Dietrich breaks program's career touchdown reception record with three TD catches
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 11, 2017) – The Western New England University football team established a 35-0 halftime lead on its way to a 55-14 victory over Nichols College on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) action at Golden Bear Stadium.
Prior to the start of the contest, Western New England honored its 19-player senior class, the winningest in team history, for their contributions to the program over the past four years.
The Golden Bears (8-2, 5-0 CCC), who clinched the CCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament with their 42-28 win at Curry College last weekend, will find out their first round opponent during the NCAA Selection show on Sunday night at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. Nichols' season ends at 2-8 (0-5 CCC).
• Senior wide receiver Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) caught five passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns, in the process breaking Western New England's career touchdown reception record with 22 in his career.
• Senior running back Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y.) topped 100 yards for the second straight week, as he ran for 120 yards and one score on 15 carries (8.0 avg.).
• Senior quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) accounted for four touchdowns, as he completed 5-of-11 passes for 123 yards and three scores, to go with 50 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
• Freshman linebacker Ricky Montalvo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) led the Western New England defense with a team-high ten tackles, including two sacks.
• Nichols junior running back Jacob Duffrene (Boston, Mass.) and sophomore receiver Tony Martignoli (Santa Rosa, Calif.) recorded four receptions each for a combined 126 yards.
• Senior linebacker Zackary Gorczynski (Sutton, Mass.) paced the Bison defensively with a game-high 11 tackles.
• Western New England received the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards over six plays for the game's first touchdown. Aiken picked up a chunk of yardage with a 29-yard scamper that brought the Golden Bears to the Nichols 17, and two plays later Service found the end zone on a designed run just 1:39 into the contest.
• The Western New England defense surrendered just 20 yards over Nichols' first three possessions, with all three drives ending in punts. The Golden Bears got the ball back late in the first quarter and put together an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Service to Dietrich.
• The Bison drove to the Western New England 12-yard line early in the second quarter with the help of two 36-yard passes from Hamilton to Duffrene and Martignoli, but the Golden Bears kept their shutout intact as junior Kurtis Jolicoeur (Windham, N.H.) blocked Nichols sophomore kicker Alex Santiago's (Sunrise, Fla.) 30-yard field goal attempt.
• Western New England extended its lead to 21-0 at the 9:07 mark of the second quarter on a 68-yard pass from Service to Dietrich. After a Nichols three and out, sophomore Damond Davis (Springfield, Mass.) weaved his way to the Bison eight-yard line on the ensuing punt return. Service connected with Dietrich for the record-breaking touchdown on the very next play as the Golden Bears added to their advantage.
• Aiken scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 2:46 on the clock as Western New England held a 35-0 lead at halftime.
• The Golden Bears registered touchdown drives of 28, 62 and 40 yards in the third quarter with sophomore quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.) running the offense.
• Nichols put an end to Western New England's shutout bid when Duffrene found the end zone on a six-yard rush at the 12:02 mark of the fourth quarter. The Bison tacked on another late score to cut the final margin to 55-14.
• Western New England outgained Nichols 475-293. The Golden Bears topped the 300-yard mark on the ground for the second straight game with 304 rushing yards. Twelve different players carried the ball at least once.
• The Golden Bears own a 19-14 advantage in the all-time series against Nichols.
• Western New England has won seven straight games heading into next weekend's NCAA Tournament first round contest.