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Football Holds Off Salve Regina, 38-31

Josh Salem made a career-high 16 tackles and recorded an interception in Western New England's 38-31 win over Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Marion)
Josh Salem made a career-high 16 tackles and recorded an interception in Western New England's 38-31 win over Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Marion)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 19, 2019) – The Western New England University football team held off Salve Regina University late to earn a 38-31 victory over the Seahawks on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Football action at Golden Bear Stadium.

Top Performers
Western New England's top offensive contributors were senior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.), senior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.), and junior wide receiver Steven Fedorchak (Guilderland, N.Y.). Coleman completed 17-of-29 pass attempts for 262 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Soberanis ran for 145 yards and one touchdown on 21 attempts, while Fedorchak caught six passes for 117 yards and two scores.

On the defensive side, sophomore linebacker Joshua Salem (Dracut, Mass.) and junior defensive back Tucker Hartmann (Anthem, Ariz.) led the way with 16 and 12 tackles, respectively. Salem also recorded an interception.

Salve Regina junior quarterback Tyler McGovern (Attleboro, Mass.) completed 23-of-40 pass attempts for 271 yards and two interceptions. Sophomore running back Joey Mauriello (Colts Neck, N.J.) had 33 rushes for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively, the Seahawks were led by junior linebacker Matt Messner (Midland Park, N.J.) and senior linebacker Drew Balestrieri (Lynnfield, Mass.). Messner had 14 tackles, while Balestrieri finished with 12 stops. Junior defensive back Deven Deppert (Montvale, N.J.) also had two interceptions for the Seahawks.

Game Review
Western New England opened the scoring with 9:07 remaining in the first quarter when Coleman connected with Fedorchak for his first touchdown on the day, a 15-yard completion that capped a 7-play, 60-yard drive.

After forcing a punt late in the first quarter, the Golden Bears added to their lead on their ensuing possession. The five-play, 95-yard drive culminated with Soberanis rushing for a 1-yard touchdown that gave the Golden Bears a 14-0 lead.

Salve responded with 5:08 remaining in the first half after Mauriello capped off an 85-yard drive with a 39-yard rushing touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7.

The Seahawks tied up the game at 14-14 with 2:35 left in the half when Mauriello again found the endzone. After an interception by Deppert gave the Seahawks the ball back, Mauriello scored his second touchdown of the day on a 32-yard rush.

Western New England took the lead right before halftime, when senior kicker Kieran Lombard (Dover, N.H.) hit a 29-yard field goal with 18 seconds on the clock to give the Golden Bears a 17-14 edge.

Western New England came out strong to begin the second half. After receiving the opening kickoff, Coleman threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Fedorchak on the sixth play of the drive to increase Western New England's advantage to 24-14 early in the third quarter.

The Seahawks responded on the ensuing drive, after a lengthy 10-play, 75-yard possession resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run from freshman running back Robert Gomes (Plymouth, Mass.) to cut the Golden Bear lead to 24-21 with 8:45 remaining in the third quarter.

Salve Regina tied up the game at 24-24 late in the period when senior kicker Angelo DiSanto (North Reading, Mass.) hit a 31-yard field goal.

Western New England took back the lead for good on the next drive when Coleman found Soberanis for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Golden Bears a 31-24 lead with 14:19 remaining in the contest.

After forcing a turnover-on-downs by the Seahawks offense, the Golden Bears started their drive in Salve territory. Western New England capitalized on this opportunity as Coleman scored on a 3-yard rush to put the home team ahead 38-24.

The Seahawks answered immediately, as Mauriello scored on the first play on the next drive, when he was handed the ball and took off for a 68-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 38-31 with 9:40 to play.

The Western New England defense kept the visitors off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, forcing a three-and-out midway through the fourth quarter, before ending Salve's final drive on a Ricky Montalvo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) interception late in regulation.

Notes
• Western New England has won six straight games over Salve Regina, but still trails the all-time series 15-11.
• The Golden Bears utilized a balanced offensive attack with 262 passing yards and 223 rushing yards.

Up Next
Next Saturday, Western New England (5-1, 3-0 CCC) goes on the road to play Curry at 1 p.m., while Salve Regina (1-5, 0-3 CCC) travels to Becker for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.