FRANKLIN, MA - Senior running back Khalil Patterson (Hartford, CT) rushed for 124 yards on 22 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as the Western Connecticut State University football team opened the campaign with a 33-22 victory overDean College at Lippert Field on Saturday afternoon.
Western Connecticut State scored 20 straight points spanning the third and fourth quarters, erasing a deficit and breaking open a close game.
The Colonials' defense was stout, holding a Dean squad, that racked up 427 yards a week ago, to just 151 yards of total offense and 3-for-17 on third down conversions.
After a scoreless first quarter, WestConn capped a seven-play, 51-yard drive with two-yard touchdown run by the slippery Patterson.
The Bulldogs answered back by moving 59 yards in nine plays highlighted by a fourth and three conversion when Terrell Watts(New Haven, Conn.) connected with Quintus Reid (New Haven, Conn.) for 28 yards. Reid then capped the scoring drive with a seven-yard touchdown run that saw him dive into the endzone.
"We started out slowly today on offense, but really played well on defense from start to finish," stated WestConn head coach Joe Loth. "There are some obvious things we need to build on and correct going into week two."
Things stayed that way until the start of the second half when Duane Gary (New Haven, Conn.) returned the kickoff 53 yards, deep into Dean territory, which led to another short touchdown plunge for Patterson.
Trailing 13-6, the Bulldogs got a huge play from their defense as London Chambers (New Britain, Conn.) picked off his second pass of the day and returned it the 37 yards to the Western Connecticut eight-yard line.
On fourth down, Watts floated a pass into the left corner of the endzone that Errol Breaux (Marietta, Ga.) was able to snag and when they converted the two-point try, Dean was suddenly up, 14-13 midway through the third quarter.
Dean had the ball later in the period and after moving 15 yards, Watts saw his pass intercepted by Jaret Devellis (Newtown, Conn.), who returned it 43 yards for the go ahead score.
On their next possession, the Bulldogs moved the ball into Western Connecticut territory when Watts was intercepted again – this time by Troy Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) – who outraced everyone up the far sideline for a 60-yard touchdown, making the score, 26-14.
The Colonial offense got its third rushing touchdown of the game when Gary sprinted nine yards for its final score with less than eight minutes to go.
Breaux inched the Bulldogs closer when he returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a score and even with a two-point conversion by Deandre Grange (Teaneck, N.J.), Dean would get no closer.
The Bulldog defense played well, holding WestConn foursome of quarterbacks to 7-for-25 with 87 yards through the air.
Kevin Maxen (Southbury, Conn.) was the star defensively for the Colonials, totaling eight tackles including 2.5 for loss.
Wadell Alceus (Apopka, Fla.) and Malik Brown (Miami, Fla.) each recorded eight tackles for Dean, while Chambers snagged a pair of interceptions and had a tackle for loss among his six stops.
Both teams are on the road next Saturday with WestConn continuing its season-opening three-game road trip and heading to Plymouth State while Dean heads to Salve Regina.