Framingham, MA - The Framingham State University football team scored 33 unanswered points, all in the second half, as the Rams defeated Bridgewater State University 33-10 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this afternoon at Bowditch Field.
With the win, the Rams clinch the 2014 MASCAC Football Championship as they improve to 8-1 on the year and remain perfect at 7-0 in the MASCAC. The Rams have won five straight MASCAC Titles. The loss drops the Bears to 4-5 on the year and 3-4 in the conference.
Bridgewater State’s defense was the story in the first half keeping the Rams offense scoreless despite being inside the Bears one yard line twice. The Bears defense came up with the stop on a 4th and goal from the one yard line with 1:43 left in the first. Then the Bears kept the Rams out of the end zone on a third and inches in the early stages of the second quarter forcing a field goal attempt that hit the upright.
The Bears offense took the game’s opening possession and drove 64 yards on 10 plays and capped the drive with a 20 yard field goal from Colin Neri (Upton, MA) to take a 3-0 lead with 10:12 showing in the first.
The game would remain 3-0 until the closing minutes of the half when the Bears took possession with less than a minute remaining and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 37 yard strike from Danny Higgins (Manahawkin, NJ) to Travis Bassett (Littleton, MA) with seven ticks on the clock.
The Rams offense came alive in the second half scoring 33 unansweredpoints, while the Ram defense held the Bears scoreless and to just 93 yards in the second half. Quarterback Matt Silva (Dracut, MA) connected with junior Travis Hayes (Framingham, MA) for a 27 yard gain on the Rams first possession of the second half setting up a 1st and goal from the four. After a pass interference call on the Bears, sophomore Jalen Green (Brockton, MA) plunged in from two yards out cutting the deficit to 10-6.
The Rams offense scored 27 fourth quarter points to secure the victory. Silva connected with Hayes on a 31 yard screen pass with 13 minutes left in the fourth. Junior Sean Wlasuk (Peabody, MA) converted the extra point putting the Rams on top for good.
After the Rams defense forced a punt by the Bears that was returned 37 yards by sophomore Jaquan Harris (Randolph, MA), sophomore Aaron Owens (Springfield, MA) scored on a 16-yard run.
Freshman DaQuan Clemons (Springfield, MA) picked off Bridgewater on the next possession and Silva connected with junior Marcus Grant (Carver, MA) on a nine yard fade in the corner of the endzone extending the lead to 26-10. Green capped the scoring with 6:13 left in the game when he broke free and raced in from 58 yards out.
Green finished the day with 171 yards rushing on 23 carries (7.4 average) with two touchdowns, while Silva completed 18 of 30 for 217 yards and two scores with a pick. Hayes finished the game with six catches for 82 yards and a score, while junior Tevin Jones (Springfield, MA) had four catches for 44 yards and Grant finished with three receptions for 30 yards and a score.
Higgins finished the game 19 of 43 for 195 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Senior Matthew Green (Stoughton, MA) had four catches for 43 yards and on his first reception of the game, a 22 yarder in the first quarter, he became the Bears all-time leading receiver surpassing BSU Hall of Famer Andy Macaione’s mark of 2,642 yards receiving.
Junior Nicholas Salois (Warwick, RI) paced the Bears defense with 10 tackles including seven solo, while Kyle Dance (West Roxbury, MA), Tate Doehler (Lakeville, MA) and David Console (Malden, MA) added seven apiece.
Senior Kevin Donahue (Norfolk, Mass.) led the Rams defense with eight tackles, including seven solo, while junior Matt Mangano (Winchester, Mass.) added seven. Senior Olajuwon Dickerson (Milton, Mass.) chipped in with six and a sack.
The Rams are back in action next Saturday when they host Worcester State University in their final regular season home game which is scheduled for a 12 p.m. kickoff.
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