BY COLE MCNANNA // SEPT. 14, 2015 //
After trailing just 10-0 at halftime, Curry College was outscored 21-3 in the second half en route to a 31-3 non-conference loss to Fitchburg State University Friday night. It was the Colonels’ home opener, and the team fell to 0-2 on the young season.
Despite the lopsided defeat, players remain optimistic. According to freshman Luc Zikianda, who led Curry with eight tackles, the Colonels are “really close to being a good team.”
“The defense, for the most part, did their jobs,” he added, “and if we can get the offense really going, we should be fun to watch.”
The Fitchburg State Falcons opened the scoring a little over halfway through the first quarter. Junior Garrett Dellechiaie connected with sophomore Jesse Lastra on a 32-yard throw and catch, capping off a seven-play drive that covered 45 yards in a little more than three minutes.
Fitchburg finished off the scoring for the first half with a field goal off the foot of junior Christopher Ludwig from 22 yards out. That capped off a four-play drive that only accumulated two yards, but brought the clock down to less than 10 minutes in the half.
On Fitchburg’s first possession of the second half, they drove 60 yards on six plays, only needing two minutes before junior Taylor Wrice-Brooks scampered in from five yards out, putting the Falcons up 17-0.
The Colonels fumbled the kickoff, giving the ball back to Fitchburg. Fitchburg went on to score on a similar drive, this time using seven plays to gain 62 yards in just over two minutes. Senior Jordan Almore took this one in from only a yard out to increase the Falcons’ lead to 24-0.
To end the third quarter, Fitchburg put together a 17-play drive, chewing up more than 10 minutes of the clock while driving 88 yards. Dellechiaie connected with junior Trayvon Neal for a 4-yard catch. This would end the scoring for the Falcons, putting them up 31-0 with a little more than 7:30 left to play in the game.
In response, Curry put together its own drive of 66 yards on 13 plays. Freshman Marc Mrozek made his first field goal attempt this season, from 33 yards out. Mrozek’s field goal ended the scoring for the game.
The Colonels were led by junior Mike O’Hearn, who went 25-40 passing for 156 yards and four interceptions. O’Hearn also led the running game for Curry, with 14 yards on six attempts. Teammate Anthony Nastasi led the receivers with 10 catches for a game-high 98 yards. Natasi also led the game in all-purpose yards with 98.
On the other side of the ball, sophomore Steve Grogan and Zikianda each had eight tackles. Zikianda also recorded the only Curry sack and added two tackles for losses, totaling four negative yards. Sophomore Devin Williams recorded seven total tackles while juniors Christian Vellante and Stephen Blake totaled six tackles for the Colonels. Senior Michael Morrison also had six tackles.
The Falcons offense was led by Dellechiaie, who threw 160 yards and two touchdowns, while also scrambling for 36 yards on the ground. Wrice-Brooks led the game with 81 yards rushing and also scored a touchdown, while Lastra led the team in receiving with 91 yards on eight catches and one score.
Despite the loss, Curry players were excited to play a game on the newly renovated football field for the first time this season.
“There’s nothing better than Friday night lights and on the new turf,” said Nastasi. “It was great to be out in front of our fans again.”
Curry travels to central Massachusetts this Saturday to take on Anna Maria College (3 p.m.). Like Curry, the Amcats enter the game 0-2.
“I haven’t really seen any film on them yet, but next week will be our last out-of-conference game,” said Nastasi. “It will be great to get that first win before heading into the meat of our schedule, where they’re all conference games.”