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Owls, Golden Bears Set to Clash for Presidents' Cup

Springfield native Darryl Denson will lead the Owls into the Presidents' Cup Trophy game in his hometown.
Springfield native Darryl Denson will lead the Owls into the Presidents' Cup Trophy game in his hometown.

WESTFIELD, Mass.  --  Westfield State University football will put it's 1-0 record on the line this weekend as the Owls travel to local rival Western New England University for the annual 'President's Cup' trophy game.  Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Golden Bear Stadium in Springfield, Mass.

Last Year:  Western New England topped the Owls 38-6 at Alumni Field as Golden Bears' QB Anthony Service threw for 288 yards and four scores.  For Westfield, QB Phil Cohen passed for 262 yards and RB Travon Holder scored on a 7-yard TD run.

The Series: Western New England leads the all-time series, 16-14. The Golden Bears have seized momentum in the match-up, winning seven of the last eight matchups.

Westfield State:   Comes in off a 25-14 win over Nichols College in the season opener.  The Owls were fueled by 205 rushing yards and two TD's from R.J. Darby, who was named the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week.   Junior QB Jake Cassidy rushed for 56 yards and tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass, and freshman RB/WR Justin McCray rushed for 68 yards and was on the receiving end of Cassidy's TD toss.  The Owls hope to be bolstered by the return of senior running back Holder, an 1,100-yard rusher a year ago, who missed the opener with an injury.  Westfield piled up 421 yards of total offense, while limiting Nichols to 135 total yards.  Defensively, the Owls were keyed by veteran linebackers Andrew Carpenter (10 tackles) and Zach Howard (8 tackles).

Western New England:  Comes into the game with an 0-1 record after falling to Springfield College last weekend, 42-21.  The Golden Bears are piloted by a new head coach, Justin LeBeau, who replaces Keith Emery, who relocated after a string of successful seasons which included four NCAA playoff appearances.   LeBeau had been the Bears offensive coordinator for the last six seasons. QB Alex Coleman threw for 204 yards and a TD in the opener.  Peter Hoff led the running game with 64 yards, while Westfield State-transfer wide receiver Evan Cain was the top receiver with 6 catches for 76 yards.  Kevin McLaughlin, Kurtis Jolicouer topped the defense with seven tackles.

A Look Ahead:  Westfield will be back at home on Friday night, September 14 to host UMass-Dartmouth at 7:00 p.m., which will be the first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference game of the season.