DELAND, Fla. (September 21, 2019) – The Western New England University football team fell to Division I FCS program Stetson University, 59-28, on Saturday evening at Spec Martin Stadium.
Western New England was led offensively by junior wide receiver Adam Razza (Watertown, Conn.) and senior running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.). Razza made five receptions for 131 yards, and Hoff ran five times for 88 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Joshua Salem (Dracut, Mass.) recorded a game-high 14 tackles (nine solo). Sophomore Bailey Devine-Scott (Wattle Grove, Australia) and junior Aaron Lamar (North Conway, N.H.) finished with 11 tackles each.
Stetson graduate quarterback Gaven DeFilippo (Tucson, Ariz.) completed 27-of-35 pass attempts for 300 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore running back Jareem Westcott (St. Augustine, Fla.) carried the ball 12 times for 75 yards and two scores, while redshirt freshman receiver Justin Curtis (Bradenton, Fla.) hauled in ten receptions for 99 yards and a score.
Western New England got off to a strong start, as the Golden Bears forced a three and out on Stetson's opening possession before putting together a five-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in a 21-yard rushing touchdown for senior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.).
After Stetson's second possession also ended without points, the Hatters broke through with 2:55 left in the opening period when DeFilippo found senior tight end Tony Gilotti (Orange City, Fla.) for a ten-yard touchdown to tie the contest.
An interception on the third play of Western New England's ensuing drive led to another Stetson touchdown four plays later, as DeFilippo connected with graduate tight end Max Draper (Chicago, Ill.) for a nine-yard score that gave the home team a 14-7 lead.
The Hatters added to their lead with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Westcott at the 11:28 mark of the second quarter, before DeFilippo threw for his third score of the game midway through the period to extend the Stetson advantage to 28-7. The home team would go on to hold a 35-7 lead at halftime.
Western New England's opening possession of the second half ended with a two-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.), which was set up by Hoff's 87-yard scamper two plays earlier.
DeFilippo threw his fifth and final touchdown pass on Stetson's next possession, and the Hatters added a field goal with 7:00 to play in the third as the lead grew to 45-14. Westcott later capped the third quarter scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run that came with 2:16 remaining in the frame.
Early in the fourth quarter, WNE freshman running back EJ Dudley (Meriden, Conn.) found the end zone on a four-yard run to cap a five-play, 80-yard drive that included a 50-yard pass from senior quarterback Brendan Smith (Seekonk, Mass.) to Razza.
Both teams would tack on one more touchdown, as Stetson redshirt junior running back Chase Blackmon (Dover, Fla.) scored on a two-yard carry with 9:19 remaining in the game, and Smith connected with sophomore AJ Hall (Norwalk, Conn.) for a 13-yard TD with 3:27 on the clock.
• Western New England gained 388 yards of total offense on 61 plays (6.4 avg.), while Stetson accumulated 643 yards on 92 plays (7.0 avg.).
• The Golden Bears were limited to a 21.3% (3-of-14) third down conversion rate. The Hatters converted 9-of-14 (64%) third down attempts.
Western New England (2-1) opens CCC play next Saturday at the University of New England, while Stetson (2-1) hosts North Carolina Wesleyan.