Worcester State 49, Anna Maria 21
Worcester, MA --- — Junior Brennan Green (Brimfield, MA)
found the end zone on a fumble recovery and senior Paul Lewis
(Worcester, MA/South) returned an interception for a touchdown to
help lead the defensive charge as Worcester State defeated Anna
Maria, 49-21, in non conference football action this evening at
The Lancers (1-0) snapped a three game losing streak, dating back to last season, as they also won their first season opening game since a 21-14 triumph over Nichols in 2005.
The contest would see 11 combined turnovers between the two squads. Worcester State held a commanding 35-0 advantage at the intermission as their defense would hold the AMCATS to 78 total yards. Anna Maria (0-1) would finish with a respectable total of 163 yards which included 99 on the ground.
The Lancers had a balanced attack as they ran for 179 yards and passed for 154 yards. Junior teammates Marcus Price (Worcester, MA/Doherty) and Nate Starling (Braintree, MA) combined for 22 rushes for 106 yards while third-year quarterback Tony Tokarz (Holden, MA) and freshman Stephen Payen (Claremont, FL) each ran for a score. Junior Kenny Russell (Bedford, MA) hauled in four receptions for a game-high 83 yards to go with a pair of touchdowns.
Offensively, Anna Maria sophomore Dom Conception (Middlebury, CT) was the star as he caught nine passes for 45 yards a touchdown for a career best and a new school record. Freshman Robert Small (Tarrytown, NY) ran 20 times for a contest-best 80 yards.
Worcester State jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter as Tokarz ran a speed option to the left for a 15-yard score at 6:48 and then Green recovered a fumble in the end zone that fell in front of him as the AMCATS botched a punting opportunity behind the goal line.
Lewis started off the second quarter with some fireworks as he ran back a 38-yard interception for the first play of the stanza. Four drives later, junior Cameron Jones (Stowe, MA) snatched the second of his two interceptions to set up a 30-yard touchdown pass to Russell from Tokarz with 1:31 remaining in the half. Following a fumble recovery, WSU added the exclamation point with a 34-yard pass from Tokarz to junior Will Franklin (Brattleboro, VT) just before time expired in the second frame.
Anna Maria immediately came out of the locker room and made the Lancers pay as freshman LaRon Zimmerman (Waterbury, CT) recovered strip sack by junior Nii Quartey (Worcester, MA/Burncoat), for a 37 yard fumble recovery to break the shutout bid. The AMCATS forced another turnover on Worcester States next drive to set up an 11-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Santino Simone (Worcester, MA/Holy Name) to Concepcion.
The next five drives would see the ball change hands three times on turnovers and twice on punts before the Lancers scored their first points of the second half as Russell grabbed a 34-yard touchdown pass by sophomore Corey Spencer (Malden, MA) with 14:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. After WSU held Anna Maria to a three and out, the Lancers put the game out of reach with a four-yard touchdown run by Payen at 8:37.
The AMCATS would chew up most of the remaining time with a 72 yard, 12 play drive that was capped off by a junior Chris Meadows (New Rochelle, NY) who rumbled into the end zone with a seven-yard touchdown for the final score of the contest.
Leading the way on defense was Jones who had a big game with five solo tackles, two for a loss with one sack to go along with two interceptions and a forced fumble. Senior Tyler Russell (Princeton, MA) contributed a team-best 11 tackles (8 solo). Along with Green, Russell and junior Dan Frederickson (Shrewsbury, MA) picked up fumble recoveries while junior Tyler Santos (Bedford, MA) and senior Andrew Tokarz (Holden, MA) each added forced fumbles.
The AMCATS were propelled by freshman Mike Joseph (Marlboro, MA) registered a game-high 14 tackles (8 solo) with a sack while junior Quartey distinguished himself with five tackles (4 solo-1 TFL), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Sophomore Julio Valentin (Lawrence, MA) and classmate Lamar Jones (E. Longmeadow, MA) each picked off one pass while freshman Casey Goguen (Winchendon, MA) finished with two sacks.
Both teams continue their non-conference schedule next Saturday at 1 PM. Worcester State travels across town to WPI to renew their rivalry while Anna Maria entertains Maine Maritime in their home opener.