MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Maple Street Field, Framingham, Mass.
FINAL: FRAMINGHAM STATE 35, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 28 (OVERTIME)
1 2 3 4 OT Total
Massachusetts Maritime (2-2, 1-1 NEFC) 21 0 0 7 0 - 28
Framingham State (4-1, 2-0 NEFC) 7 0 0 21 7 - 35
MAM: Stefan Gustafson 22 yd run (kick blocked) 9:10 1st
FRA: Phil Clain 19 yd pass from Matt Silva (Clain kick) 8:50 1st
MAM: E.J. Bennett 31 yd pass from Mike Stanton (Keith Caruso pass from Stanton) 6:39 1st
MAM: Caruso 6 yd pass from Stanton (Brandon Rodrigues kick) 0:25 1st
FRA: Melikke Van Alstyne 6 yd run (Clain kick) 12:24 4th
FRA: Van Alstyne 8 yd run (Clain kick) 6:25 4th
MAM: Bennett 7 yd pass from Stanton (Rodrigues kick) 4:58 4th
FRA: Randall Kelleher 15 yd pass from Silva (Clain kick) 2:21 4th
FRA: Van Alstyne 1 yd run (Clain kick) OT
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Junior Melikke Van Alstyne's (Salem, Mass.) one-yard touchdown plunge in overtime held up as the deciding score as Framingham State rallied from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to notch a 35-28 extra session New England Football Conference Bogan Division victory over Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at Maple Street Field.
The host Rams (4-1, 2-0 NEFC Bogan), who entered the contest having posted back-to-back shutouts and had allowed only six points in their last three outings, trailed 21-7 entering the final quarter of regulation and turned the ball over on downs at the visiting Buccaneers' (2-2, 1-1 NEFC Bogan) nine-yard line just 53 seconds into the frame. Sophomore Olajuwon Dickerson (Milton, Mass.) blocked an ensuing Massachusetts Maritime punt to give Framingham State the ball on the visitors' 15-yard line, and two plays later Van Alstyne rumbled in from six yards out to close the hosts' gap to seven at 21-14.
After the Rams drove down to the Buccaneer 26-yard line only to turn the ball over on downs once again with 9:29 to play in regulation, a ensuing Massachusetts Maritime fumble set Framingham State up in scoring position at the visitors' 32, and on 4th-and-6, Van Alstyne scampered in from eight yards out to even matters at 21-21 with 6:25 remaining. But it took the Buccaneers just five plays and a minute-and-a-half to regain the advantage at 28-21, as junior quarterback Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) connected with fellow junior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) for three straight completions totaling 64 yards before hooking up with sophomore E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.) on seven-yard touchdown pass with 4:58 remaining.
Freshman quarterback Matt Silva (Dracut, Mass.) responded for Framingham State with a nine play, 64-yard drive in just 2:25, as he connected with sophomore Randall Kelleher (Swampscott, Mass.) on a 15-yard scoring pass on 4th-and-12 to even the score once again at 28-28, and after the visitors drove to midfield and punted with 47 seconds remaining in regulation, the Rams were unable to move the ball in the closing seconds of regulation, setting up an overtime session that saw Massachusetts Maritime win the toss and elect to play defense. Van Alstyne gained all 25 yards on the hosts' possession and plunged in for his third score of the day to give Framingham State the lead, and after leading his squad down to the Rams' 8-yard-line, Stanton's 50th pass attempt of the day was intercepted by senior Tyrone Notice (Gardner, Mass.) to end the contest, the Buccaneers' first overtime game since 1992 (a 28-21 win at UMass Dartmouth), the first that the NCAA went to the new extra session format that eliminated ties.
Like the fourth quarter, the opening 15 minutes of play saw the teams combined for four scores as well, as after Framingham State drove to the Buccaneer 21-yard line on its opening possession, a fumble recovery by junior Robert Gratzer (Pembroke, Mass.) enabled Massachusetts Maritime to capitalize with a nine-play, 79-yard drive that was capped by a 22-yard touchdown run from junior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.), his third of the season, and a 6-0 visitors' lead. Notice then returned the ensuing kickoff 68 yards to give the hosts the ball at the Buccaneer 19-yard-line, and Silva capitalized on the next play when he connected with sophomore Phil Clain (Swampscott, Mass.) for a 7-6 Rams' edge. Stanton guided his squad to the go-ahead score on the next Massachusetts Maritime possession, as he connected with Bennett on a 31-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion toss to Caruso, but later in the frame Framingham State capitalized on good field position to drive to the visitors' 10-yard-line only to see Buccaneer sophomore Victor Andrade (Yarmouthport, Mass.) recover a Ram fumble and take it back 77 yards to the hosts' 13-yard-line, where four players later Stanton and Caruso hooked up for a six-yard scoring strike and a 21-7 Massachusetts Maritime lead, a score that stood until the wild fourth quarter and overtime session.
Van Alstyne rushed for 158 yards on 35 carries to go with his three touchdowns in the triumph for Framingham State, as Silva completed 28-of-46 attempts for 269 yards and a pair of scores for the Rams, who amassed 30 first downs and 454 yards of total offense. Stanton tied his school single-game record with 26 completions (set last week against Coast Guard) and threw for 322 yards on his 50 attempts to go with three scores in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, while Gustafson (85) and senior Barry Reopell (South Dennis, Mass.) combined for 142 rushing yards. Bennett hauled in a career-high 10 receptions for 156 yards to go with his two touchdowns for the Buccaneers, while Caruso had nine catches for 119 yards and a score for the visitors, who amassed 448 yards of total offense.
Senior James Muirhead (Middelboro, Mass.) paced Framingham State with 11 total tackles on the day, while senior Chris Blydell (Lynn, Mass.) added eight stops (seven solo) for the Rams. Senior Nick Mazurkiewicz (Attleboro, Mass.) led Massachusetts Maritime with a game-high 12 tackles in the setback, while fellow senior Sean Carver (Summerfield, Fla.) added 10 total stops (seven solo) for the Buccaneers, who also received eight solo tackles from sophomore Kevin Stanton (Abington, Mass.) and the second interception of the season from junior Sheldon Roper (Northgate, Ga.).
Massachusetts Maritime heads to Worcester, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Worcester State in a New England Football Conference Bogan Division match-up that kicks off at 1:30 p.m., while Framingham State travels to Fitchburg, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to tangle with Fitchburg State in an NEFC Bogan Division clash that also kicks off at 1:30 p.m.