In football, it is often said that if you have two quarterbacks, then you don’t have one. Bridgewater has proved that theory wrong early this season.
Under the lights at Swenson Field, home of the Bears, BSU topped Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Association (MASCAC) opponent Worcester St., 34-28. The victory improves Bridgewater’s record to 2-1 on the season and most importantly 1-0 in the MASCAC.
The two-quarterback attack of Alex McLaughlin and Danny Higgins continued this week. McLaughlin took the majority of the snaps and finished with 166 yards passing with two touchdowns and added 82 yards on the ground scoring another touchdown. Higgins tossed for 128 yards on any four completions with a touchdown.
Bridgewater’s high powered offense has now tallied 97 points through three games. Coach Denune spoke about his offense, “We are getting some big explosive plays, but I think they have the ability to score in the forties consistently if they play well.”
BSU struck first when MacLaughlin drove his team 71 yards down the field and scampered across the goal line for a three yard touchdown.
Worcester would take a 10-7 lead with a field goal and a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Trevor Vasey to junior wideout Aaron Witkus. Vasey had a huge game in the loss, accumulating 316 yards through the air completing 36 of 63 pass attempts.
Higgins took the team over and drove 70 yards down the field. When the Bears found themselves not quite in field goal range, but too close to punt the ball away, they attempted a seemingly impossible 4th-and-19. Senior receiver Mike Viola found space in the back corner of the endzone and Higgins hit him on the money, giving BSU a 14-10 advantage.
Worcester answered back with a Derek Moore touchdown reception. The extra point attempt was blocked by Nicholas Salois, keeping the game at 16-14.
Higgins was handed the ball at the end of the first half, and drove the Bears down into field goal range. A screen pass to Carlton Williamson went for 28 yards. A 20-yard pass to Travis Bassett, setting up Liam Murphy for a 29-yard field goal to give the Bears a one point advantage at halftime.
BSU led 24-16 entering the fourth quarter after McLaughlin and Bassett connected for a touchdown. Bassett continues to be a problem with opposing secondaries leading BSU with 204 yards receiving early in the year.
Murphy added a second field goal from 26 yards out after a 16-play drive. Bridgewater was in the driver’s seat but still needed to close the game out. “You have to preach to them, 60 minutes and we’re not going to take our feet off the pedal until we get there,” said Denune.
Senior captain David Console’s interception at his own 10 yard line went to waste after BSU fumbled the ball on their first offensive play. Worcester’s Kemani Jones ran in a touchdown on the first play of the possession to go along with his 100-yard performance to narrow the gap to 27-22.
Mike Viola would strike again with a little over 8 minutes remaining. McLaughlin linked up with his big receiver deep downfield allowing Viola to score for a second time on an untouched 73-yard play.
Worcester struck one more time on a touchdown pass from Vasey to Terrence Gibson, but only 35 seconds remained on the clock. Worcester’s onside attempt failed giving the Bears their victory, 34-28.
BSU will travel to Fitchburg State University on Saturday for another divisional matchup with the Rams at 12 p.m.
“They have a quarterback who is just like a magician, he extends plays and the longer he extends it the bigger they seem to be,” said Coach Denune.
With a good football team ahead of them, the Bears will look to bump and grind and continue their winning ways in the conference.
“We’re getting there, we’re headed in the right direction, but I don’t think we have peaked yet,” said Coach Denune. In other words, the sky’s the limit for this talented squad.