MIDDLETOWN, R.I. - Sophomore running back Richie Edwards (Trumbull, Conn.) rushed for a game-high 138 yards and three touchdowns as the Salve Regina University football team overcame an early 6-0 deficit to defeat Framingham State University by a score of 28-13 at Gaudet Field on Saturday. The win improves the Seahawks to 2-1 overall, while the loss drops the Rams to 1-2 on the season.
Edwards led the Salve Regina offensive attack with his three-score afternoon, while senior Trey Scales (Boston, Mass.) also found the end zone on an impressive 25-yard end around.
Defensively, the Seahawks made several big plays, forcing three fumbles and grabbing two interceptions in the win. Senior linebacker A.J. Albert (Franklin Park, N.J.) played particularly well, recording eight tackles, three stops for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Seniors Matt Peterson (Bristol, Conn.) and Anthony DePaolo (Southington, Conn.) each had interceptions for Salve Regina, while senior Jeff Bartek (North Haven, Conn.) and junior Matthew Markese (West Hartford, Conn.) tied for the team lead with nine tackles apiece.
The Rams were paced offensively by tailback Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) who rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown, while also reeling in four passes for 123 yards in the loss. Freshman quarterback Matt Silva (Dracut, Mass.) also played well, completing 23-of-39 passes for 300 yards in addition to connecting on a pair of field goal attempts.
Junior James Muirhead (Middleboro, Mass.) stood out on defense for the Rams, leading all players with 13 tackles, adding three quarterback hurries and one sack. Sophomore Patrick McGrath (Everett, Mass.) also chipped-in with 10 tackles and one forced fumble on the day.
The Rams jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on field goals of 21 and 22 yards by Silva.
The 6-0 lead stood up until late in the second quarter, when the Seahawks finally made their move. Albert got things started by sacking the FSU quarterback, knocking the ball out of his hands, and diving on the loose ball to complete the turnover. From there, the Seahawks drove 68 yards on 13 plays, capped by an eight-yard touchdown run by Edwards to claim a 7-6 lead with just 2:04 remaining in the half.
After a quick three-and-out by the Rams, the Seahawks were unable to do anything on their ensuing possession as the first half came to a close.
The Rams struck quickly in the second half, as Van Alstyne broke a 63-yard run for a touchdown just 50 seconds into the third quarter to reclaim the lead for FSU, 13-7.
The Seahawks bounced back with a big play from their defense when DePaolo blocked a punt, setting up the Seahawk offense on the Framingham eight yard-line. Two carries later, Edwards was in the end zone with his second touchdown of the day to reclaim the lead for Salve Regina, 14-13.
The Seahawks then expanded their lead after yet another key play from their defense, as Matt Peterson picked off a pass and raced down the sideline to the FSU three yard-line, setting up Edwards for his third touchdown of the game.
After a quick three-and-out by the Rams, the Seahawks took over possession on their own 33 yard line. Salve Regina began the drive with seven straight hand-offs to Edwards as they pounded the ball on the ground. With the Rams expecting more of the same, the Seahawks faked the hand-off to Edwards and gave the ball to Scales on an end-around which he broke for 25 yards, hurdling defenders as he flipped into the end zone to seal the 28-13 victory for the Seahawks.
Both teams will begin New England Football Conference divisional play next weekend. The Rams will host Bridgewater State, while the Seahawks will travel to take on Endicott at noon.