Framingham, MA - The Framingham State University football team had four interceptions including one returned for a touchdown by senior Matt Mangano (Winchester, MA) as the Rams defeated Endicott College 20-17 in non-conference action this afternoon at Bowditch Field.
Framingham State forced five turnovers in the game, four interceptions and one fumble, which they converted into a pair of scores. Mangano had a pair of interceptions and three tackles, while junior Tyllor McDonald (Springfield, MA) and sophomore Jaquan Harris (Randolph, MA) each had picks in the waning minutes of the game to help secure the victory.
The Rams (1-0) turned the ball over on downs near midfield on the first possession of the game and Endicott (0-1) would need just one play, a 47-yard touchdown toss from senior Drew Frenette (New Bedford, MA) to junior Alec Matys (Woburn, MA), to take the game’s first lead. After Kyle Regan (Nashua, NH) converted the extra point, the Gulls led 7-0 with 11:37 on the clock.
Junior Tyler Calitri (West Hartford, Conn.) intercepted Matt Silva (Dracut, MA) on the Rams ensuing possession. The Gulls drove deep into Ram territory on the strength of Frenette’s arm, but senior Kevin Donahue (Norfolk, MA) was able to deflect a Frenette pass. Mangano was right there to make the pick and raced 71 yards to the end zone for the touchdown. After a penalty on the extra point led to a miss, the Rams trailed 7-6 with just over five minutes remaining in the first.
On the Gulls ensuing possession, Mangano intercepted Frenette in the end zone for a touchback halting another Gull scoring opportunity.
In the second quarter, the Rams would capitalize on a Gull turnover, a fumbled punt, to take their first lead of the game. Sophomore Chris Dagg (Bellingham, MA) recovered the fumbled punt by Jake Pelletier (Trumbull, Conn.) on the Endicott 37 yard line. Junior Trevon Offley (Brockton, MA) rushed four straight times for 32 yards setting up a five yard touchdown pass from Silva to senior Marcus Grant (Carver, MA) with 9:10 remaining in the half. Sean Wlasuk’s (Peabody, MA) extra point would give the Rams a 13-7 lead.
The Gulls defense forced a Ram fumble near midfield and they were able to recover the loose ball setting up a 31-yard field goal from Regan that cut the Rams lead to 13-10 at the half.
Endicott received the ball to start the second half and drove 65 yards on seven plays to retake the lead. Junior Spencer Walsh (Malden, MA) rushed for 22 yards and Frenette and senior Nate Lewis (Acushnet, MA) connected twice giving the Gulls a first down on the Rams 24 yard line. After a rush for no gain, Frenette hit Lewis on short pass. Lewis broke a tackle and raced into the end zone for the go head score 11:18 showing on the clock in the third.
The Rams would take the lead for good on a one yard run by Silva with 2:19 remaining in the third as neither team would find the end zone in the fourth.
Endicott had a chance to tie the game or go ahead in the closing minutes as they were driving, but Harris intercepted Frenette with 1:05 on the clock allowing the Rams to take a knee and end the contest.
Endicott racked up 399 yards of total offense in the game including 292 yards in the air, while the Rams gained 246 total yards. The Rams were more successful on the ground as they rushed for 163 yards compared to just 83 yards through the air.
Junior Hunter Beckmann (Shrewsbury, MA) led the Rams with 62 yards on eight carries, while Offley finished with 58 on 14 attempts. Silva finished the game 12 for 23 for 83 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Grant had five catches for 24 yards and a score, while junior Tevin Jones (Springfield, MA) had a pair of catches for 25 yards.
Frenette completed 19 of 47 for 292 yards with a pair of scores and four interceptions, while Lewis made nine catches for 175 yards with a touchdown. Matys finished the game with two catches for 54 yards including a score. Walsh picked up 93 yards on the ground on 26 attempts.
The Rams defense was led by Donahue and McDonald who finished with a team-high nine tackles apiece, while John Elnagger (Rowley, Mass.) led the Gulls with a game-best 11 stops including seven solo.
The Rams are back on the field next Saturday when they host Rowan University at 12 p.m.
Thanks to Kathy Lynch, Assistant Director of Athletics/Sports Information at Framingham State University for contributing this story. For more FSU RAMS sports info, box scores, calendar of upcoming games and sporting events, visit their website at: www.fsurams.com