NEWPORT, R.I. (September 7, 2019) -- Norwich University senior Jacob Burke (River Edge, N.J.) blocked a potential game-tying field goal attempt (28 yards) by Salve Regina University senior kicker Angelo DiSanto (North Reading, Mass.) with seven seconds remaining as the Cadets held on for a 22-19 win over the host Seahawks at Toppa Field on Saturday afternoon.
After a six-yard rush by Joey Mauriello (Colts Neck, N.J.) on its opening series, Salve Regina quarterback Tyler McGovern (Attleboro, Mass.) completed his first two passes to his senior neighbor Brendan Nunes (Attleboro, Mass.). But the drive stalled after one first down and McGovern punted 32 yards on 4th-and-9 to the Norwich 17-yard line.
The Cadets struck for a touchdown on their very first play from scrimmage as junior quarterback Matt Dunn (Rockland, Mass.) found Manni Romero (Phillipsburg, N.J.) at midfield and the junior wide receiver outraced the defensive backfield to the end zone. Clyde Tamburro's (Elizabethtown, Pa.) PAT kick missed wide to the right.
Austen Greene (Herndon, Va.) intercepted McGovern at the Norwich 44-yard line on the next play from scrimmage for the Seahawks. The Cadet offense mustered just five yards in three plays before Matt Rogers' (Mansfield, Mass.) punt pinned Salve Regina at its own one-yard line. Four plays later, DiSanto was whistled for out-of-bounds in the end zone when he received a snap on his punt attempt, and the Cadets led 8-0 with the safety.
Following the safety, the Seahawk defense stopped the Cadets on a 4th-and-1 with tackles from Drew Balestrieri (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Matt Mesner (Midland Park, N.J.) and took over on downs at the Norwich 48-yard line.
McGovern used four plays to cover the 48 yards for the first Seahawk score including a three-yard completion to Justin Jantorno (Titusville, N.J.), a first-down run by Mauriello, another three yards on the ground for Ronnie Martin (Foxboro, Mass.), and a 35-yard TD pass to Danny Hoffman (Trumbull, Conn.). DiSanto's PAT kick pulled the Seahawks within one, 8-7.
Norwich took that advantage into the break after a scoreless second quarter. The Cadets opened the third quarter with an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive as Dunn completed five passes including the final one to Trevor Chase (Eliot, Maine) for a 13-yard touchdown. Tamburro's kick was good for a 15-7 lead.
Salve Regina scored on its final drive of the third quarter after taking a downed punt at its own 43 and benefitting from a pass interference call. Mauriello rushed 37 yards for his first score of 2019. A two-point pass conversion failed.
At 9:05 left in the fourth quarter, the Carlos Rivera Jr. (New Bedford, Mass.) recovered a Cadet fumble caused by Michael LaRovera (Ansonia, Conn.) at the Norwich 22-yard line. Mauriello had two rushes to get the ball to the six-yard line, but McGovern's next pass was picked off by Jordan Jackson (Ocala, Fla.) in the end zone for a touchback.
Salve Regina junior Matt Sylvia (East Greenwich, R.I.) returned the favor with a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown and the Seahawks had their first lead, 19-15, with 7:41 remaining.
Both teams followed with three and out before Norwich got the ball with 4:37 remaining and Dunn engineered an 11-play, 64-yard go-ahead drive. He completed a 4th-and-4 pass to Chase for seven yards to the Seahawk 36, and then put the Cadets back on top with a five-yard scoring strike to Romero.
Salve Regina's final drive started at its own 25 following a touchback on the Tamburro kick off. McGovern had three short pass completions for a first down at the 35 before two rushes gained another first down. On 4th-and-7 with 34 ticks left, McGovern scrambled to launch a long pass to Ryan Lawton (Washington Township, N.J.) to the Norwich 12-yard line.
Three incomplete passes, including breakups by Michael Corinna (Milford, Mass.) and Elijah Henderson (Covington, Ga.), ushered in DiSanto's game-tying field goal attempt.
Mauriello netted 140 yards on the ground while Martin finished with 84 yards rushing. McGovern completed 18 of 42 passes for 180 yards with three interceptions.
Dunn connected with Cadets on 24 of 41 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked four times including three-straight dropbacks in the third quarter.