BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Senior quarterback Stefano D’Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) threw for a school-record 345 yards and five scores while accounting for all eight touchdowns, as Bridgewater State posted a 56-20 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
The host Bears (4-3, 4-1 MASCAC) jumped out to a 20-7 lead just 5:31 into the contest on a pair of 61 and 64 yard touchdown connections between senior William Watts (Pembroke, Mass.) and D’Emilia, who added a one yard plunge. Senior Joseph Leanos (Norwood, Mass.) hauled in a 13-yard strike from D’Emilia with 2:30 to play in the opening stanza to extend Bridgewater State’s lead to 27-7, and after junior quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.) found senior Jacen Hudson (Hudson, N.H.) on a two-yard touchdown pass three-plus minutes into the second quarter, the Bears took advantage of a punt and two interceptions to score three touchdowns in the final 4:49 of the half.
Leanos grabbed a 30-yard strike from D’Emilia, who also found junior T.J. Hairston (Watertown, Mass.) from 15 yards out and called his own number for the second time from five yards out to give the hosts a 49-14 edge at the break. D’Emilia capped his record-setting day with his third rushing touchdown of the afternoon early in the third quarter, but he gave UMass Dartmouth its last score of the day by throwing a pick-six to sophomore Jay Bast (Cranston, R.I.) with just over six minutes remaining in the stanza that accounted for the final margin.
D’Emilia completed 15-of-27 pass attempts and finished the day with 398 yards of total offense in the win for Bridgewater State, which received 138 receiving yards from Watts in amassing 464 yards as a team. Gacioch surpassed the 5,000 yard career passing yards mark with 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 11-yard first quarter connection with junior Leroy Brown (Milton, Mass.), in the setback for the Corsairs, who received 75 receiving yards from Hudson as part of 367 yards of total offense.
Sophomore Steven Silvia (Dighton, Mass.) registered 12 total tackles (10 solo) to lead the way defensively for the Bears, who forced six overall turnovers that included a pair of interceptions by freshman Ben McMahon (Somerset, Mass.). Junior Sean Reall (North Providence, R.I.) recorded a career-best 14 total tackles (eight solo and 2 ½ for losses) in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which also received an interception from junior Sam Krajewski (Taunton, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth hosts Worcester State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outing next Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field that kicks off at 3:00 pm, while Bridgewater State returns to action on Saturday, November 2nd when the Bears entertain Plymouth State in a MASCAC matchup at Swenson Field that kicks off at 4:00 pm.