LEICESTER, Mass. – Husson University junior running back John Smith (Fayetteville, Ga.) rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated Becker College 45-14 in Eastern Collegiate Football action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The win lifts the Eagles record to 7-1 (5-0 ECFC) while the Hawks sink to 2-6 (1-4 ECFC).
Becker would turn the ball over on their first play from scrimmage, setting the Eagles up at Hawks 32 yard line. After John Smith's first carry went for 25 yards, the junior completed the drive by scampering into the end zone from seven yards out.
The Hawks responded on their next possession by going 66 yards on eight plays. The drive was capped off with a Mitchell Driscoll (Rutland, Mass.) five yard touchdown pass to Michael Caban (Lawrence, Mass.), knotting the game up a 7-7.
Becker took their only lead of the game with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter when Driscoll hit DeJahn Dawkins (East Hartford, Conn.) on a fade route in the back left corner of the end zone, putting the Hawks in front 14-7.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Husson would go on to score 38 unanswered points.
Husson tied the game at 14-14 with 14:46 remaining in the second quarter when wide reviver Kadeem Edge (Boston, Mass.) outjumped a Becker defender in the back of the end zone on a pass from quarterback Cory Brandon (Pembroke, Mass.).
Becker was forced to punt on their next possession, but Husson's Jean Gabriel (Lake Worth, Fla.) blocked the kick, setting the Eagles up with a first and ten from the Becker 27 yard line. John Smith took the first carry of the drive 26 yards, down to the Becker one yard line. Husson dialed up Smith's number again as the back bulled his way into the end zone from a yard out to give the Eagles a 21-14 advantage.
With 6:45 remaining in the first half, Husson defensive back Logan Steward (Hampden, Maine) stepped in front of a Mitchell Driscoll pass for an interception. Steward returned the interception ten yards, setting the Eagles up at the Becker 15. The Becker defense was able to hold the Eagles to a 23 yard field goal by Travis Tetreault (Morgan, Vt.) to make the score 24-14.
Husson took a 31-14 lead into halftime after John Smith took a handoff 38 yard to pay dirt.
Becker was forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, but once again Jean Gabriel was able to a hand on the kick. Alonzo Connor (Gardiner, Maine) picked up the loose ball and returned it 23 yards, down to the Becker 29.
One the very next play, Cory Brandon connected again with Kadeem Edge for 29 yard touchdown strike to up the Eagles lead to 38-14.
On Becker's next possession, Logan Steward hauled in his second interception of the game, only this time he took it the distance for a pick six to make the final score 45-14.
The Eagles racked up 451 yards of total offense on the day. Kadeem Edge caught six passes for 158 yards. Cory Brandon was 16 of 26 for 236 passing yards.
Defensively, Becker's Joseph Linnehan (Dedham, Mass.) made a game-high 11 tackles. Teammates Jay Maxwell (Dedham, Mass.) and LaDarrius Carter (Capitol Heights, Md.) had eight tackles apiece. Alexander Stewart (Gifford, Fla.) finished his day with seven tackles, including 2.5 take downs for a loss.
Along with his two interceptions, Logan Steward also make five tackles for the Eagles. Charlie Meli (Burlington, Vt.), Rick Orio (Stoneham, Mass.) and Ellis Throckmorton (Bangor, Maine) led Husson with six tackles each.
Both teams continue ECFC action on Saturday, November 5th. Husson will return home to face ECFC rival Norwich University at noon, while Becker hosts Castleton State University at 2:00 p.m.