Football Suffers First Loss at the Hands of Non-Conference Union College, 17-14

BY STEVEN SOUSA //

The Colonels suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday by way of a 17-14 decision to the visiting Union College Dutchmen.

Traveling from Schenectady, N.Y., Union came well represented as its fans could be heard loud and clear at Walter M. Katz Field.

The Colonels’ first possession of the game ended with a turnover when Dutchman linebacker, sophomore Evan Gilland, intercepted Alex Corvese’s pass and ran it all the way back to Curry’s 31-yard line.

However, the Purple and White defense was able to hold Union to just a 25-yard field goal, putting them up 3-0 with seven minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Colonel offense couldn’t gain a whole lot of momentum throughout most of the game and especially in the first half.

Curry finished the half with two turnovers and a blocked field-goal attempt that would have tied the game with seconds to go in the second quarter.

The defense kept the Colonels in the game though, limiting the Dutchmen rushing attack until the fourth quarter.

“I think our defense played great, but the offense can’t leave the defense on the field all that time, it’s just not good football,” said Head Coach Skip Bandini after the game.

Curry finally found paydirt on its second drive of the third quarter when it started at the Union 43-yard line with 4:20 to play in the third quarter.

Corvese led a nine-play scoring drive that ended with an option play where he called his own number and barreled in from five yards out to give the Colonels a 7-3 edge after three quarters of play.

The Dutchmen wasted no time formulating their response, driving 63 yards in only five plays to take the lead back at 10-7 with just under a minute played in the final frame.

After a three-and-out on offense, mental mistakes started to catch up with the Purple and White.

Union converted on their first fourth-down opportunity of the ensuing drive but the Curry defense forced another on their own 18-yard line. However, an illegal touching penalty gave the Dutchmen another chance which they did not spoil.

Sophomore Brett Waller got all nine yards he needed to put his team up 17-7 with just over five minutes left in the game.

Bandini didn’t put any of the blame on his players for those errors.

“We did some stupid things, so that’s coaching, we gotta coach our kids better,” Bandini said.

Facing a 10-point deficit and only 5:06 left in his back pocket, Corvese again led the Purple and White onto the field. Starting on their own 11-yard line following an illegal block, #12 never wavered and relied on a balanced attack of aerial and ground forces to reach the Union Red Zone.

From eight yards out, Corvese found the 6-2 205-pound frame of senior Spencer Tyler to cut the score to 17-14 with 1:31 left to play.

Junior Mark Mrozek lined up for an onside kick following the score but the Colonels failed to retrieve the bouncing ball and all the Dutchmen had to do was bleed out the clock.

Waller ripped off a 67-yard run down to the Curry four but got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct which brought the ball back to the 14. There the victory formation came out and the 17-14 score went final.

Corvese felt the offense should have executed a lot better but his focus turned to improving for the next game.

“We were moving the ball pretty well at times, then we came up short a couple times,” Corvese noted. “Couple mistakes here and there, but we need to sharpen up for UMass Dartmouth in two weeks,” the senior from Cranston, R.I. added.

The Colonels dropped to 3-1 on the season while Union improved to an identical 3-1.

As Corvese mentioned, Curry has their bye week coming up so they’ll have an extra week to prepare to return to Walter M. Katz field to square off against UMass Dartmouth for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 7.

Colonels Open Season With 33-30 Win over Fitchburg State

BY STEVEN SOUSA //

The Colonels set the tone early and started the 2017 campaign with a narrow 33-30 win over non-conference Fitchburg State University.

The scoring started early for Curry after the defense forced a Falcon punt.  The Colonels marched 70 yards down the field, capping off the drive with an option play to sophomore running back D’Aundray Burcy.

Quarterback Alex Corvese, one of the senior captains, drew the defense out wide and Burcy found a hole and barreled his way in from six yards out to put Curry up 7-0 early.

