FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- The Framingham State University football team scored 13 points in the second quarter to erase a six point deficit and take the lead for good in a 34-13 victory over Bridgewater State University on Saturday afternoon in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) opener for both schools at Bowditch Field.
The Rams improve to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the MASCAC, while the Bears fall to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bears took the lead just five seconds into the second on a five-yard touchdown pass from Stefano D'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) to Jack Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.). After the extra point was missed, the Bears led 6-0. The Bears 13-play, 57-yard touchdown drive was kept alive by a roughing the passer penalty on a third-and-three incompletion.
The Rams answered with a touchdown on their next possession of the game. Junior Adam Wojenski (Stratford, Conn.) capped an 11-play, 63-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run. The extra point, however, was blocked as the game was knotted at 6-6 with just over ten minutes remaining in the half.
Bridgewater State was driving on the ensuing possession but an interception by Framingham senior Nasir Thomas (Springfield, Mass.) in the end zone ended the scoring threat.
The Rams took the lead for good with just over five minutes to play in the half on a 67-yard touchdown strike from Wojenski to sophomore Shaquille Joseph (Somerville, Mass.). Freshman Henrique De Boni (Rio Claro, Brazil) converted the extra point to give the Rams a 13-6 advantage.
Framingham had a chance to score again in the final seconds of the first half, but the Bears came up with a big stop on fourth-and-goal from the seven yard line.
Wojenski tossed his third touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter pushing the lead to 20-6. This one was a 17-yard pass to sophomore Mikael Brown (Latham, N.J.). The drive started with a 50-yard completion from Wojenski to Joseph.
Freshman Steven Silvia (Dighton, Mass.) set up the Bears final touchdown of the game with his first career interception and 32-yard return down to the Rams three-yard line. Junior Nick Santavicca (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored on the first play from scrimmage for the Bears with 4:35 left in the third.
Junior Rufus Rushins (Lynn, Mass.) accounted for the Rams final two scores of the game finding the end zone from a yard out in the closing minute of the third and scoring from three yards out with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
Wojenski completed 20-of-38 pass attempts for 309 yards with two touchdowns and a pick, while being sacked twice. Rushins finished the game with eight carries for 52 yards and a pair of scores, while senior Quron Wright (Worcester, Mass.) had 63 yards on 11 carries. Joseph hauled in four catches for 137 yards and a touchdown, while senior Mike Calicchio (Chelmsford, Mass.) had six receptions for 82 yards.
For the Bears, D', Emilia finished 12-of-26 for 98 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Lavanchy caught a game-high nine passes for 61 yards and a score, while Santavicca finished with 17 carries for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Seniors Eli Etienne (Moorestown, N.J.) and Darian Belizaire (Framingham, Mass.) paced the Framingham defense with eight tackles apiece. Etienne recorded seven solo stops including two for a loss. Senior DeSean Hart (Atlantic City, N.J.) and junior Joshua Smiley (Springfield, Mass.) added seven tackles apiece, while Hart also recorded an interception.
The Bears defense was led by a game-best 10 tackles from sophomore Michael Rosa (Uxbridge, Mass.), while senior Rhondell Teesdale (Dorchester, Mass.) added eight stops including one for a loss. Silva finished with five tackles (four solo) including his first collegiate Sack.
The Rams amassed 494 yards of total offense in the game including 309 yards passing. The Bears managed just 172 yards of total offense with 103 of those coming in the first half.
The Rams are back on the road next Saturday when they travel to Massachusetts Maritime Academy for a noontime game with the Buccaneers. The Bears host Fitchburg State University on Friday night at seven.
Notes: Lavanchy now has 154 receptions for 1,973 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons at Bridgewater State. Lavanchy needs 27 receiving yards to become the fourth receiver in program history to reach the 2,000-yard milestone. Lavanchy is also 15 receptions shy of Matt Green's (2011-2014) all-time program mark of 169.