LEICESTER, Mass. – The Western New England University football team clinched its third consecutive Commonwealth Coast Football championship and fifth straight league title overall with a 35-0 shutout victory over Becker College on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
With the win, Western New England (8-1, 6-0 CCC) earns the CCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins on Saturday, November 23. Becker drops to 2-7 (0-6 CCC) following the loss.
Western New England's offense was led by senior running back Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.) and senior quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass.). Soberanis rushed seven times for 119 yards (17.0 per attempt) and two touchdowns, while Coleman completed 14-of-23 pass attempts for 156 yards, two scores and an interception.
Sophomore tight end Matt Eylander (Grantham, N.H.) caught four passes for a game-high 71 yards and a touchdown, while junior wide receiver Steven Fedorchak (Guilderland, N.Y,) made five receptions for 44 yards and a score. With his 44-yard effort, Fedorchak broke the program's single season record for receiving yards, topping the mark of 802 set by Kevin Miculcy in 2006.
Defensively, junior linebacker Erich Keutmann (Washingtonville, N.Y.) paced the Golden Bears with a game-high 19 tackles, including three for a loss of ten yards.
Western New England opened the scoring with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter, when Coleman connected with Eylander for a 36-yard touchdown to cap a three-play, 51-yard drive.
The Golden Bears' next possession ended with an interception, but Western New England increased its lead to 14-0 with 6:11 left in the half as Soberanis broke free for a 64-yard rushing touchdown.
Less than two minutes later, senior running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn.) scored from three yards out to make it 21-0 in favor of the visitors. The Golden Bears would tack on one final touchdown before the break as Soberanis again found the end zone on a 51-yard rush to give Western New England a 28-0 advantage heading into halftime.
The lone score of the second half came on Western New England's opening drive of the third quarter. Coleman completed passes to Fedorchak and Eylander for 16 and 15 yards, respectively, to get the Golden Bears into Becker territory. Following a 10-yard run by Hoff, Coleman used his legs to gain 15 more yards and get Western New England all the way to the Becker three-yard line. On the very next play, Coleman found Fedorchak for a three-yard touchdown to cap the scoring in the contest.
The Hawks nearly put an end to Western New England's shutout bid early in the fourth quarter, as junior Jared Zieman (Bethel, Conn.) attempted a 27-yard field goal, but sophomore linebacker Brine Wotherspoon (Wyoming, R.I.) blocked the kick to keep Becker scoreless.
• Western New England was dominant on defense, limiting the Hawks to just 78 yards of offense and 1.5 yards per play.
• Keutmann has recorded 42 tackles over the last two weeks and he leads the CCC with 113 stops this season.
• Soberanis is closing in on 1,000 yards this season with 829 yards and 14 touchdowns on 120 attempts (6.9 avg.).
Next Saturday, Western New England returns home to host Husson on Senior Day at Golden Bear Stadium. Becker wraps up its 2019 campaign at the University of New England.