WORCESTER, Mass. – The visiting Bridgewater State University football team posted a 32-13 victory over Worcester State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game on Saturday afternoon at Coughlin Field.
The Bears improve to 6-3 on the season and 5-2 in the MASCAC, while the Lancers fall to 2-7 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
Senior wide receiver Jack Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.) caught nine passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns in the win as he broke his own BSU single-season receptions record. Lavanchy now has 83 receptions on the year as he eclipsed his previous mark of 80 set in 2017.
Junior running back Nick Santavicca (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries to lead the Bears' ground attack. Bridgewater amassed a season-best 324 rushing yards. Sophomore running back David Coakley (Bourne, Mass.) chipped in with a career-best 73 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Junior quarterback Stefano D'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) completed 14 of 21 passes for 130 yards and two scores.
The Bears scored on their second possession of the game as D'Emilia connected with Lavanchy on a nine-yard touchdown pass. The scoring play was set up by a Santavicca 66-yard run. The PAT, however, was pushed wide to the left.
Later in the first quarter, freshman defensive end Dimitri Dorinvil (Brockton, Mass.) intercepted a Mike Kadlick (Dedham, Mass.) pass near the line of scrimmage to give Bridgewater great field position at the Worcester 28. Seven plays later, Lavanchy hauled in a Brad Thiltgen (Cumming, Ga.) 15-yard pass in the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon to give the Bears a 12-0 lead with 1:19 remaining in the period. The Bears again missed the extra point attempt.
The Lancers answered with a 12-play, 87-yard drive culminating in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kadlick to junior tight end Jacob Maher (Marshfield, Mass.). Senior kicker Noah Hwang (Brooklyn, N.Y.) knocked through the PAT to cut the Worcester deficit to 12-7 with 11:56 left to play in the second quarter.
After an exchange of punts, the Bears took advantage of great field position as they started the final scoring drive of the first half at the Lancer 42. A Coakley one-yard TD plunge capped off an eight-play drive to extend the BSU advantage to 18-7. The Bears went for two, but were unable to convert.
Bridgewater had one more possession late in the second quarter and moved the ball all the way down to the Worcester one. On the eighth play of the 69-yard drive, D'Emilia completed a 24-yard pass to Lavanchy on third-and-18 down to the one with two seconds showing on the scoreboard. The Bears tried to hurry up to the line and spike the ball, but the officials determined that time had run out despite a second still showing on the scoreboard.
Following a scoreless third quarter, the Lancers made it a one possession game, 18-13, with 12:46 remaining in the final period on a Dex Andrews' (Dorchester, Mass.) two-yard touchdown run. The quick seven-play, 65-yard drive took just 2:16 off the clock. Worcester went for two to try to make it a three-point game, but could not convert.
A short kick-off and a personal foul penalty gave the Bears the ball at the Worcester 46. On the first play from scrimmage, D'Emilia connected with junior wideout Williams Watts (Pembroke, Mass.) on a 45-yard pass to set up a first-and-goal at the one. Two plays later, Santavicca punched it in from a yard out. Lavanchy booted the extra point to give Bridgewater the 25-13 lead.
The Bears forced a punt and then proceeded to put the game out of reach with a seven-play, 80-yard drive resulting in a six-yard TD pass from D'Emilia to junior tight end Joseph Leanos (Norwood, Mass.) on fourth-and-goal. A 31-yard run by Santavicca and a 30-yard scamper by Coakley highlighted the scoring drive. Lavanchy's extra point made it a 32-13 game with 6:53 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Junior strong safety Mark Wilson (Foxborough, Mass.) made 12 tackles (six solo) and broke up a pass to lead the Bears' defensive effort. Dorinvil notched three tackles (two solo), a sack and a pass breakup to go along with his first collegiate interception. Freshman linebacker Steven Silvia (Dighton, Mass.) checked in with nine tackles (two solo) and his third interception of the season, while sophomore linebacker John MacDermott (Bridgewater, Mass.) added eight tackles (two solo) including one for loss.
The Lancers were led by Kadlick's 316 passing yards and a touchdown. Andrews contributed 35 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Cam Charette (Fairhaven, Mass.) had eight receptions for a game high 134 receiving yards. Maher hauled in six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Eddie Hassell (Milton, Mass.) and sophomore Anthony Casparriello (Westborough, Mass.) paced the Worcester defense with nine tackles apiece.
The Bears did not commit a turnover while forcing two and possessed the ball for just over 34 minutes (34:01). The Bears also finished with 500 yards of total offense for the third straight contest and dominated the ground game with a decided 324-56 advantage in rushing yards.
Next Saturday at noon, Bridgewater State hosts the 40th Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented by Ocean Spray against long-time rival Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Notes: Lavanchy now has 211 career receptions for 2,729 yards and 25 touchdowns. He is now 36 yards shy of Matt Green's (2011-14) all-time program mark of 2,765….Lavanchy is tied with Mark Hull (2002-05) for third place on the Bears' all-time receiving touchdowns list….D'Emilia moved into sixth place on BSU's all-time passing touchdowns list with 26 career TD passes.