by Jared Kaden
The Bryant University football team earned an impressive win, Saturday October 22nd, when they took down Wagner College 27-17. The bulldogs needed this win badly after coming off a two game losing streak. Heading into the game the Bulldogs record was 2-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play. In order keep their hopes of being North East Conference Champions they needed to beat a strong Wagner team. The Seahawks had a record of 4-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play going into Saturday. With this strong performance, the Bulldogs improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in conference. Bryant is now 6-3 all-time against Wagner and has won each of the last two meetings.
A week after the worst performance of the season the Bulldogs make a tremendous turn around and get a victory in a must win game in order to keep their hopes alive. Bryant relied on the rushing game and special teams to help pull out an important win. Saturday the Bulldogs rushed for 142 yards against a tough Wagner defense. Through seven games this season, Saturday was just the third time that Bryant rushed for over 100 yards or more. In all three of those games the Bulldogs are undefeated. Sophomore Brenden Femiano returned to the Bryant lineup after missing the previous four games with an injury. He rushed for 98 yards on 15 carries and nearly posted his first-career 100-yard game but was tackled for a loss on his final run of the afternoon.
In the special teams game Junior Matt Sewall set a career-high with 180 kick return yards. Throughout the game Sewall had two large returns which included a 60 yard to start the second half and a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown late in the third quarter that gave the Bulldogs the lead 20 to 10. The 97-yard kick return is tied for second longest return all-time in Bryant University history. The strong performance helped give the Bulldogs a much needed victory against their conference rival.
In addition, Bryant University now has a new record holder for passing touchdown after Saturday. Senior Dalton Easton sets the new school record after throwing his 57th career touchdown. He connected with Taylor Barthelette in the corner of the end zone. The touchdown extended the lead to 27-17 in the fourth quarter. Easton finished the game 14-of-25 for 172 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception. The total number of yards was less than what Dalton would have liked, but he did a great job managing the clock and securing a victory. He led the Bulldogs on two drives that both lasted over six minutes which is a very impressive statistic. The strong senior leadership helped drive the Bulldogs past the Seahawks.
The Bulldogs are hoping that their victory against Wagner will help create some momentum and boost moral before heading into another conference game this week vs. Duquesne. The conference rival is coming off a tough loss to Saint Francis University on Saturday. Duquesne lost 14-10 in a hard fought battle. As the Bulldogs try to make it twin wins in a row on the road as they to take on Duquesne Saturday October 29th in Pittsburgh Pa. If the Bulldogs want to keep their hopes of a Northeast Conference Championship alive, then beating Duquesne becomes a must win game. The game starts at noon and you can tune in on NEC front row.