LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College football team lost 45-0 to visiting Western New England University on Saturday at Alumni Field.
The Golden Bears of Western New England (5-2, 2-0 CCC Football) were paced by senior quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y. / Sachem North), who threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 48. Sophomore quarterback Alec Coleman (Arlington, Mass. / Arlington) took over late, going four-of-five for 49 yards in the air and rushing for 88 yards off four carries with a score. Sophomore running back Peter Hoff (Shelton, Conn. / Shelton) ran for 43 yards on seven carries. Junior wide receiver Jared Wolfe (Seaford, N.Y. / MacArthur) caught three passes for 85 yards and a score, while senior wide receiver Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn. / Cheshire) had 68 receiving yards on three catches with a touchdown. Senior running back Dante Aiken (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Bishop Ford), junior running back Matt Anastasi (Stoughton, Mass. / Cardinal Spellman) and sophomore Damond Davis (Springfield, Mass. / Putnam) each rushed for a score.
The Hawks of Becker (0-7, 0-2 CCC Football) were led by sophomore linebacker Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y. / Eastport-South Manor) with 11 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles. Junior quarterback Nas Sinkfield-Shelton (New Rochelle, N.Y. / New Rochelle) threw for 42 yards, going 11-of-19, and ran for 34 net yards. Freshman running back Ian McSweeney (Franklin, Mass. / Tri-County Vocational) ran for 24 yards on five carries. Sophomore wide receiver Michael Caban (Lawrence, Mass. / Lawrence) totaled seven receptions for 24 yards.
On the opening drive of the game, the Bears ran a play-action play from the shotgun formation, as Service found Wolfe behind the Hawk defense, burning Becker on a 50-yard touchdown completion. Western New England went ahead 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
After Becker went three-and-out, the visitors took over with excellent field position at the Hawks' 49-yard line. Despite a mammoth sack by Bianco on first down, the Golden Bears converted on fourth-and-five to keep the drive alive on a catch by Wolfe. Western New England tried to repeat the feat on a fourth-and-nine from the Becker 32, and a shot by Service to the end zone was just outside the reach of senior wide receiver Justin Townsend (Stratford, Conn. / Bunnell). The Golden Bears turned the ball over on downs.
After another Becker three-and-out, the Hawks defense came up big in stuffing Hoff on back-to-back carries and forcing Western New England to punt for the first time on the day.
Backed up on their own seven, Becker picked up a desperately needed first down when Sinkfield-Shelton found Sweeney for a ten-yard completion. The Hawks were unable to capitalize, however, as they were forced to punt for the third time on the day.
Taking control at the Becker 43, the first quarter came to an end with Western New England leading 7-0. The Golden Bears went for it on fourth-and-15 from the Becker 29, as Service fired a bullet for Davis in the end zone. Becker junior defensive back Shahiem Wilson (Naples, Fla, / Palmetto Ridge) made a huge breakup to give the ball back to the Hawks as Western New England again turned it over on downs.
After another punt by the Hawks, Service and the Golden Bear offense took over at their own 41. On just the second play of the drive, Service found Dietrich wide open for a 58-yard touchdown completion as Western New England went ahead 14-0.
On the ensuing Becker drive, Sinkfield-Shelton scrambled for a first down on an option, and the Hawks managed to get to midfield before once again being forced to punt.
With Western New England driving, Bianco made another huge sack on Service on second and ten. But the Golden Bears overcame the yardage deficit on the very next play as Hoff scrambled to the outside, getting good blocking from his receivers as he ran for 18 yards and the first down. Five plays later, Davis punched the ball in from the Becker two-yard line and the visitors took a 21-0 lead with 4:25 remaining in the half.
Starting at their 18, the Becker offense reached their own 33 before being forced to punt once again with 1:15 left in the second quarter.
Service escaped a near-sack on third down, reaching the Becker 11 and giving the Golden Bears a fourth-and-two chance with 21.7 seconds left. Townsend picked up the first down with a two-yard rush on the next play and Service spiked the ball to stop the clock with ten seconds left. The Hawk defense managed to keep Western New England out of the end zone, but the visitors ended the half with a 25-yard field goal, going into the break leading 24-0.
On the opening drive of the second half, Sinkfield-Shelton seemed to be finding a groove, picking up a first down on two short completions to Caban. But in a crucial setback, a low snap got by Sinkfield-Shelton and led to a loss of 21 for Becker. The Hawks were forced to punt with the Golden Bears taking over near midfield.
Once again working with a short field, Service engineered a six-play drive, with Aiken punching it in from the four yard-line. Western New England took a commanding 31-0 lead.
Becker's ensuing drive saw the Hawks pick up two first downs for the first time of the day, but ultimately fizzled as they punted it away from midfield.
Coleman took over under center for the Golden Bears on the ensuing drive. On Western New England's third play of the drive, the rookie ran an option and broke through for a 72-yard touchdown run. Western New England went ahead 38-0.
The Hawks had their best drive of the game after the kickoff, with Sinkfield-Shelton scrambling for 26 yards on one play, with a personal foul penalty tacked on. As the fourth quarter dawned, the home team seemed poised to avoid the shutout. But with a third-and-eight on the Golden Bear 14, Becker made a costly mistake when a high snap went flying over Sinkfield-Shelton's head. Junior linebacker Mike Chirco (Weedsport, N.Y. / Weedsport Central) recovered the ball for Western New England, ending the Hawks' best scoring attempt on the day.
On the ensuing drive, Coleman led the Golden Bears on an 11-play drive to the Becker 7. But the Hawks caught a break when Bianco stripped sophomore Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass. / Newton South) of the ball and Becker recovered at their own nine.
Now with freshman quarterback Alpha Barry (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) under center, Becker managed seven net yards on the ensuing drive before again punting away.
With good field position from the Becker 47, Western New England needed just three plays to score again. Anastasi broke free for a 33-yard touchdown run, and the Golden Bears took a 45-0 lead. That would hold up for the final score.
Becker is back on the field next Saturday when they travel to Nichols College to face their crosstown rivals in the Bison. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Western New England hosts Salve Regina University next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. for their next contest.
Follow the Hawks all season long! Go to http://www.beckerhawks.com and follow us on Twitter: @BeckerAthletics , Instagram: @beckercollegeathletics and Facebook: @BeckerCollegeAthletics