LEICESTER, Mass. – Husson University junior tailback John Smith rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated Becker College 45-14 in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The win lifts the Eagles record to 7-1 (5-0 ECFC) while the Hawks sink to 2-6 (1-4 ECFC).
Becker would turn the ball over on their first play from scrimmage, setting the Eagles up at Hawks 32 yard line. After John Smith's first carry went for 25 yards, the junior completed the drive by scampering into the end zone from seven yards out giving the Eagles their 16th game in a row of scoring the first points of the game.
The Hawks responded on their next possession by going 66 yards on eight plays. The drive was capped off with a Mitchell Driscoll five yard touchdown pass to Michael Caban, knotting the game up a 7-7.
Becker took their only lead of the game with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter when Driscoll hit DeJahn Dawkins on a fade route in the back left corner of the end zone, putting the Hawks in front 14-7.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Husson would go on to score 38 unanswered points.
Becker was forced to punt on their next possession, but Husson's Jean Gabriel blocked the kick, setting the Eagles up with a first and ten from the Becker 27 yard line. John Smith took the first carry of the drive 26 yards, down to the Becker one yard line. Husson dialed up Smith's number again as the back bulled his way into the end zone from a yard out to give the Eagles a 21-14 advantage.
With 6:45 remaining in the first half, Husson defensive back Logan Steward stepped in front of a Mitchell Driscoll pass for an interception. Steward returned the interception ten yards, setting the Eagles up at the Becker 15. The Becker defense was able to hold the Eagles to a 23 yard field goal by Travis Tetreault to make the score 24-14.
Husson took a 31-14 lead into halftime after John Smith took a handoff 38 yards to pay dirt for his 47th career touchdown scored (45 rush, 2 rec) moving pass 2016 Husson Sports Hall of Fame inductee Julius Williams for the most in program history.
Becker was forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, but once again Jean Gabriel was able to a hand on the kick. Alonzo Connor picked up the loose ball and returned it 23 yards, down to the Becker 29.
On Becker's next possession, Logan Steward hauled in his second interception of the game, only this time he took it the distance for a pick six to make the final score 45-14.
Michael Caban led the Hawks offense with 58 receiving yards while DeJahn Dawkins finished with 46. Mitchell Driscoll finished with 193 passing yards on 31 attempts.
Defensively, Becker's Joseph Linnehan made a game-high 11 tackles. Teammates Jay Maxwell and LaDarrius Carter had eight tackles apiece. Alexander Stewart finished his day with seven tackles, including 2.5 take downs for a loss.
Along with his two interceptions, Logan Steward also make five tackles to lead the number one defense in the nation, while Charlie Meli, Rick Orio and Ellis Throckmorton chipped in with six tackles each for the Eagles.
Both teams continue ECFC action on Saturday, November 5th. Husson will return home to face ECFC foe Norwich at 12:00 p.m. while Becker host Castleton with a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.