ON THE HASHMARKS — Whether they ply their craft on their offensive side of the ball or the defensive, local football players could claim a few bragging rights as the college season opened this weekend.
Wide receiver Tyler Dube of Southington was instrumental in Sacred Heart University’s 37-21 drubbing of Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A few miles south down the Hudson River, his former teammates Jordan Chapman and Jake Rodrigues, along with Sheehan High School product Brett Biestek, were defensive pillars in Fordham’s 51-26 whacking of Rhode Island.
Dube, a junior, set up Sacred Heart’s first touchdown Saturday night against Marist with a 36-yard punt return in the second quarter. He later caught a 46-yard touchdown pass as the Pioneers built a 37-7 lead with 10 minutes to play (Marist added two late scores).
Dube had five catches in all for 64 yards. As a team, Sacred Heart racked up 234 yards on the ground and 201 through the air.
Limiting yardage, meanwhile, was the MO for Chapman, Rodrigues and Biestek on Thursday night as Fordham opened at home against URI.
Rodrigues, a senior linebacker coming off a junior season in which he was among tackling leaders in the Patriot League, opened 2013 by making three solo tackles, assisting on four others and breaking up a pass.
Biestek, a senior lineman who’s rounded back into form after missing much of 2011 with an injury, made five solo tackles.
Chapman, a junior cornerback, also had five solo tackles. He assisted on another and broke up two passes.
Mark the calendar, by the way. Fordham will be playing in Connecticut on Oct. 19, taking on Yale.
Elsewhere in the Elm City, head coach Rich Cavanaugh of Wallingford opens his 29th season with Southern Connecticut when the Owls open at home this coming Saturday against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
Sheehan grad Billy Gannon, a red-shirt freshman, is looking to land a spot in the SCSU secondary. True freshman Justin Potts of Meriden, Platt’s leading scorer and second-leading rusher of all-time, is red-shirting.
The University of Hartford’s men’s team opened its third season under Southington native Tom Poitras with a 1-0 victory Friday night over Holy Cross.
The game was scoreless until the 86th minute, when David Bernhardsson pounced on a rebound of blocked crossing pass from six yards out.
At Western Connecticut, sophomore midfielder Emily Newhard of Lyman Hall-Wallingford had a goal and an assist for the Colonials in their season-opening 3-2 win over Emmanuel on Friday at the Rams Classic in Farmingdale, L.I.
Newhard scored Western’s first goal of 2013 by heading home a corner kick. She later sent teammate Sarah Menta in on a breakaway.
Newhard played all 90 minutes of the game. Senior forward Ariana D’Aurio of Cheshire had four shots on net.
Newhard, D’Aurio and the Colonials were held to four shots on Saturday in falling to SUNY-Geneseo 1-0.
Local athletes banged heads over the weekend in Danbury at the Western Connecticut State University Invitational.
Southington natives Danielle Kaminsky and Rachel Volpe suited up for the home team, which went 2-0. Meriden’s Shemira Pennyman and Southington’s Elsie Bernaiche suited up for Brandeis, which came away 2-1.
Kaminsky, a freshman, had a great debut at setter for the Colonials. She had 22 assists in a 3-2 win over Brandeis and 17 in a 3-1 win over Worcester State.
Volpe, a senior libero and team captain, had 18 digs in the Brandeis match.
On the other side of the net, Bernaiche handled the libero position for the Judges. The junior had a combined 65 digs for the tournament. Pennyman, a junior outside hitter out of Maloney, collected 16 kills and 18 assists for the weekend.
In Division I play, Southington’s Corinne Horanzy made her collegiate debut for the University of Hartford with 28 kills and 29 digs over four matches at the Golden Griffin Invitational in Buffalo, N.Y.
The freshman outside hitter had 13 digs in a 3-2 loss to Eastern Michigan and 14 kills in a 3-0 shutout of host Canisius.
The Hawks came away 1-3. They play UConn Tuesday in Storrs and their home opener next Tuesday, Sept. 10.