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On this date last year the Husson University football team already was 1-1 and preparing for its home opener against Western New England.

This year, thanks to the rhythm of the calendar and an early bye, Week 3 is actually Week 1 for the Eagles, which opens its season at noon Saturday at UMass Dartmouth.

While Husson is excited to start its season, UMass Dartmouth opened last Saturday with a 54-7 victory over Alfred State.

Junior quarterback Stephen Gacioch starred for the Corsairs, completing 19 of 28 passes for 338 yards and a school-record five touchdowns.

“Their quarterback is a talented player, they like to throw the ball,” first-year Husson coach Nat Clark said. “Defensively they look very tough up front. They’ll pressure us and do some different things.”

UMass Dartmouth finished 5-5 overall last year, 4-4 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Husson went 8-3 overall last fall, 6-0 in its final year of Eastern Collegiate Football Conference play, to earn a fifth straight league title (four outright, one co-championship) and its fourth NCAA Division III playoffs berth in five years.

The Eagles make their Commonwealth Coast Conference debut Oct. 5 at Becker College. First come nonconference tests at UMass Dartmouth, at home on Sept. 21 against Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Sept. 28 at SUNY Morrisville.

Maine Maritime Academy (0-1) at Plymouth State, 1 p.m. Saturday: This marks the first meeting between the teams since 2012, with Plymouth State holding a 22-7 in the series.

MMA suffered a 24-21 Week 1 loss at SUNY Maritime as the Privateers scored 17 unanswered points over the final five minutes, capped off by a game-winning 43-yard field goal by Joe Gagliardi with one second left.

Plymouth State opened last week with a 23-17 win over Castleton University as David Hamilton snapped a 17-17 tie on a 2-yard scoring run with 6:46 left in the game.

Other Maine small-college games, 1 p.m.: University of New England (0-1) at Alvernia University (1-0), Colby (0-0) at Wesleyan (0-0), Hamilton (0-0) at Bowdoin (0-0) and Bates (0-0) at Amherst.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...