Spartans Rally for 17-14 Victory Over Bulldogs

Spartans Rally for 17-14 Victory Over Bulldogs

CASTLETON, Vt.Moe Harris collected 133 of his 200 rushing yards in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning touchdown with 2:34 remaining in regulation, as Castleton University defeated Dean College, 17-14, Saturday night in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game at Spartan Stadium.

Midway through the fourth quarter, with Castleton ahead 10-7, Grant Cummings forced a fumble and Justin Nolan recovered the ball on the Dean 35-yard line. After going three-and-out, the Spartans attempted a pooch punt, but the Bulldogs blocked it, with Gene Baisden Jr. catching the ball on the 45-yard line and running it back 55 yards for a touchdown to give Dean a 14-10 advantage.

On the ensuing drive, the Spartans advanced to the Dean 10-yard line, featuring a 26-yard run by Harris, but the drive stalled after a holding penalty and three straight incompletions. However, Dean was unable to earn a first down and was forced to punt the ball away.

Mitchell Caron started the game-winning drive with a 14-yard completion to Adnane Adossama, and then Harris took the ball up the middle before bouncing towards the right side, taking it 44 yards, his longest run of the season, for a touchdown with 2:34 left on the clock.

On the first play of Dean's next possession, Nick Reca corralled a tipped pass for an interception, and then a run of 13 yards by Harris gave the Spartans the one first down they needed to run out the clock.

The game stayed scoreless through most of the first half until Castleton put together a seven-play, 65-yard drive that featured completions from Caron to Jermaine Coggins for 33 yards and 17 yards down to the Dean 14-yard line. Harris took the ball the rest of the way, capped by a two-yard touchdown run with 1:47 remaining before halftime.

Dean (3-4, 1-3 ECFC) jumped on a fumble of the second half kickoff on the Castleton 40-yard line, and Bulldog quarterback Kordell Scott found David Brown for back-to-back completions of 16 yards and 24 yards, the second one resulting in a game-tying touchdown.

After several punts, Castleton gained possession on its own 41-yard line late in the third quarter, and Harris advanced the ball into Bulldog territory with a 13-yard run. At the start of the fourth quarter, Harris ran the ball six times for 37 yards, combining with two Caron completions to move the ball to the Dean six-yard line, where Ryan Payne converted a 23-yard field goal to give the Spartans a 10-7 lead.

Harris reached the 200-yard mark for the second time this season and the third time in his career, plus he added 15 receiving yards for 215 all-purpose yards, the seventh time he has passed the 200-yard mark for all-purpose yards at Castleton. Caron finished the night 13-of-26 for 151 yards, with Coggins catching three passes for 62 receiving yards.

Defensively, Cummings led the Spartans with 11 total tackles, while Nolan finished with 10 tackles, including a sack as part of 2.5 tackles for a loss, and Jakob Trautwein contributed eight tackles. Overall, Castleton held Dean to 172 total yards, 85 net rushing yards and 87 net passing yards.

Dequan Brown led the Bulldog rushing attack with 51 yards on nine carries, while Scott and Matt Bethel combined to complete 10-of-23 passes for 87 yards. Ricco Aaron paced the Dean defense with 13 tackles, including two tackles for a loss, while Mujahid Camel earned 12 tackles and D'Wayn Reid collected 1.5 sacks as part of four tackles for a loss, ending up with 10 total tackles.

Castleton (4-3, 3-1 ECFC) will travel to SUNY Maritime to battle the Privateers for second place in the conference next Saturday, Oct. 28, starting at 1 p.m.