SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Redshirt-junior Jean Constant (Delray Beach, Fla.) took the opening kickoff 100 yards to the house, and the Bryant University football team was off and running in their 2018 season lid-lifter, taking down New Haven 41-31 at Beirne Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Constant's return score was the third of his career and he also added a career-high 10 catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Fifth-year senior Price Wilson (Marietta, Ga.) completed 28-of-36 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Bryant intercepted four passes, with junior Zahir Williams (Bronx, N.Y.) posting his first-career multi-interception game.
Bryant 41, New Haven 31
Records: Bryant (1-0), New Haven (0-1)
Location: Beirne Stadium | Smithfield, R.I.
COACH PERRY'S COMMENTS
"We just played a really good team. They are going to win a lot of games. They completely controlled the tempo of the day. Price played very well and managed the sideline very well. We feed off opportunities to score and Jean has made a name for himself with those kick return scores."
- Constant fielded the kickoff just outside of his own goal line and went straight to the house, hitting a running lane around the 25 and bolting up the near sideline past the New Haven kicker and into the end zone.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Constant caught the opening kickoff at his goal line, cut back to the middle then back out to the sideline and was gone to give the Bulldogs the lead 13 seconds into the season.
- New Haven answered with a 13-play, 67-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown pass to Ryan McCarthy to knot things up at seven.
- Bryant marched right back down the field to regain the advantage, going 84 yards in 11 plays, with the drive ending on a Wilson to David Zorrilla (Everett, Mass.) touchdown from 23 yards out. It was Zorrilla's first catch and first-career touchdown.
- The teams traded three and outs to end the opening quarter.
- After a holding penalty negated a New Haven touchdown, Williams jumped the route and intercepted an Ajee Patterson pass midway through the second quarter.
- A second Williams interception set up the Bulldogs at the New Haven 25-yard line and Bryant scored three plays later to extend the lead.
- Another New Haven interception set up a third Bulldogs touchdown, as Wilson and Constant connected for the third time, this one from 24 yards out, to extend Bryant's lead to 27-7.
- The Chargers responded with a seven-play drive to cut into the Bulldog advantage right before the half, with Patterson connecting with Damon Rodgers from 18 yards out. Bryant led 27-13 at the break.
- The Bulldogs started the second-half scoring on a flea-flicker as Wilson took the flip back and fired 31 yards to Constant for their third scoring connection of the day.
- New Haven cut the lead to two possessions on a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown by Josiah Schumaker.
- Redshirt sophomore Alfred Dorbor (Pawtucket, R.I.) closed the Bryant scoring as he capped a 10-play drive with a one-yard plunge.
- New Haven made things interesting, scoring and converting a two-point play to make it 41-31 with 3:08 left to play.
- The Bulldogs were able to handle the ensuing onside kick and hold on for the win.
- New Haven finished the day with two more first downs (23-21) and 64 more yards (411-347).
- The Bulldogs finished with four forced turnovers, to New Haven's one.
- Time of possession was virtually even, with New Haven finishing with 30:42 and Bryant timing in at 29:12.
- Wilson finished the day 28-for-36 with 259 yards and four touchdowns.
- Senior Brenden Femiano (Northport, N.Y.) led the Black and Gold in rushing, with eight carries for 43 yards.
- True freshman Daniel Adeboboye (Toronto, Ont.) chipped in 23 yards and Dorbor finished with 24 yards on the ground.
- Constant was the leading receiver for Bryant, with 10 catches and 118 yards for three touchdowns. All of those are new career highs for Constant.
- Junior Hayden Panagos (Hillsborough, N.J.) finished with one catch for 25 yards, while freshman Shelton McNeal (Lakeland, Fla.) had 24 and Zorrilla had 23 yards receiving.
- Bryant defensive captain Thomas Costigan (Stamford, Conn.) finished the day with eight tackles, two of them solo.
- Jesse Nemerowicz (Hudson, Mass.) and Malik Streater (Greensboro, N.C.) led the Bulldogs with four solo tackles each.
- Kodi Ojukwu (Dix Hills, N.Y.) and Kevin Lazo (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) combined for Bryant's only sack.
- Dillon Guthro (Newburyport, Mass.), Robert Brown (Palmetto Bay, Fla.) and Tomas Wright (St. Augustine, Fla.) had one tackle for loss each.
- Saturday was the first time the Bulldogs recorded four picks in a game since October 4, 2014 against Bucknell.
- Bryant's five-game winning streak dating back to last season matches the longest of the Division I era, which was also done in 2014.
- Bryant has now won its last six season openers.
- Constant's 100-yard touchdown tied his school record set at Wagner last season.
- The redshirt-sophomore scored multiple touchdowns for the third time in the last five games dating back to last season and the fourth time overall.
- Constant's four touchdowns are the most in a game since 2016 for a single player and just the second time a Bulldog has reached that mark since 2010.
- Williams' two interceptions are a career-high after recording two picks in the 2017 season.
- The last time the Bulldogs had 12 different receivers make a catch was in 2017 against Fordham.
- Wright's six tackles set a new career high.
- This was Wilson's third four-touchdown day as a Bulldog and his second-consecutive season opener with four touchdowns.
The Bulldogs play Colonial foe Stony Brook on Saturday night at 6 p.m. on Long Island.