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WESTCONN AT SALVE REGINA, SATURDAY, 4 P.M. WestConn football team hungry for third straight win

September 21, 2018

Two weeks, two wins, and a whole bunch of reasons to smile. Indeed, the Western Connecticut State University football team couldn’t have scripted a better way to start the season.

However, coach Joe Loth isn’t dwelling on those two wins — a 33-22, season-opening victory at Dean followed by a 32-28, come-from-behind win at Plymouth State. Instead, he is more concerned with earning a third consecutive win Saturday at Salve Regina (kickoff at 4 p.m.). The Seahawks (2-1) have beaten Worcester State and Dean and lost to Montclair State of the powerhouse New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Loth knows the Seahawks will present a tough challenge.

“Our mentality is always the same. We had a good win, but we have to put it behind us,” he said Thursday. “All we’re worried about is Salve Regina right now. We have to do whatever we have to do this week to have success.”

That being said, these first two weeks have been awfully exciting for the Colonials. The defense has stood out in both wins, led by two interceptions returned for touchdowns by senior Jaret DeVellis, a former Newtown High School star. His pick-six in the fourth quarter against Plymouth State put the Colonials ahead to stay. Senior linebacker and former Pomperaug High standout Kevin Maxen leads the Colonials with 15 tackles through two games.

“Jaret DeVellis might be the only player in the country who has back-to-back pick-sixes,” Loth said. “The defense as played well two weeks in a row. They’ve been unbelievable. In Week 1, they really kept us in the game, and in Week 2, they sealed the victory. I’m really happy with where we’re at defensively right now.”

On the other side of the ball, the WestConn offense has been equally as impressive. For two weeks in a row, the Colonials have produced the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week. In Week 1, in was senior running back Khalil Patterson out of Hartford Public High School, who rushed for 124 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns against Dean.

This past week, it was senior quarterback David James, who completed 23 of 29 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns against Plymouth State in his first collegiate start. James was a senior captain on Abbott Tech’s inaugural varsity football team in 2009 and passed for 1,582 yards and 14 touchdowns that year.

“In his first start ever as a college quarterback, he played with great composure and really led our offense from the beginning to the end,” Loth said. “He’s just got to build off his first start.”

Salve Regina running back Joey Mauriello was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week for his effort last Saturday against Dean. He rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

rgregory@newstimes.com; Twitter @DanburySports

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