By Brendan Coughlin
It was a beautiful, sunny day for football on Saturday. The Bridgewater State University team took their home Swenson Field at 1 p.m. The students, faculty, and alumni on hand expected a sound performance. They would not be disappointed.
The Bears tallied a 24-0 victory over Plymouth State University on Saturday afternoon. This came following a rough three losses in the past three weeks. BSU got back on track with an explosive offense, totaling 455 yards in the win.
Plymouth State fell to a lowly 1-5 on the season (0-4 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference). Along with the rough season, a record was broken: PSU had not lost to BSU in an away game since 1979.
It was an impressive turn of events, as the Bears would like to make the best of their remaining 2014 schedule. BSU would record its first home victory of the season on its way to improving to a 3-4 record (2-3 in MASCAC action).
Sophomore running back Christian Rivera would trigger the first score for the Bears. He rushed in from 5 yards out with 3:52 on the clock in first quarter.
BSU would continue its dominating performance in the second quarter. Plymouth State was punished after being forced to punt the ball on each of its first two possessions of the quarter. Colin Neri capped off the first of the following drives for BSU with an impressive 44-yard field goal, extending the BSU lead to 10-0.
The next drive started at BSU’s own 18 yard line. Freshman Malik Garrett made an exciting 27-yard dash to the end zone, making the advantage 17-0 for the Bears. That came at the tail end of BSU’s four play, 50 yard drive with Garrett at the helm.
Garrett would see a lot of action, highlighting starting quarterback Danny Higgins’ performance. Garrett would finish with 61 yards, including the touchdown on the ground, and another 38 yards through the air.
The two BSU quarterbacks would continue to rotate for the remainder of the game. Higgins put together an extraordinary 12-play drive in the third quarter. Opening the drive from his own 20, Higgins hooked up with four different receivers.
Alex McLaughlin would eventually rush in for a 15 yard touchdown. The freshman, who was returning from an injury, had his career-high of 103 rushing yards on the day.
BSU’s offense was rejuvenated by the return of their top two leaders in receptions on the season. Matt Green, senior standout, and freshman Travis Bassett, collectively hauled in 134 yards on 14 passes from their quarterbacks.
The defensive effort was nothing short of spectacular on Saturday for BSU. The homecoming victory marked the first shutout for the Bears in three seasons. BSU chalked up three sacks for a total of 22 yards for loss.
One sack came from Senior Tate Doelher. Doehler led BSU with eight total tackles. Another Senior, Adam Toman, ended the game with seven tackles and a sack.
BSU will look to improve their record back to an even .500 next week. Westfield State University is on the menu for the Bears @ 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. BSU football will be traveling to play the WSU Owls at Alumni Field.
Brendan Coughlin is a Comment staff writer.