BY COLE MCNANNA // SEPT. 3, 2016 //
The Curry College Colonels defeated the Bridgewater State Bears 28-24 on the opening night of the college football season. The non-conference victory hurdles them to a 1-0 start for the first time since 2008.
After being named the starting quarterback out of training camp, junior Alex Corvese took the reins and ran with them, throwing for 259 yards on 27 completions and two touchdowns. He also added 37 yards on 15 rushes, one of which went for a 31-yard score.
Corvese noted that being named QB1 was “the best feeling in the world,” and was excited to “lead the troops out here.” He added that they “really wanted to establish the run game, [which] stretched them out a little bit, passes [opened up] and guys made plays.”
Freshmen Tyler Furey and D’Aundray Burcy sustained the ground attack with 40 and 36 yards, respectively, both crossing the goal line. Burcy also added a pair of catches, one of which scored another touchdown.
Senior Anthony Nastasi led the aerial attack catching 12 passes for 96 yards with classmate Nate Chartrand behind him with 58 yards on only three catches. Fellow senior Jake Cawlina accounted for the other passing touchdown and added 48 yards on top of it.
Nastasi noted that it had been a while since the Colonels had captured an opening-night victory.
“It’s just an amazing feeling; we beat a good team,” he said. Nastasi added that he’s looking forward to coming back after getting rest to play Anna Maria in two weeks.
Junior linebacker Devin Williams led the Colonels defense with 11 total tackles, and senior cornerback Christian Braga was right behind him with 10 total. Classmate Sean Conroy pitched in four tackles, one and a half for losses and added a fumble recovery as well. Joe Grogan forced the fumble and added two tackles for losses and a sack.
The Bears opened the scoring on their first possession with a field goal from sophomore Jack Lavanchy who also caught ten passes for 99 yards at wide receiver. However, the Colonels were able to respond on the ensuing drive which ended with the 31-yard scamper from Corvese to take the lead 7-3 after one quarter.
From there, Curry would go on to score on their next four possessions to break open the game with a 22-3 lead. Corvese found Burcy in the end zone and Mark Mrozek sent one through the uprights to make the halftime score 16-3.
In the red zone a little over halfway through the third quarter, Corvese laid a ball up just far enough away from the defender and Cawlina dove, fully-extended to haul in the fifth unanswered score.
Bridgewater responded with a 73-yard, 13-play drive that resulted in a rushing touchdown for Alex McLaughlin from three yards out. Burcy wasn’t impressed by his three-yard rush so he took one in from 23 yards out, and put Curry back ahead 28-10.
Bridgewater quarterback Danny Higgins responded right away with a touchdown pass and after a Colonels three-and-out, the Bears were ready to drive again. They started around midfield and within six plays were nearing the goal line. However, they couldn’t manage the last three yards to the end zone and turned the ball over on downs on the one-yard line.
With just over a minute left in the game, Bridgewater had the ball again and scored quickly to put the score at 28-24. But after an unsuccessful onside kick, the Colonels were able to assemble their victory formation and kneeled the clock away to make the score final.
After the game, Coach Skip Bandini was “Fired up,” with a smile ear-to-ear. He was proud of the effort his men put forth; “We played physical, we played with confidence, and when you [do that,] you win football games. Our kids hung in there, never doubted themselves. I love these kids at Curry.”
Party like it’s 2008: The Colonels last won their campaign-opener in 2008 when the traveled to Worcester State University and battled to an overtime victory on their way to an NCAA Playoff Berth and a 10-2 final record.
Walking-Wounded…already: Unfortunately, sophomore linebacker John Boutwell suffered a knee injury that could be serious enough to keep him out for an extended amount of time. After test results come back, there will be a clearer picture of his timetable to recovery.
Bye-Bye…for now: Curry is already entering their bye-week and will come back to face Anna Maria College at home, Saturday afternoon on Sept. 17.