NEWPORT, R.I. (November 2, 2019) - Salve Regina University football led 27-17 at halftime and scored 26 unanswered points in the final 30 minutes to defeat visiting University of New England, 53-17, in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) action at Toppa Field on Military Appreciation Day.
The Seahawks (3-5, 2-3 CCC) earn their first home victory of the season on the first visit to Newport for the Nor'easters (3-5, 1-4 CCC).
Junior quarterback Tyler McGovern (Attleboro, Mass.) completed 10 of 20 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore running back Joey Mauriello (Colts Neck, N.J.) carried the ball 31 times for 193 yards and two scores.
Junior Brian Peters (Darien, Conn.) engineered a nine-play, 75-yard, game-opening drive to put the Nor'easters up 7-0. He completed six of seven passes including a 14-yard TD strike to Cobey Johnson (Dedham, Mass.).
Salve Regina senior punter Angelo DiSanto (North Reading, Mass.) pinned the Nor'easters on their own seven-yard line with his 44-yard punt after his team's opening drive stalled with two series of downs. A subsequent punt by UNE from its own eight-yard line went out of bounds at the 25 on the UNE side.
Four consecutive rushes by Mauriello produced a tie score.
Starting on its own 35 after the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, the Nor'easters had the ball for 14 plays and 57 yards before settling for a 25-yard field goal from Kevin Heintz (Brewster, N.Y.).
Salve Regina's next drive began at its own 28 and the Seahawks got eight yards in three plays before the first quarter ended. On the first play of the second quarter (4th-and-2), McGovern executed a play-action pass to junior Pat Travers (Plymouth, Mass.) for 23 yards to the UNE 41 and a first down. Next, he threw 11 yards to senior Mike Nestor (Danvers, Mass.) for 11 yards before a six-yard gain by Mauriello made it 2nd-and-4 from the UNE 24. McGovern found sophomore Hayden Hulme (Milford, Conn.) in the left corner of the end zone to put the Seahawks on top.
Senior Justin Jantorno (Titusville, N.J.) intercepted a Peters pass at the goal line for a touchback. On 2nd-and-7, Mauriello broke loose for 47 yards to the UNE 30. Robert Gomes (Plymouth, Mass.) gave his sophomore backfield mate a breather and rushed for six on his first touch. Mauriello returned for two consecutive carries to net 16 yards and another first down before McGovern connected with Travers on a 23-yard scoring strike.
Sophomore Benjamin Cortes (Smithfield, R.I.), who took an oath of induction for Army ROTC at halftime, made a special special teams play by racing down DiSanto's kickoff and recovering at the UNE 21. The Seahawks called Mauriello's number on six successive rushes before he plunged into the endzone from one yard out.
The Nor'easters finished the first half with their final scoring drive. Starting with 5:53 remaining in the second quarter from their own 28, Peters handed to Jack Mahoney (Hudson, N.H.) three straight times with the junior running back gaining two, six, and then 21 yards. On 4th-and-3 at the SRU 25, Mahoney rushed eight yards for a first down and just over a minute remaining. On 4th-and-2 at the Seahawk 9, Mahoney got another first down with a three-yard gain. Timeout UNE. Peters completed a pass to Ryan Gaboury (Cumberland, R.I.) who muscled his way into the right corner of the endzone.
At the break, Mauriello had 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
Salve Regina, which had deferred the opening kickoff, took possession at its own 36 to start the second half. McGovern completed a 16-yard pass to Ryan Lawton (Washington Township, N.J.) and Mauriello had four rushes totaling 32 yards for another series of downs starting at the UNE 26. Gomes had three straight carries that netted 15 yards before McGovern found Danny Hoffmann (Trumbull, Conn.) over the middle for an 11-yard TD pass.
UNE got a first-play first down on its next drive but a bad snap pushed Peters back to his own 20 and two plays later SRU had the ball at its own 47. On its first play, McGovern faked a handoff and found a wide open Nestor on the right sideline and he raced untouched into the endzone for a 40-17 advantage.
Salve Regina's longest drive of the game went 15 plays and 70 yards in over six minutes before ending with a 23-yard field goal from DiSanto. McGovern's incomplete pass to open the fourth quarter forced a punt on 4th-and-4 and No. 12 delivered a 44-yard boot to the UNE 4.
Seahawk reserves got most of the action in the final quarter including sophomore quarterback Jack Maguire (Abington, Mass.) connecting with Nicholas Lane (Pembroke, Mass.) for an 18-yard strike. DiSanto nailed his second field goal of the game (30 yards) with four minutes remaining for the final score.
Defensively, Nick Scarfo (Londonderry, N.H.) led all players with nine solo tackles and three assists (12). Matt Messner (Midland Park, N.J.) also was involved in a dozen stops including six solo. Drew Balestrieri (Lynnfield, Mass.) made 10 tackles (four solo) and picked off a pass with a 15-yard return. In addition to Cortes, teammates Bobby de Poortere (Bernardsville, N.J.) and Michael LaRovera (Ansonia, Conn.) also recovered fumbles.
Salve Regina has won both of its meetings with the University of New England, but only one of these teams will play in Maine next weekend - the Seahawks face the Eagles of Husson at noon on Saturday while the Nor'easters travel for the final time in 2019 to face the Gulls of Endicott College.