The UMass Dartmouth football team are bowl champions for the second time in program history after defeating Alfred State, 42-16, in the New England Bowl held on campus at Cressy Field.
The win marks the ninth win of the season, which ties the 2003 squad for the second-most victories in the 34-year history of UMass Dartmouth football.
The Corsairs utilized a balanced offensive attack with 303 rushing yards and 318 through the air to combine for a single-season high of 621 yards of total offense. UMass Dartmouth held the Pioneers (6-5) to 278 yards of total offense, including limited Alfred State to just 63 yards on the ground. DJ Machado (WR) was named as the New England Bowl MVP after hauling in five receptions for 151 yards. Machado, who only appeared in nine contests, completed the campaign with 744 receiving yards to place ninth on the single-season list and sixth in receiving touchdowns with 9.
The highlight of the game came when sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Gmyr caught a lateral for a dominant 11-yard touchdown run.
The play wowed the crowd, but also caught the eyes of ESPN. College Football writer David M. Hale named the play the “Under-the-radar play of the week” in his Show-Me Saturday column. The lateral pass touchdown even made SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.
Another standout was sophomore quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos, who was named the Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero of the week and the prestigious New England Football Writers Association Division II/III Golden Helmet recipient for his 316 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and two running touchdown performance. Aviles-Santos established a new single-season standard for total touchdowns (34), putting an additional five scores between the previous record-holder Jay Furtado (29, 1998). The 2021 MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year ranked second on the single-season list for passing touchdowns (25) and fourth in passing yards (2,197)
As the New England Bowl signaled the end of the season, the Corsairs racked up accolades. Javien Delgado (LB), Chris Gomes (DB), and Tyler Gmyr (OL) were named 1st-Team All-MASCAC. JP Mason (DB), Luis Gonzalez (RB), Josh Lacerte (DL), Marvens Jean (RB), Logan Chappell (DB), and Kolby Stockwell (OL) were named 2nd-Team All-MASCAC. Marcus Elysee (DL) and Dante Aviles-Santos (QB) were named to the All-New England team by Noontime Sports.
Throughout the season, the Corsairs focused on #WinTheRep, and after becoming New England Bowl champs, they let the UMassD campus crowd know #WeWonTheRep.