Courtesy Castleton Sports Information
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – Castleton scored first but Salve Regina responded with the next 26 points to take control in the third quarter on the way to the 32-14 victory on Saturday afternoon at Gaudet Field.
The Spartans were outgained 539-263, including a 283-98 rushing yard margin as they dropped to 1-1 overall. The Seahawks totaled 26 first downs and averaged 7.5 yards per play as they improved to 1-1.
Senior George Busharis was 18-for-29 for 165 yards and also rushed for a touchdown. Eight different players recorded a catch, led by Soren Pelz-Walsh with three receptions for 39 yards. Moe Harris led the rushing attack with 83 yards on nine carries with one touchdown.
Brandon Basil led the Salve Regina offense, completing 19 passes for 256 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Three players had four catches, including Alex Hulme who had two touchdowns and 57 yards on four receptions. Sam Pascale was a workhorse, rushing for 211 yards on 25 attempts with one touchdown.
Darren Callan led the defense with 13 tackles while fellow linebacker Leo Audy had ten stops. Luke Quesnell recorded nine tackles and 2.0 for a loss while Jakob Trautwein had six tackles and his first career sack.
On the Seahawks first passing attempt, Mark Alberque picked off the throw and returned it to the Salve Regina 30-yard line. A personal foul penalty put Castleton 15 yards closer and three plays later Busharis ran a quarterback sneak from one-yard out to give the Spartans 7-0 lead at 12:15.
The Seahawks countered on their next drive to tie the game 7-7. They got a 40-yard kickoff return and needed just four plays, capped off on a Basil pass to Garrett Rupee to even the game up.
Salve Regina forced a fumble on Castleton next drive and moved the ball effectively down into the redzone. On a 3rd down and 11, the Seahawks gained nine yards to the Castleton four-yard line. They went for it on fourth down, but the duo of Jakob Trautwein and Darren Callan recorded the stop to get the turnover on downs.
Midway through the second, Salve Regina was poised to take their first lead of the game as the team attempted a field goal from 36 yards out. However, the Spartans blocked the kick with 7:42 left to keep it tied.
The Seahawks pulled in front on its next possession, when Pascale scampered down the sideline 66 yards on the first play of the drive to make it a 14-7 contest with 6:08 left.
Castleton offense couldn’t get in a rhythm and Salve Regina added another touchdown before the half as Mitch Graziano caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Basil with 59 seconds remaining. The extra point was wide to give the hosts a 20-7 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Seahawks received the kickoff and took seven minutes off the clock before pushing their lead to 26-7 on a 20-yard pass from Hulme to Basil.
The Spartans responded midway through the quarter, as Moe Harris scored his first career touchdown on a 49-yard run to cut the deficit to 26-14 with 5:49 left in the third quarter.
Salve Regina made sure there wouldn’t be a comeback; getting a 42-yard kickoff return by Hulme and then three plays later Basil connected with Hulme for a 38-yard score.
Neither team could score in the final period, as a fumble ended a promising Castleton drive and Salve Regina ran out the clock with a drive that lasted six minutes and went inside the Spartan 10-yard line.
Castleton returns to action on Saturday during homecoming, hosting Alfred St. at 12 pm in Spartan Stadium.