By Brendan Coughlin
Bridgewater State was successful in their first conference matchup of the season with Worcester State. The Bears rose to a 51-27 victory to open up MASCAC play this year.
The high-scoring affair would be the tenth consecutive win against WSU (The last time WSU defeated BSU was the 2004 season). BSU is now 2-1 (1-0 MASCAC) on the season.
Senior Matt Green was a man on a mission collecting four touchdowns on the day, with over 300 all-purpose yards. One touchdown short of the five that Green scored a year ago against WSU, setting single game school records for receiving yards and touchdowns.
In this weekend’s matchup, Green was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes from the arm of Sophomore quarterback Danny Higgins. Green added two electrifying punt returns that went all the way back for BSU touchdowns.
Green received the award for MASCAC Special Teams player of the week. Along with the award, Green became the first player in New England Division III history to return two punts for touchdowns in one game.
The game at John F. Coughlin Field in Worcester, MA started off slowly. The Bears would put up the first touchdown of the game in 2nd quarter when Freshman Tyler Bassett caught a pass from Higgins in the corner of the endzone. The 9-0 lead would not last long.
A little over a minute after the BSU score, WSU would respond as quarterback Tyler Bumpus, a Bridgewater native, found fellow senior Tyler Barry through the air for a touchdown. Bumpus would connect with another senior, Jack Sprague, for a score to put WSU on top 14-9.
BSU capitalized on a long drive to end the first half. Green received the first of his touchdowns with 1:33 remaining in the first half.
The second half was a different story, as the Bears completely opened up the game. BSU went on to score 28 points in the third quarter alone. With a nice mix of the running and passing game, as well as a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown, BSU would never look back.
Danny Higgins was putting the ball exactly where he needed to for his receivers all game. Higgins connected with Green on a perfectly placed ball which ended in a 35-yard BSU touchdown. Higgins finished with 3 passing touchdowns and a school record of 308 passing yards.
When I caught up with Higgins to ask about his record-breaking performance, he was humbled saying, “It felt real good but I couldn’t have done it all without my teammates. I have a great offensive line protecting me, my wide receivers did a great job catching the ball and making plays after I got the ball in their hands, and my running backs set me up with the play action after they ran the ball so well.”
Blaise Branch tallied 113 rushing yards with a touchdown. Freshman Alex McLaughlin scored a rushing touchdown out of the Wildcat formation. Both came in the third quarter.
BSU came out on top in this conference matchup as they were able to take advantage of their opportunities. On the other end, WSU was not able to take advantage of their 499 offensive yards from the scrimmage on Saturday.
BSU held strong on defense and had many crucial stops. They were successful in getting to quarterback Tyler Bumpus, sacking him 5 times.
David Console led the defense with 10 tackles in the game. Sophomore Elvis Romero contributed two sacks and eight tackles. Junior Stephen Jacobs had seven tackles as well as one of those sacks.
BSU will look to carry their success into next week as your Bears will take on Fitchburg State University in a MASCAC game at Swenson Field at 7 p.m.
Brendan Coughlin is a Comment Contributor. Editor-in-Chief Kayla Lemay edited this story. Follow her on Twitter @klemay123 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.