Worcester, MA --- Westfield State sophomore Colby Bostek (W. Boylston, MA) and senior Brian Beauchemin (Athol, MA) combined to amass 195 rushing yards and three touchdowns to help lead the Owls to a 38-20 victory over Worcester State in MASCAC football action this afternoon at Coughlin Field.
With the win the Owls improve to 5-4 (4-3 MASCAC) while the Lancers slip to 3-6 and 1-6 in league play. Westfield State is now 15-13 in the all-time series that started in 1986 and they snap a three-game skid against the Blue and Gold.
Bostek rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown as Beauchemin added 94 yards and two scores. Senior Tim Rich (Chelmsford, MA) was 11-for-17 for 208 yards through the air to go along with one touchdown.
In the receiving game, senior Kevin Nichol (Wolcott, CT) had a team-high five catches for 87 yards while classmate Kane Terilli (Cranston, RI) added 76 yards on a trio of receptions.
The Lancers were paced by junior Pat Viencek (Bernardston, MA) who was 23-for-45 with 267 yards and a trifecta of touchdowns, but he threw three costly interceptions.
Junior Jack Sprague (Maynard, MA) was his favorite target as he finished with nine catches for 100 yards – just 12 shy of 1,000 for his career. Senior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) hauled in seven passes for 64 yards and two TDs to become the all-time Worcester State leader in receiving touchdowns.
On the ground for the hosts, junior Dana Valentine (Roxbury, MA) had 23 rushes for 93 yards and he tacked on 75 yards on three kickoffs returns.
After neither team scored on their first possession of the contest, Westfield State found success on a 19-yard scamper by Beauchemin with 8:23 left in the first stanza. The Owls tacked on the two-point conversion pass for the 8-0 lead from senior Joey Shisler (Hanover, MA) to teammate Jake Storey (Uxbridge, MA).
The visitors jumped out to the 14-0 advantage in the same fashion when Bostek hit pay-dirt four minutes later on an 11-yard scoring burst (PAT blocked).
Worcester State responded with a 13 play, 71 yard drive that was capped off on the first play of the second quarter with a nine-yard flick from Viencek to Scerra in the right corner of the end-zone.
The Lancers had a golden opportunity to threaten as senior Nick Doria (Watertown, MA) forced a fumble in Worcester State territory.
In a balanced approach offensively, Viencek and Valentine helped the hosts march into the Westfield State red zone, but were denied when junior Jonathan Lytle (Wallingford, CT) snatched Viencek offering and rumbled 78 yard for the 21-8 margin with 9:13 remaining in the first half.
Worcester State, however, shrugged off the miscue and came right back on their next series 2½ minutes later on a 15-yard scoring strike from Viencek to junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA).
The visitors found good fortune on the ensuing kickoff when freshman Alex Valente (Reading, MA) sprinted 42 yards deep in into Lancer territory. Rich fooled the secondary on the very next play with a fake end around and hit an open Nicol for a 34-yard toss to make the score 28-14 with 6:21 left in the second quarter.
Westfield State scored one more time just before the intermission as first-year Michael Orellana (Springfield, MA) booted a 35-yard field goal for the 31-14 margin at the break.
To start off the third, the ball traded hands four times before Viencek helped the Lancers drive into enemy territory with 49 yards through the air on its third possession of the quarter.
With a fourth and three decision on the Owls 16, Viencek tried to find Sprague on a slant route near the goal line, but junior Troy Cutter (Lunenburg, MA) diagnosed the play beautifully and carried the interception 74 yards to the Lancers 16 yard-line.
Beauchemin then helped the visitors balloon their lead on a two-yard plunge for the 38-14 score with 1:18 left in the stanza.
The Lancers tried to get back into the game with a fourth-quarter rally. Viencek started things off with a quick drive as he hooked up with Scerra for a 22-yard connection early in the fourth quarter.
After the Owls went three and out on their next series, Worcester State worked quickly to charge its way down the field. But Cutter came up with the clutch pick – his second of the contest – to help keep the hosts off the board on the Westfield State 25 yard line.
The visitors then utilized a methodical 16 play, 74-yard drive to run out the clock and the contest. Westfield State rushed 14 times in the trek and converted twice on third down as Rich added a 13 yard sneak on fourth down to seal up the win.
Cutter propelled Westfield State with a game-best 10 tackles (nine solo) and he had two interceptions for 77 yards. Lytle tacked on eight tackles (five solo) with 1.5 for a loss. Junior Julon McCoy (Gardner, MA) also added six solo stops including two TFL.
Doria paced the Lancers with eight tackles (five solo) and a forced fumble. Junior Bryan Narcisse (Medway, MA) distinguished himself with seven tackles which included 3.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks for 19 yards.
Senior Adam Straughn (Rockland, MA) was also solid with five tackles and his third blocked kick of the season.
Westfield State led a balanced attack to edge the Lancers in total offense (411-405) while they were just under their season average in possession time (33:28-26:32). Worcester State had more first downs (28-23), but were four of 15 on third downs.
Hippert became the fourth receiver to go over the millennial mark as he now has 1,042 yards which is just 183 away from the single-season mark. Scerra went over the 200 catch plateau and he is six receptions off the top five in Division III New England football history.
The Westfield State defense held the Lancers potent passing attack in check yielding the hosts to just 267 yards which was well below their season average which was fourth in the NCAA Division III (350.9 YPG).
The Owls have now gone an eye-popping 235 consecutive pass attempts without throwing a interception on the campaign.
Both squads close out their MASCAC slates next week in noontime affairs. Worcester State hosts Framingham State in their season finale while the Owls travel to Western Connecticut.