NEWTON, Mass. – The 2016 Mount Ida College football season opened with great enthusiasm, as the Mustangs took the field with an explosion of balloons and cheers from the packed crowd at Alumni Field on Friday evening.
Unfortunately for Mount Ida, they could not deliver a win in their 2016 opener, falling 40-9 to visiting UMass Dartmouth in a non-conference affair to start the season for both teams.
The Corsairs rushed for nearly 400 yards and senior Cory Burnham (Essex, Mass.) threw touchdowns to four different receivers.
Mount Ida managed just a 37 yard field goal from Tyler Rogers (Bridgewater, Mass.) in the first half, which at the time cut the deficit to 7-3 after a quick touchdown from Burnham to Kevin Wadsworth (Bridgewater, Mass.) capped a no-huddle drive to start the game for the visitors.
The Corsairs then scored the next 19 points, however, shutting out Mount Ida over the middle two quarters.
The big blow came when Mount Ida sophomore Jack Sheehan's (St. Petersburg, Fla.) pass was intercepted by Diego Hebra with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter as the Mustangs were driving into the red zone.
On the next play, Eddie Sheridan (Chelmsford, Mass.) scampered 83 yards to the end zone, giving UMass Dartmouth a 26-3 lead.
Both Sheridan (140 yards) and Mike Slaughter (Springfield, Mass.) (102 yards) eclipsed the 100-yard rushing plateau for UMD, and Stephen Roy (Northboro, Mass.) came close with 93 yards on the ground, including a 6 yard touchdown run to open the third quarter scoring.
Sheehan threw for 117 yards on 13-27 attempts, and would eventually score a touchdown on a one yard run at 9:06 in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 26-9, but Burnham tossed two slant passes for touchdowns in the final 7:16, one to Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.) from 12 yards out, and a second of the game to Wadsworth with 2:41 remaining.
Mount Ida senior Matt Greenman (Portsmouth, R.I.) caught six balls for 40 yards, while freshman Michael Watson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) showed off his speed with a 46-yard grab down the sideline.
The Mustangs gained 122 yards on the ground, including 79 from junior Travis O'Brien (Portsmouth, R.I.), who averaged 49 yards per carry.
Senior Steve Trask (Billerica, Mass.) hit on four extra points for the Corsairs, though Mount Ida junior Chris Medeiros (Pelham, N.H.) was able to block his kick in the second quarter, after Burnham had hooked up with John Beardsley (Essex, Mass.) for a 17 yard score. The blocked kick kept the game a ten-point affair at 13-3, which is how the teams went into the half.
The story of the game was penalties for both teams, as they combined for 36 penalties and a total of 424 penalty yards.
Medeiros led all players with nine tackles, while Brandon Miller (Holden, Mass.) had eight stops, one of them for a loss, for the Corsairs.
Mount Ida hits the road for their next three games, starting on September 10th when they travel to Plymouth State for a 1:00 PM kickoff.
UMass Dartmouth plays another night game next Saturday when they play host to Hartwick at 5:00 PM in their home opener.