BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University football team opened the 2019 season with a 39-7 loss to Morrisville State College on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
Junior quarterback Bill Flatow (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) completed 15 of 20 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for another score to pace the visiting Mustangs (1-0).
Senior running back Kinsey Williams (Rome, N.Y.) and sophomore back Mike Cirasuolo (Marcy, N.Y.) combined to rush for 143 yards and a pair of scores for Morrisville, while sophomore wide receiver Tour'e Hall (Stratford, Conn.) caught six passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mustangs finished with 361 yards of total offense with 171 coming on the ground.
Morrisville led 19-0 at halftime as the Mustangs scored all 19 points in the second quarter.
Williams capped off a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run to open the scoring at the 13:08 mark of the second quarter.
The Mustangs took advantage of a BSU fumble on the very first play of the ensuing drive. Taking over at the Bears' 23, three plays later Flatow connected with Hall on an eight-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 13-0. The extra point was missed.
Morrisville scored with just nine seconds remaining until halftime to make it a 19-0 game. Flatow found Hall in the end zone from seven yards out to cap off a seven-play, 47-yard drive.
The Bears capitalized on a Morrisville fumble early in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 19-7. Junior linebacker John MacDermott (Bridgewater, Mass. forced and recovered the fumble to give the Bears outstanding field position at the Mustang 16. Four plays later, senior quarterback Stefano D'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) ran it into the end zone from eight yards out to make it a two possession game.
That, however, would be the only scoring the Bears could muster in the contest.
After an exchange of punts, Morrisville took advantage of a short field as the Mustangs drove 38 yards on eight plays capped off by a Flatow two-yard touchdown run to make it a 26-7 game.
A 49-yard interception return by junior cornerback Deondrade Wells (Goshen, N.Y.) early in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach. Later in the period, the Mustangs drove 63 yards on seven plays (all rushes) with Cirasuolo punching it in from seven yards out to account for the final tally of 39-7.
D'Emilia and sophomore quarterback Brad Thiltgen (Cumming, Ga.) combined to complete 19 of 34 pass attempts for 200 yards. The BSU signal callers were sacked five times by the Morrisville defense.
Junior wide receiver T.J Hairston (Watertown, Mass.) caught seven passes for 60 yards, while senior wideout Williams Watts (Pembroke, Mass.) hauled in five receptions for 78 yards.
The Mustang defense held the Bears to just 68 yards rushing, forced three turnovers (two interceptions) and blocked a field goal.
Wells paced an outstanding defense effort by Morrisville as he notched seven tackles (three solo) and a pass breakup to go along with his pick-six. Sophomore linebacker Ernesto Mitchell (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) added eight tackles (five solo) and a sack, while sophomore linebacker Joe Miller-LaBar (Groton, N.Y.) tallied six solo tackles including two for loss. Sophomore linebacker Philemon Benjamin (Queens, N.Y.) checked in with five solo stops, a pair of sacks and a forced fumble.
Sophomore linebacker Steven Silvia (Dighton, Mass.) recorded eight tackles (five solo) with two for loss including a sack to lead the BSU defensive effort. Sophomore defensive end Dimitri Dorinvil (Brockton, Mass.) added eight stops (four solo) with a sack, and senior safety Mark Wilson (Foxborough, Mass.) made eighth solo stops. MacDermott checked in with six tackles (two solo), a forced and recovered fumble, and a pass breakup. Senior defensive tackle Chris Gemayel (Dedham, Mass.).
Both teams are back in action next Saturday afternoon. The Bears travel to Saint John Fisher College for a noontime game with the Cardinals, while the Mustangs host Hobart College at one.