Husson University’s football season began in challenging fashion.
The Eagles opened with three straight losses against nonconference opponents — UMass Dartmouth, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Morrisville — that have gone on to compile a combined 19-7 record.
Husson is 4-2 since that stretch in its first season of Commonwealth Coast Conference play.
Now coach Nat Clark’s club faces one more major challenge to close out its season as the Eagles travel to Springfield, Massachusetts, to face Western New England, which last week clinched its third straight CCC title with a 35-0 victory over Becker.
Game time is 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Golden Bears (8-1 overall, 6-0 in CCC play) are ranked No. 2 in New England and are No. 5 in the latest NCAA Division III East Region poll.
“They’re certainly a measuring stick,” Clark said. “We’ll go down there Saturday and play our hearts out, leave it all on the field and see what happens.”
Husson (4-5, 4-2 CCC) has won two straight games since a 41-16 homefield loss to Endicott on Oct. 26.
First came a 31-7 victory at Nichols in a game that may earn Husson third place in the final conference standings. Then came last Saturday’s come-from-behind 29-26 overtime victory over Salve Regina, a game the Eagles trailed 23-6 at halftime.
“We had a tremendous meeting after the Endicott game, and we said we had to finish the season the right way, and so far we have,” Clark said.
Junior defensive end Frank Curran of Portland was named the conference’s defensive player of the week after recording a game-high 11 tackles (nine solos) against Salve Regina. He also blocked an extra-point kick.
Husson first-year defensive back Brandon Williams, of Sickerville, New Jersey, made four tackles and grabbed his fourth interception of the season against Salve Regina.
Catholic University (1-8, 1-5 NEWMAC) at Maine Maritime Academy (0-9, 0-6), noon Saturday at Castine: Maine Maritime closes out its season looking for its first victory on Senior Day game at Ritchie Field.
MMA will recognize its 11 senior football players, including senior linebacker Spencer Baron of Mariaville and John Bapst High in Bangor, who this week was named to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference football all-academic team for the third straight year.
MMA senior Cory O’Connell of Winslow also was selected to the NEWMAC all-academic team.