Defense, Ground Game Deliver In Win Over Nichols

Dudley, Mass. – Led by a stifling defensive attack and a continually improving run game, Dean College went on the road and knocked off Nichols College, 10-3, in non-league football action on Saturday afternoon.

The win for the Bulldogs is their second in a row and the second straight contest in which they ran for more than 200 yards.

Score: Dean College 10, Nichols College 3
Records: Dean College 2-2, Nichols College 2-3
Location: Vendetti Field, Dudley, Mass.
Date: September 30, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM


The rushing combination of Matt Bethel (Miami, Fla.) and Richard Harris (Uniondale, N.Y.) each topped the 100-yad mark on the ground, and Harris salted the game away with several powerful runs on the game's final drive.

Both teams had some success moving the ball in the first half but neither team could put points on the board. Dean got into Nichols territory on the opening drive after a 35-yard run by Bethel but that drive ended on downs.

The Bison made their way deep into Bulldog territory later in the quarter but that drive was thwarted by a Kaleel Harley (Pawtucket, R.I.) interception.

Early in the second quarter Nichols had a 20-play drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock but again the Bulldog defense came up big as Harley hauled in his second interception with a leaping grab in the endzone.

Things were still scoreless early in the third quarter when the Dean defense picked off another Nichols pass. This time it was Marquez Walls (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) who got his hands on the ball and he returned it 31 yards to the Nichols five-yard line.

That play setup Noah Taiese (Aiea, Hawai'i) to barrel into the endzone from one-yard out to give the visitors a 7-0 edge.

After a defensive stop by the Bulldogs, the offense went on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a Hunter Lechthaler (Nutley, N.J.) 22-yard field goal that gave Dean a two score advantage.

Nichols did respond with a ten-play, 46-yard drive that resulted in a field goal, but on the drive Justice Taylor (Cromwell, Conn.) made back-to-back tackles for loss, including a sack that drove the Bison back from the eight-yard line to the 15.

The hosts had a chance to even the score after they moved the ball deep into Dean territory late in the final period but their quarterback, Tony Martignoli was dropped for a one-yard gain on fourth and two by Trent Waters (Knoxville, Tenn.) at the Bulldog 21-yard line with less than five minutes to play.

The Dean offense would not relinquish the ball again, rushing the ball nine straight times, capped by four runs from Harris – five yards, eight yards, nine yard and finally 25 yards – that put the game in the win column for the Bulldogs.

Dean averaged five yards a carry on the afternoon, grinding out 232 yards, highlighted by a 108-yard performance from Bethel and 105 more from Harris.

The Bulldogs defense was stout all afternoon long, forcing three turnovers, collecting three sacks and recording a combined 12 tackles for loss.

Ricco Aaron (Douglasville, Ga.) had a monster effort, recording 20 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.

Meanwhile, Waters ended with 16 stops and two pass breakups and Taylor was dominant again, recording ten tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Harley recorded the two interceptions and added seven tackles and Walls ended with five tackles, two pass breakups and the game-changing pick.

Dean will return to action next Saturday when they return to ECFC play with a visit to Alfred State. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM.

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