Framingham St. edges Norwich in OT, 27-21, to capture ECAC Northeast Bowl
Norwich sophomore WR Chris Denton
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Freshman RB Melikke Van Alstyne had 129 yards and two touchdowns rushing after halftime, including an
18-yard game-winning touchdown run in overtime, to lead the Framingham State University football team past Norwich University, 27-21, in the ECAC Northeast Bowl Saturday afternoon at Sabine Field. Senior QB Kurt Leone added two touchdowns and 274 yards through the air in helping the Rams finish the year at 9-2. Norwich sophomore WR Chris Denton had two touchdowns and a game-high 154 yards receiving on six catches to lead the Cadets, who end the season with an 8-3 mark.
Norwich got on the board first, marching the ball 75 yards on the opening possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Sophomore RB Danny Triplett ran it in from one yard out with 10 minutes remaining in quarter.
The Cadets would get on the board again following a fourth-down stop by the defense. After an incompletion and a negative run play, sophomore QB Kris Sabourin hit Denton with a 54-yard strike down the left sideline to push the score to 14-0 with 59 seconds left in the opening stanza.
It looked as though the 14-point Norwich advantage would hold up through halftime after senior P Brian Segit's punt went into the end zone, giving Framingham the ball on their own 20-yardline with only 48 seconds to go in the half.
The Rams promptly moved the ball down to the NU 45-yardline, stopping the clock when James McCarthy got out-of-bounds following a 12-yard catch.
On the ensuing first-down play Leone scrambled to his left before lofting a wobbly pass that Alex Avery was able to come down with in the left-front corner of the end zone. Following the Phil Cosmos extra point the Norwich lead was cut to 14-7, the score the teams would take into intermission.
The Cadets outgained the Rams 267-165 yards in total offense for the half, including a 122-21 advantage in rushing yards. A stingy NU run defense limited Van Alstyne to only 19 yards on five carries over the first two quarters.
The last second first-half score did not seem to faze the Cadets coming out of the locker room as they again scored on their opening drive of the half, going 62 yards in six plays. Sabourin hit Denton with a 33-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-7.
Van Alstyne then got going for FSU. His five-yard TD run pulled the Rams back within seven, 21-14, with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter.
Following a scoreless ten minutes, Framingham evened the score when McCarthy broke loose for a 41-yard touchdown catch to cap a 5-play, 80-yard drive.
The Rams would get a crack at the winning score with 2:23 left to go in the game when they gained possession on the NU 49-yardline following a Norwich punt.
FSU used seven plays to get the ball all the way down to Norwich one-yardline with 15 seconds left. The Rams, out of timeouts, tried for a touchdown up the middle with a David Leach rush but it was stuffed at the goal line by senior LB Rocco DiMeco and sophomore DL Joseph Munno. In the confusion following the play the rams were unable to get a snap off and clock the ball, which allowed regulation time to run out.
The Cadets won the overtime toss and elected to receive the ball. On the opening play of the extra session Sabourin's pass was intercepted by Adam Emery at the 10-yard line and returned all the way down to the Norwich 32-yardline where he was tackled by senior OL Don Hanni.
Since the interception was not returned all the way for a score, overtime rules dictated that the Rams' possession start at the Norwich 25-yardline. Following a seven-yard rush by Leone to the Norwich 18-yardline, Van Alstyne ran it in for the winning score.
Van Alstyne finished the day with 137 yards to go with his two touchdowns and was selected as the game's "Most Outstanding Player."
Avery was the leading FSU receiver with 143 yards and a touchdown on nine catches, while McCarthy pitched in 83 yards and a touchdown on five catches.
The Cadets were paced on the ground by Triplett, who had 85 yards and the one touchdown, while junior RB Andrew Fulford had 59 yards on 16 carries.
Senior WR Emilio Martinez complimented Denton's great day with 72 yards on five receptions.
The Cadets were lead defensively by senior LB Daniel Reale who had 12 tackles, two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble. Classmate DB Charles Stiles added 10 tackles (one TFL) on the day.