LEICESTER, Mass. - Salve Regina University football defeated Becker College, 55-0, on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field in Leicester. It was the final home game of the season for the Hawks of Becker.
The Seahawks of Salve Regina (6-2, 3-1 CCC) were led by senior quarterback Danny McDermott (Franklin, Mass. / Franklin), who completed 12 of 14 passes for 198 yards with three touchdown strikes. Senior running back Jake Gelb (Charlton, Mass. / Shepherd Hill) ran 18 times for 96 yards and two scores, while sophomore running back Ronnie Martin (Foxboro, Mass.) ran ten times for 57 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Connor Sullivan (Lowell, Mass. / Lowell Catholic) caught four passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, while senior tight end Tommy Seaver (Rocky Hill, Conn. / Rocky Hill) had three catches for 78 yards and a score. Sophomore wide receiver Brendan Nunes (Attleboro, Mass. / Attleboro) finished with four catches for 19 yards. Sophomore strong safety Charlie Connell (Oradell, N.J. / River Dell) led the defense with ten tackles.
The Hawks of Becker (1-8, 1-3 CCC) were led by sophomore linebacker Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y. / Eastport-South Manor) with ten tackles. Bianco entered the day needing three tackles to set a Becker single-season record. With one game left in the season, the sophomore has a school-record 105 tackles this year, eclipsing the previous record of 98. Freshman running back David Collins (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) had his best game of the season, rushing 26 times for 100 yards even. Freshman quarterback Alpha Barry (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) threw for 47 yards and ran for 20, while sophomore wide receiver Michael Caban (Lawrence, Mass. / Lawrence) had three catches totaling 45 yards. Caban also returned five kickoffs for 90 yards.
After the Hawks went three and out on the opening drive, McDermott drove the Seahawks all the way down to the Becker 19 before Wilson stripped a receiver of the ball near the sideline and it was pounced on by senior defensive back Shane Padeni (Leicester, Mass. / Leicester) as the hosts took over.
Forced to punt, disaster struck the Hawks when the Seahawks came with ten men, as sophomore Brandon Caplan (Hopatcong, N.J. / Hopatcong) blocked the kick and recovered the ball in the end zone, putting Salve Regina ahead 7-0.
On the Seahawks' next possession, the Becker defense again held firm, holding Salve Regina to eight yards and a three-and-out. The Hawks were again unable to move the ball, but the Seahawks were called for roughing the kicker, giving Becker a fresh set of downs. They were once again unable to convert, and Salve Regina took over at its own 37 after fair catching the punt. Once again, the Hawks' defense held, forcing the visitors to pooch punt.
On first and ten, Barry found Caban with an underhand pass and the sophomore escaped the coverage and took off for a 40-yard reception into Salve Regina territory, Becker's biggest gain of the day. But a costly holding penalty two plays later ultimately forced the Hawks to punt. Bianco downed the ball at the Seahawks' three-yard line.
Salve Regina's ensuing drive saw them score their first offensive touchdown of the day, as McDermott found Seaver for a seven yard completion in the end zone. That drive brought the first quarter to an end, as a missed extra point saw the Seahawks pull ahead 13-0.
The next two possessions each ended in punts. Then on third-and-13 from Becker's own 18, Barry was strip-sacked by junior defensive back Haiden Pereira (Hopkinton, Mass. / Hopkinton) as Salve Regina recovered at the Becker 10. With a short field to work with, McDermott hit sophomore wide receiver Mike Nestor (Danvers, Mass. / Danvers) for his second touchdown pass of the day The Seahawks took a 20-0 lead.
On Salve's next drive, McDermott moved the ball through the air, gaining 78 yards on three completions. The Seahawks scored when he found Sullivan for a 27-yard touchdown. Salve Regina led 27-0.
On Becker's very next possession, Salve Regina senior defensive lineman Michael Matarredona (Mountainside, N.J. / Governor Livingston) stripped Barry of the ball on a QB option, once again giving the Seahawks a short field at the Hawks' 8. The visitors scored on the very next play on a rush from Gelb, taking a 34-0 lead.
The Seahawks got another short field when a bad snap came on the first play of the Hawks' ensuing drive. Recovering the fumble at the Becker 27, Gelb needed just two rushes to power Salve Regina to the end zone, as the visitors went into halftime leading 41-0.
The Seahawks, now with freshman quarterback Tyler McGovern (Attleboro, Mass. / Attleboro) under center, wasted no time getting back to work in the second half. When Martin fumbled at the goal line, it was quickly scooped up by senior offensive lineman Ian Bomely (Coral Springs, Fla. / Avon Old Farms) who pushed it through, and Salve took a 48-0 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, Martin would cap off a 14-play drive with a four-yard touchdown rush, pushing the score to 55-0.
Becker will close out its season next week when it travels to Endicott College on Saturday for a noontime game. Salve Regina hosts Curry College in its regular season finale next Saturday at 12:00 p.m.