and one fumble recovered
Senior Arnold Caddell Jr (Webster, Mass.) added his first collegiate pick for the Green and Gold
UMass Dartmouth was paced by senior Tony Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.), who collected eight tackles on seven solo stops and one assisted tackle in addition to four TFL's, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered, blocked kick and one pass defended
Falcons will host the Bears of Bridgewater State University next Saturday for a MASCAC matchup, starting at 12:00 PM. Corsairs will host the Panthers of Plymouth State on the same date for a conference tilt at 2:00 PM.
Portions of release courtesy of UMD SID office