New Britain, Conn. – John Smith was responsible for four of Husson's six touchdowns on the day and recorded his eighth 100-yard rushing game on the season, tying his single-season record of eight which was set just last season and his 16th of his career, leaving him one shy of the career mark held by Julius Williams but it wasn't enough as Salve Regina came from behind to defeat Husson, 42-39 in the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Clayton Chapman Bowl Championship game on a cool Friday night at Arute Field on the campus of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn.
Husson (7-3) drops to 0-3 in postseason play in program history, while Salve Regina (8-2) picks up their first win over Husson since 2004 and holds a 2-0 advantage in the series.
Smith finished the game with 34 rushes for a new single-game record of 276 yards (previous mark of 274 was set in 2004 by Mike Prentiss) with 3 touchdowns and caught one pass out of the backfield for 23 yards for his second receiving touchdown on the season. He now has been responsible for 22 touchdowns this season, tying him for most on the team in 2015 and in a single-season in program history with senior quarterback Joe Seccareccia. Smith totaled a single-game record of 299 yards of all-purpose giving him 1,829 for a new single-season record. The previous mark of 1,737 was set in 2004 by Prentiss.
He became the second player in program history to surpass the 3,000-yard career rushing plateau and now has 3,141 in just two seasons. He needs 451 rushing yards to pass Williams for the most in program history. Smith also became the third player to exceed 3,000 career yards of total offense and all-purpose yards and the second player to score 200 points in program history.
The Eagles struck first on their second play from scrimmage when Smith broke loose for a 65-yard score 50 seconds into the game.
The Seahawks first score was setup by a strip sacked by Kevin Johnston on Husson's quarterback Cory Brandon and the ball was recovered at the Husson 25 by Johnston. Three plays later Brandan Basil connected on a 21 yard touchdown pass to Alex Hulme with 5:32 left in the first.
Husson and Salve Regina traded back-to-back touchdowns to close out the first on a 7-yard run by Smith and a Basil to Derrick Safo-Darko 56-yard pass as the Seahawks led 14-13.
Smith's 3-yard run capped off a 8-play, 67-yard drive as the Eagles regain the lead with 13:43 left to go in the first half. Husson extend their lead to eleven when Brandon found Logan Steward for a 9-yard score at the 8:12 mark.
Basil connected on a 63-yard pass to James Dawson 43 seconds later as Salve Regina cut the Husson lead to four however the Eagles added a late touchdown with 40 seconds left in the half when Brandon connected on a 23-yard pass to Smith as Husson led 33-21 going into the intermission.
The Seahawks struck first in the second half when Sam Pascale punched in a 1-yard run to the cut the Husson lead to five at the 13:43 mark of the third but Brandon found a wide open Kadeem Edge for a 64-yard score to put the Eagles back up by eleven with 12:16 left in the third.
With 9:21 left in the third Hulme scored on 1-yard pass from Basil to cut the Husson lead to four, but neither team would score for the next 23 minutes of the game until Basil found Hulme with 58 seconds left in the game to complete the come from behind win for the Seahawks.
Husson totaled 453 yards of total offense in the defeat with 286 coming on the ground and 167 in the air. The Seahawks were unable to move the ball on the ground as the Eagle defensive held them to 34 yards however Salve Regina was able to produce 421 yards through the air for 455 yards of total offense in the win.
Brandon connected on 9-of-20 passes for 167 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for the Eagles.
Edge was Brandon's main target on the day with two catches for 72 yards with one touchdown.
Basil connected on 25-of-49 passes for 421 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions for the Seahawks.
Hulme caught a game-high 11 passes for 155 yards for three touchdowns, Sarfo-Darko added seven catches for 188 yards for one touchdown and Dawson caught two passes for 63 yards for one touchdown.
Pascale led the Seahawks on the ground with 34 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.
Ellis Throckmorton paced the Eagle defense with ten tackles and a half of a tackle for loss, while Quan Soyini, Bryant Wade and Ian Palmer each added nine tackles. Luke Washburn and Elvin Suazo each recorded a sack and Soyini and Jean Gabriel each had an interception.
The Seahawks defensive was led by Ethan Gambale with his game-high 16 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss. Danny Ives added 13 tackles, while Joe Cuccia had 10. Johnston recorded one sack and Connor Russo had an interception.
This concludes the 2015 campaign for both Salve Regina and Husson.