Husson University built an 11-point third-quarter lead and held on for a 14-12 Commonwealth Coast Conference football victory over Nichols College on Saturday afternoon at Dudley, Massachusetts.
The win improves the Eagles to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference, good for a tie for third place in the league with Western New England.
Coach Nat Clark’s club has a big game for its final home contest of the regular season next Saturday as it hosts Salve Regina of Newport, Rhode Island. Salve Regina is 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the CCC to share the conference lead with Endicott.
Nichols is 2-6 overall, 0-4 in the CCC.
Nichols took a 3-0 lead on Vincent Mallozzi’s 21-yard field goal with 8:09 left in the first quarter, but did not score again until the fourth period.
Husson took the lead with 4:36 left in the first half on a 3-yard run by quarterback Nic Visser, then stretched its advantage to 14-3 on a 28-yard pass from Visser to Tyler Halls of Lisbon with 1:57 left in the third quarter.
Aaron Paradis of Minot added the extra-point kick after both Husson touchdowns.
Husson’s defense forced Nichols to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Mallozzi 29 seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Bison scored their lone touchdown of the game on a 6-yard pass from Alpha Barry to Archie Killian on a fourth-and-4 play with 6:24 remaining.
The two-point conversion try failed, leaving Husson with a 14-12 lead.
The Eagles then got the football and churned out three first downs to run out the clock.
Visser completed 11 of 23 passes for 174 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Garrett Poussard of Lewiston paced Husson’s ground game with 91 yards on 25 rushes.
Tight end Aidan Hogan had four pass receptions for 62 yards, Jon Bell of Skowhegan had three catches for 60 yards and Halls added three receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Junior linebacker Tucker Buzzell of Lovell led the Husson defense with 10 tackles, while senior tackle Frank Curran of Portland added seven stops.
Barry, making his first start at quarterback for Nichols, completed 10 of 21 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also led the Bison with 56 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Nichols outgained Husson 319-286 in total offense.