Defense Leads Football to 14-3 Win Over Salve Regina
Framingham, Mass. — The Framingham State University football team defeated Salve Regina University 14-3 today at Maple Street Field in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) cross-divisional game. This was the first time the two schools had met on the gridiron. With the win the Rams improve to 2-1 on the season, while the loss drops the Seahawks to 1-2.
The Rams defense was the difference in the game as they forced three turnovers by the Seahawks and held Salve Regina to only three points off of three Rams turnovers. Senior Adam Emery (Dorchester, Mass.) led the Rams with ten tackles and a half sack, while sophomore James Muirhead (Middleboro, Mass.) added eight tackles, including a sack and forced fumble. Senior Anthony Pappagallo (Malden, Mass.) made seven solo stops and blocked a Salve Regina field goal attempt.
Salve Regina moved the ball down the field on the game's first possession. Quarterback Mitch Roshong (Verona, NJ) rushed for 18 yards and completed passes of 27 yards and 13 yards giving the Seahawks a first down on the Framingham 14-yard line. After a short gain on first down, Roshong was intercepted in the end zone by senior Brent Loveless (Billerica, Mass.) ending the Seahawks drive.
Framingham State capitalized on the turnover and moved the ball down the field 80 yards on 11 plays for the game's first touchdown. The key play of the drive was a 31-yard completion from Kurt Leone (Marshfield, Mass.) to junior James McCarthy (Newton, Mass.) that gave the Rams a first and goal on the two yard line. The Rams went to their wildcat formation and Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) scampered into the end zone untouched for the touchdown. Phil Cosmos (Natick, Mass.) hit the extra point and the Rams would lead 7-0 with 5:57 remaining in the first quarter.
The game would remain 7-0 heading into the half as neither team could generate much offense in the second quarter.
The Rams had the opening possession of the second half and turned the ball over on a fumbled snap from center giving Salve Regina the ball on their own 46 yard line. Salve Regina moved the ball down to the Rams six yard line setting up Brendan Deasy (Quincy, Mass.) for 24-yard field goal attempt. The Rams defense made another big play as Pappagallo blocked the attempt and the Rams recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
On the ensuing possession, Leone was intercepted by Nick Jentz (Little Ferry, NJ), who returned the ball seven yards to the Framingham 47-yard line. The Rams defense once again answered sacking Roshong for a 10-yard loss and forcing a three and out by the Seahawks.
The Seahawks would regain possession as Greg Gosselin's (Kingston, Mass.) punt hit a Ram and the Seahawks recovered the ball on the Framingham 23-yard line. Trey Scales (Fairfield, Conn.) would rush for 2 yards on first down and 17 yards on second down setting the Seahawks up with a first and goal on the Rams six. Scales would gain a yard on first down and two on second down, setting up a huge third and goal for Salve. The Rams defense would stuff Rob LaRiviere-Tougas (Easthampton, Mass.) on third down setting up a fourth and goal. Deasy would nail a 20-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Rams lead to 7-3.
The Rams offense would respond with a seven play 62 yard drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Leone to McCarthy. After Cosmos's kick, the Rams led 14-3 with 12:43 remaining in the game.
On the Seahawks ensuing possession, Framingham State's defense would force another turnover. Facing a second and five, Roshong dropped back to pass and Muirhead chased him down stripping the ball. Jorge Cruz (Somerville, Mass.) recovered the fumble for the Rams.
Salve Regina forced a three and out by the Rams and had the ball back with 10:25 remaining in the game. The Rams defense responded again and forced a punt by the Seahawks.
The Rams took over possession with 7:45 remaining in the game and faced with a third and five, Leone completed a 16-yard pass to sophomore Alex Avery (Milford, Mass.) for a first down to extend the Rams drive. The Rams were able to use the clock and punted the ball back to the Seahawks with just 3:19 remaining in the game.
The Seahawks' drive began on their own 13-yard line and the Rams defense held them to just 27 yards on 10 plays on the drive as Sam Hill (Lynn, Mass.) broke up Roshong's fourth down pass attempt.
The Rams took over possession and ran the clock all the way down to 13 seconds. The Rams had to punt the ball away and Shawn Miller's (Tyngsboro, Mass.) punt was blocked and recoved by Salve Regina. The Seahawks took one last shot at the endzone and Roshong was picked off on the two yard line by Mark Nunes (Taunton, Mass.) to end the game.
Leone finished the game 20 of 28 for 256 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Rams, while McCarthy made seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Roshong completed 14 of 30 with two picks for 126 yards for the Seahawks, who only picked up 239 yards of total offense in the game.
The Rams return to action next Saturday as they square off against Bogan Division rival Bridgewater State at 1 p.m. That game will be played at Bridgewater-Raynham High School. The Seahawks will host Endicott next Saturday at 2 p.m.