Norwich powered its way to victory with a strong ground game, netting 317 rushing yards on the afternoon. Senior quarterback Philippe Bazinet (Otterburn Park, Quebec, Canada) was able to net a career-best 106 rushing yards that included an impressive 41-yard run for his team's final score of the game.
Senior Wesley Medeiros (Gilford, N.H.) booted three field goals in the contest, tying the single-game program record. He also tied himself with Rhett Soltas '05, who made 34 field goal kicks across a four-year tenure in a Norwich uniform – he needs only one field goal to equal the all-time record holder, Rich Donahue '89.
Norwich scored only 5:28 into the game as Medeiros punched home the 32nd field goal of his career, propelling the Cadets to a 3-0 lead with a 36-yard boot. Bazinet directed the 12-play, 47-yard drive after the Cadets received the game's opening kick.
After the Norwich defense stood tall on the next drive, the Cadets received the ball back and freshman Patrick Brown (Pooler, Ga.) kept a lengthy Norwich drive alive with a clutch first down conversion on fourth-and-inches. Junior Quincy Williams (Brossard, Quebec, Canada)would follow with his team's first touchdown of the game on a 16-yard run.
Norwich held the decisive edge in first half time of possession as an eight-play, 30-yard drive was capped off by Medeiros' second field goal of the game with 12:19 remaining in the opening half. The Cadets, leading by a 12-0 margin at that point, would go on to possess the ball for nearly 22 of the game's first 30 minutes.
After a pass interference call against Becker on a fourth-and-two play, Norwich received extended life in the red zone. A personal foul by the Cadets near the goal line, however, set the team back 15 yards – from that distance, Medeiros booted his third field goal of the game to put Norwich up by a 15-7 score at the half.
The third quarter saw Norwich miss a field goal attempt, turn the ball over on downs and punt the ball away as neither team's offense was able to generate a score of any kind. The Cadets defense did stand tall, however, by forcing three separate three-and-outs.
Becker shrunk its deficit, however, by ending a 13-play, 81-yard drive with a 21-yard pass from Hawks quarterback Mitchell Driscoll that was reeled in by Brandon Mulling. Down by a 15-13 score, Becker was forced to attempt a two-point conversion and, despite a penalty, both attempts did not work with 4:19 to go in regulation time.
Bazinet made a big play to help his team in the fourth quarter, adding insurance down the stretch with a 41-yard rush (and a Medeiros extra point) to put his team ahead by a 22-13 margin with 2:32 to go in regulation time.
Williams fell just short of 100 yards rushing, posting 93 yards on the afternoon, while Brown wrapped up the day with 59 yards on the ground. Bazinet was 7-for-11 through the air, gaining 35 yards while Noel and senior Grant Troxell (Flint, Texas) each hauled in a team-best three catches.
Senior Cody Lindell (Cranston, R.I.) registered a team-high six tackles for Norwich while five different players racked up five takedowns. Senior captain Jepthe Soulouque (Everett, Mass.)and junior Angelo Cofield (Lithonia, Ga.) each recorded two sacks while senior Tyler Oppelt(Latham, N.Y.) locked up the game for Norwich with an interception with 45 seconds left in regulation time.
The Becker quarterback tandem posted 12 completions on 30 attempts while Holmes ended up leading his team with 43 yards on the ground. Davin Collins was his team's leading kickoff returner, bringing back four kicks a total of 80 yards.
Norwich returns to Worcester next Saturday, Oct. 15, taking on the host AMCATS of Anna Maria College in a 1 p.m. ECFC showdown.