Western New England University continued its home-field dominance on the gridiron Saturday, rallying from a three-point third quarter deficit with 28 unanswered points to cap off its Commonwealth Coast Conference regular season with a 35-10 victory over Husson University at Springfield, Massachusetts.
The victory denied Husson the chance to match Endicott College’s 5-1 record atop the CCC standings, though Endicott’s 37-3 victory over Nichols College on Saturday ensured the Endicott Gulls would win the conference title and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Five-time defending league champion Western New England (7-3 overall and also 5-1 in conference play) outscored its opponents 149-36 in four home games this fall but finished second behind Endicott in the conference based on a regular-season road loss to the Gulls.
Husson (7-3, 4-2 CCC), which was picked to place fourth in the conference’s preseason poll, finished third in the final standings.
Husson jumped out to a 7-0 lead against WNEU as senior defensive back Quinn Donovan recovered a Golden Bears’ fumble and the Eagles marched 73 yards to score on a 6-yard run by senior running back Garrett Poussard of Lewiston with 9:37 left in the first quarter. The big play in the drive was a 41-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Nic Visser to senior wideout Jon Bell of Skowhegan.
The game was tied at 7-7 at intermission, then Husson’s Aaron Paradis of Minot kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 10-7 lead with 10:11 left in the third period.
Ian Britt countered with a 22-yard touchdown run three minutes later to give WNEU its first lead at 14-10, and the Golden Bears added another third-quarter touchdown and two more scores in the fourth quarter to pull away to the victory.
Visser finished with 159 passing yards for Husson while Poussard rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and Bell had five pass receptions for 100 yards.
Senior linebacker Kaleb Caron of West Gardiner and junior linebacker Tucker Buzzell of Lovell paced the Husson defense with eight tackles apiece.