DUDLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y.) set an NCAA Division III record with five interceptions as Becker prevailed 14-13 at Nichols College in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Football action Saturday afternoon at Vendetti Field.
Nichols Senior Brett McEvoy (Wrentham, Mass.) became the Bisons's all-time leader in tackles during the same game. McEvoy notched 13 tackles to move past Brian St. Peter atop the career tackles list with 361. The Nichols defense held the Hawks off the scoreboard for 59 minutes and change, with the only BC score coming off a pick-six by Bianco in the third quarter – one of his five interceptions on the afternoon. Sophomore Christopher Lawrence (Newport, N.H.) led the charge for NC with 14 tackles (seven solo) – including three tackles for loss and one sack.
Sophomore Tony Martignoli (Santa Rosa, Calif.) accounted for the only points of the first half when he capped a nine-play, 42-yard drive with a nine-yard rushing touchdown at 12:55 of the second quarter. Bianco's 12-yard INT return midway through the third tied the game at seven; the interception was the third of the afternoon for NC freshman signal caller Cameron Hamilton (Mattapoisett, Mass.).
Nichols scored what appeared would be the go-ahead touchdown with 4:05 remaining in the fourth quarter as sophomore Michael Nolan (Coventry, R.I.) scampered in from 26 yards out. The PAT attempt was blocked by junior Shahiem Wilson (Naples, Fla.), leaving the score at 13-7.
On the ensuing possession, Becker freshman Alpha Barry (Staten Island, N.Y.) engineered a 12-play, 67-yard drive that was polished off by a one-yard TD run by freshman David Collins (Staten Island, N.Y.) with 49 seconds to go. Classmate Thomas Beslity (Centerport, N.Y.) knocked the PAT attempt through to give the Hawks a one-point lead before Bianco's third interception of the afternoon sealed the win.
Nichols junior Jacob Duffrene (Boston, Mass.) rushed for a team-high 60 yards while Hamilton and Martignoli combined to go 14-of-32 for 82 yards and five interceptions. Barry, meanwhile, was 17-of-30 for 169 yards and also rushed for 49 yards. Bianco led the Hawks with 11 tackles.
With 95 tackles on the season, Bianco needs just three more to tie Becker's single season record.
This afternoon's contest marked the fifth all-time meeting between Nichols College and Becker College. The Bison lead the series, 3-2, and are 2-2 in games played in Dudley.
Nichols (2-6, 0-3 CCC) – Saturday, November 4 vs Endicott, 12:00 p.m.
Becker (1-7, 1-2 CCC) – Saturday, November 4 vs Salve Regina, 12:00 p.m.