BIDDEFORD, Maine (September 28, 2019) – The Western New England University football team opened Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with a 50-38 victory over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon at Blue Storm Stadium.
Making his first career start, senior quarterback Brendan Smith (Seekonk, Mass.) accumulated 309 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. Smith completed 16-of-28 passes for 230 yards and three scores, to go with 79 rushing yards on eight carries (9.9 avg.).
Senior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.) turned in a career performance with 202 yards from scrimmage, as he carried the ball 21 times for 168 yards (8.0 avg.) and three touchdowns, while also catching two passes for 34 yards and a score.
Junior Adam Razza (Watertown, Conn.) led a balanced receiving corps with three catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Erich Keutmann (Washingtonville, N.Y.) paced the Golden Bears with a game-high 12 tackles (nine solo) and one sack.
Sophomore defensive back Bailey Devine-Scott (Wattle Grove, Australia) finished with seven tackles and two pass breakups, while junior Aaron Lamar (North Conway, N.H.) also made seven stops and picked off a pass.
UNE junior quarterback Brian Peters (Darien, Conn.) completed 31-of-41 pass attempts for 292 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior wide receiver Ryan Gaboury (Cumberland, R.I.) was among three Nor'easters to top 70 receiving yards, as he caught seven passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior defensive back DJ James (Chandler, Ariz.) made a team-high ten tackles for the Nor'easters.
The Golden Bears, who trailed 10-7 after Peters connected with Gaboury for a 15-yard touchdown less than a minute into the second quarter, closed out the half with 20 unanswered points to open up a 27-10 lead at the break.
Freshman EJ Dudley (Meriden, Conn.) scored on a five-yard run to cap a nine-play, 72-yard drive at the 10:29 mark of the second quarter that put Western New England in front (14-10) for good.
The Golden Bear defense forced a UNE punt on the Nor'easters ensuing possession, leading to a 40-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Razza that made it 21-10 in favor of Western New England with 5:26 on the clock.
UNE's next drive stalled at their own 39-yard line, forcing the home team to punt with 1:18 left in the half. After a block by sophomore Murphy Hartmann (Anthem, Ariz.) gave the Golden Bears the ball at their 42-yard line, Smith orchestrated a five-play, 58-yard scoring drive that lasted just 46 seconds and culminated in a six-yard touchdown pass to Soberanis.
A 12-yard touchdown run by Soberanis early in the third quarter extended Western New England's lead to 24 (34-10), but UNE was able to stay in the game as Peters found sophomore Cobey Johnson (Dedham, Mass.) for a ten-yard score on the Nor'easters next drive.
The Golden Bears scored the final ten points of the quarter, however, with a 22-yard field goal from senior kicker Kieran Lombard (Dover, N.H.) and a one-yard plunge by Soberanis, to push the lead to 27 (44-17) heading into the fourth.
The Nor'easters were able to cut the final margin to 12 as they outscored the Golden Bears 21-6 over the final 15 minutes of play.
• Western New England ran for a season-high 313 yards in the victory.
• The Golden Bears have scored 120 points in their two wins over the Nor'easters.
Next Saturday, Western New England (3-1, 1-0 CCC) returns home to host Nichols at 1 p.m., while UNE (2-2, 0-1 CCC) travels to Curry for a 1 p.m. kickoff.