FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Framingham State University football team once again overcame a slow start to score 19 fourth quarter points as they defeated Worcester State University 29-14 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) regular season finale for both squads this afternoon at Bowditch Field.
With the win, the Rams improve to 9-1 on the season and finish the year a perfect 8-0 in the conference. They await word on a possible at-large berth in the NCAA Division III Football Tournament when pairings and seedings are announced tomorrow night at 6 p.m. by the NCAA. The Lancers see their regular season end at 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the MASCAC.
Sophomore Jalen Green (Brockton, MA) led the Rams with 104 yards rushing on 27 attempts, while quarterback Matt Silva (Dracut, MA) had seven rushes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Silva struggled throwing the ball completing just 15 of 42 for 201 yards with three touchdowns and two picks. Senior Randall Kelleher (Swampscott, MA) had three catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, while junior Marcus Grant (Carver, MA) made three grabs for 37 yards with a score.
The Lancers were led offensively by junior Kemani Jones (Milton, MA). Jones rushed for 103 yards on 26 carries with six receptions for another 33 yards. Quarterback Pat Viencek (Bernardston, MA) completed 20 of 42 for 138 yards with a touchdown and a pick despite being sacked three times. Junior Arron Witkus (Chelmsford, MA) led the receiving core with six catches for 34 yards.
The Rams defense forced five turnovers in the game – three interceptions and two fumbles – which helped the hosts overcome the four turnovers they committed including a pair of fumbles on special teams. Senior Kevin Donahue (Norfolk, MA) led the defense with 11 tackles including nine solo stops, while fellow senior Olajuwon Dickerson (Milton, MA) recorded nine tackles including four for a loss with a sack. Junior Matt Mangano (Winchester, MA) racked up seven tackles, all solo, with one for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown that was negated on a penalty. Mangano also had three pass break ups and an interception. Freshman Svenn Jacobson (Cumberland, MA) had seven tackles including a sack-fumble to go along with an interception. Sophomore Jaquan Harris (Randolph, MA) recorded the Rams other interception.
On the Lancers first possession of the game, Mangano stripped Jones near midfield and raced to the end zone, but an unsportsmanlike penalty negated the score giving the Rams the ball on the Worcester 30 yard line. On the Rams second play from scrimmage Sean Hanley intercepted Silva.
After both teams were forced to punt, Worcester got on the scoreboard with a six play, 28 yards drive that was aided by a pair of penalties on the Rams, capped by an eight yard fade in the corner of the end zone from Viencek to senior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA).
The Rams cut into the Lancers lead with a 20 yard field goal from junior Sean Wlasuk (Peabody, MA) with 17 seconds left in the first quarter. The score would remain 7-3 in favor of the Lancers until the final minute of the half when Silva scampered in from 11 yards out.
Worcester State took the lead back in the third quarter on a three yard touchdown pass from freshman Noah Brum (Honolulu, HI) to senior Dana Barry (Hudson, MA) with 3:19 remaining.
The Rams took the lead for good with three fourth quarter scores. Silva hit Gauthier for an 11 yard score in the opening minute of the fourth. Jacobson set up the Rams next score with a sack and forced fumble two minutes later. Two plays later, Silva connected with Grant on a 15 yard score. The Rams closed the scoring with just over two minutes remaining when Silva connected with Kelleher on a 30 yard strike.
The Rams will await word for a possible post season berth on Sunday when the NCAA announces the field for the 2014 NCAA Division III Football Championship beginning at 6 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