Salve Regina wins eighth straight season opener with 35-28 final against Worcester State

Charlie Connell (No. 32) celebrates his pick six with several Seahawk defenders in chase.
Charlie Connell (No. 32) celebrates his pick six with several Seahawk defenders in chase.
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Salve Regina 35, Worcester State 28
Middletown, R.I. - Gaudet Field
Saturday, September 2, 2017

Salve Regina University sophomore Charlie Connell (Oradell, N.J.) intercepted the first and last passes by Worcester State University quarterback Noah Brum (Honnolulu, Hawaii) while returning the first for a pick six, as the Seahawks defeated the Lancers, 35-28.

Series and Streaks
The Seahawks have won the last four meetings with the Lancers, including the last three season openers, and have evened the all-time series at six wins apiece. Salve Regina has won its last eight season openers, the last five with head coach Kevin Gilmartin.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Salve Regina senior James Dawson (Oradell, N.J.) - rushed a career-high 32 times (10 more time than previous career best) for 116 yards and one touchdown.
  2. Salve Regina sophomore Charlie Connell (Oradell, N.J.) - picked off two passes - the first returned nine yards for the first touchdown of the game; the second the final defensive play for the Seahawks who took a knee for two snaps to finish the last minute.
  3. Salve Regina junior Andrew Verre (Wethersfield, Conn.) - made all five PAT attempts with kicks through the uprights, and averaged 55 yards per punt including a pair of blasts (64, 56).

Scoring Drives
SRU 1st 11:24 Charlie Connell 9 yd interception return (Andrew Verre kick)
SRU 1st 7:49 James Dawson 2 yd run (Andrew Verre kick) 5-36 | 1:52
WOR 1st 2:26 Jacob Maher 10 yd pass from Noah Brum (Noah Hwang kick) 3-53 | 1:32 WOR 2nd 12:12 Jacob Maher 67 yd pass from Noah Brum (Noah Hwang kick) 2-67 | 0:41
SRU 2nd 8:37 Robert Askew 10 yd run (Andrew Verre kick) 7-63 | 3:35
WOR 2nd 0:00 Justin Lewis 18 yd pass from Noah Brum (Noah Hwang kick) 5-75 | 3:00
SRU 3rd 11:24 Brendan Nunes 35 yd pass from Danny McDermott (Andrew Verre kick) 3-42 | 1:13
SRU 3rd 9:15 Tommy Seaver 30 yd pass from Danny McDermott (Andrew Verre kick) 4-42 | 2:09
WOR 4th 5:49 Dan Orlando 5 yd pass from Noah Brum (Noah Hwang kick) 2-8 | 0:47

Key Stat of the Game
Seven interceptions - three by the Lancer defenders and four from the Seahawks, including two from Charlie Connell. Worcester State had 36 return yards on its three picks, while Connell was the only Seahawk to advance his interception - scoring six points on his nine-yard return.

Turning Point
Tied 21-21 at halftime after Noah Brum connected with Justin Lewis on an 18-yard pass play as time expired, Salve Regina started its first possession of the second half in enemy territory with the aid of a fair catch interference penalty. On 3rd-and-3, McDermott hit Brendan Nunes (Attleboro, Mass.) for a 35-yard touchdown completion. Senior David Gelormini (New Providence, N.J.) executed a perfect onside kick that was recovered in front of the Seahawk bench by classmate Andrew Harmon (Cedar Grove, N.J.). After three plays earned a 1st-and-10 from the Worcester State 30, McDermott found Tommy Seaver (Rocky Hill, Conn.) for a two-score advantage.

Quick Hits

  • James Dawson had his eighth career rushing game over 100 yards, and third in a row after finishing last season with a pair of games over the century mark.
  • Danny McDermott delivered three punts and landed all three inside the 20, the first pinning the Lancers on their own two-yard line. Two plays later, Charlie Connell had his pick six.
  • Andrew Verre attempted four punts and landed one inside the 20; his 64-yarder went over the head of Kharif Pryor (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who retrieved it on his own three-yard line before gaining six yards on his return.

Next Up
Salve Regina (1-0, 0-0 CCC Football) - hosts Montclair State University on Saturday, September 9 (12 p.m.), at the newly renovated Toppa Field at Freebody Park in Newport (new FieldTurf).
Worcester State (0-1, 0-0 MASCAC) - has its home opener on Friday, September 8 (7 p.m.), with Becker College making the short trip to Worcester.