D’Aundray Burcy (20) celebrates his touchdown with Joe Early (27) and Nick Villaneuva (80) early in the first quarter. Photo Credit: Darren Deng ’19

The Colonels faced their first true test of the game late in the first quarter when Corvese’s pass was tipped and intercepted on the Curry 32-yard line.  Fitchburg running back Jevon Brown-Simpson tied the game up a few plays later with a touchdown run of his own.

The Falcons got the ball back shortly after a Curry three-and-out and soon capitalized on the opportunity with a field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

Despite the previous two drives, Corvese did not lose any confidence in his offense.

“We knew that we could move the ball, we just needed to stay positive,” Corvese said after the game.  “Things were working, there was kind of a fluke interception, we knew we just had to keep things rolling and we would win this game.”

With just under a minute and a half to go in the second quarter, the Colonels faced fourth-and-inches in Fitchburg territory.  Corvese found sophomore wide receiver Nick Villanueva open in the end zone to recapture the lead.  The following extra point was no good, however, but Curry held on to a 13-10 lead going into the break.

The Colonels opened the third quarter with the ball and a chance to double up on the Falcons.  On third-and-goal, Corvese scrambled to his right and engaged a would-be defender who ended up just going for a ride on his back into the end zone to put Curry up 20-10.

Fitchburg would not go quietly and a lot of that was thanks to sophomore wide out Jesse Brown’s effort, who finished with two touchdowns and several acrobatic catches over the Colonels’ secondary.

However, the Falcons were not able to overcome the Colonels’ offensive onslaught which saw a handful of big plays from sophomore wide receiver Dylan Vieira-Owens and junior running back Sean Amaru. DVO finished with four catches for 55 yards, registering a 25-yard catch for his longest of the night.

Dylan Vieira-Owens (23) checks with the referee while split out wide in the red zone. Photo Credit: Darren Deng ’19


Amaru’s performance was certainly noteworthy, with the junior from Westwood, Mass. racking up 188 all-purpose yards with most of that coming at the most important time.

Corvese credited the offense’s performance to some of the big boys up front.

“Our offensive line, they were out of this world.  They drove those guys off the ball all game long,” said Corvese.  “Sean and D’Aundray are running hard, I found some holes, but give credit to the offensive line, they came out here and won the game for us.”

Those men in the trenches stepped up once again when Fitchburg formulated a scoring drive to bring their deficit to only 27-24. Needing another big drive, Amaru’s number was called upon.

A 39-yard gain on first down set the Colonels up just outside of the Falcon’s red zone. After a penalty and a couple more gains, Amaru found a hole from ten yards out to find pay dirt, and extend the lead to 33-24 with only 4:54 left to play.

It didn’t take long for Fitchburg to formulate a response, passing its way down to the goal line. Brown-Simpson found a hole from two yards out but the point-after-try missed and only made the score 33-30.

Curry got set to receive the kickoff and could not do much with the ball. A couple penalties and a stout run defense swallowed the Colonels’ attempts of moving forward. Junior Mark Mrozek came on to punt but the ball was fumbled and senior captain Steve Grogan came up with the loose ball to seal the game for the Purple and White.

Senior captain Steve Grogan (42) leads the defense off the field as happy customers late in the game. Photo credit: Darren Deng ’19

Corvese came out and lined up the offense in the Victory formation and the Colonels went home happy.

Head Coach Skip Bandini felt the victory said a lot about his team.

“I think this team does have a lot of mental toughness, they have a desire on the inside to win, they don’t care what the score is, whether it’s two to nothing or if it’s 220-219,” Bandini said.

Overall, in a game that featured a lot of scoring, Bandini didn’t put the blame in any one area.

“The whole team had ups and downs, it’s not the defense or the offense or the special teams being up or down, it’s the whole team,” said Bandini.  “If something goes wrong, it’s the team so it’s not just a particular phase of the game or one person or one coach.”

Curry starts its rest and repair phase and will start preparing for their trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

The non-conference tilt is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. next Friday night, another Friday Night Showcase for the college ranks that are usually reserved for Saturdays.

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