BANGOR, Maine — Whenever the Husson University football team needed a big play against the Dean College club Friday night, it was John Smith who gave it to them.
The junior tailback from Fayetteville, Georgia, tallied 280 yards on 39 carries and four touchdowns as the Eagles triumphed in their home opener, 43-23, at the Winkin Complex.
Husson improved to 1-1, and Dean College slipped to 0-2
Coach Gabby Price’s club raced out to a 20-0 lead only to have the Bulldogs fight back in the second half, getting as close as 30-23 on a 49-yard touchdown pass from David Curry to Sharif Harris.
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The Eagles countered with a quick five-play, 53-yard drive, culminating in Smith’s fourth touchdown of the contest, a 13-yard scamper.
Tyler Bassett gave Husson some breathing room on its following possession with a 10-yard touchdown run, and after a Bulldogs three-and-out, the Eagles ran out the clock.
Husson didn’t wait too long to strike, going 75 yards in just 90 seconds on the game’s opening possession, culminating with a 15-yard pass from Corey Brandon to Deon Wiggins.
The teams swapped interceptions on two occasions later in the period, with the Eagles’ Logan Steward of Hampden returning one deep into Dean College territory, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Smith.
The Bulldogs got on the board late in the first half on a 12-yard touchdown strike from David Curry to Justin White.
After Dean College opened the second half with a field goal to make it 20-10, Smith’s 1-yard touchdown run culminated a nine-play, 67-yard Husson drive that made it 27-10.
Dean College struck quickly on a 97-yard pass from Curry to Harris, but Husson responded with a Travis Treteault field goal from 31 yards away.
Brandon finished with 87 yards through the air for Husson.
Harris’ two touchdown catches gave him 146 yards for the Bulldogs. Husson held Dean College to 37 yards on the ground.