Framingham State University football team overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game and scored on their possession in overtime to secure a 35-28 victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy in a New England Football Conference Bogan Divisional game at Framingham’s Maple Street Field on Homecoming and Family Weekend.
The Rams improve to 4-1 on the season and are 2-0 in the division, while Mass. Maritime, who played their first overtime game since 1993, falls to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the division.
The Rams trailed 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter and cut into the lead thanks to a short field set up by a blocked punt and recovery from sophomore Olajuwon Dickerson.Freshman quarterback Matt Silva completed a nine yard pass to senior Tyrone Figueroa and junior running back Melikke Van Alstyne capped the two play 15 yard drive with a six yard touchdown run with 12:24 left in the game.
A Mass. Maritime turnover gave the Rams possession on the MMA 32 yard line with nine minutes to go in the game. The Rams moved the ball down the field and Van Alstyne rushed for his second touchdown of the quarter, this one from eight yards out. After the extra point the game was tied at 21-21 with 6:25 remaining.
The tie did not last long as junior quarterback Mike Stanton methodically moved the Buccaneers down the field in just 1:25 for the go ahead score. Stanton completed passes of 38, 5 and 21 yards before closing the drive with a seven yard TD pass to sophomore E.J. Bennett.
Mass. Maritime missed the extra point, but because of a penalty on the Rams they got to rekick and the try was good putting them up 28-21 with 4:58 left.
The Rams responded with a nine play 64 yard drive to retie the score with 2:21 on the clock. Silva completed passes of 10 and 15 yards to start the drive and tossed a 15 yard touchdown pass to sophomore Randall Kelleheron a 4th and 12. The Rams first attempt at the extra point was no good, but a Buccaneer penalty gave the hosts another shot. After a timeout, the Rams lined up to go for two, but were called for a penalty for breaking the huddle with 12. After the penalty, the Rams kicked the extra point tying the score and forcing overtime.
The Bucs won the toss before overtime and elected to play defense first. Van Alstyne rushed for six yards on the Rams first two plays and Silva connected with Kelleher for a 14 yard gain to set up a first and goal from the five. Three plays later Van Alstyne barreled into the end zone from a yard out for the go ahead score and his third touchdown of the game.
The Rams defense came through with the big play on the Buccaneers overtime possession as Notice intercepted Stanton on a 2nd and six from the 11 to seal the victory.
Mass. Maritime took advantage of four first half turnovers (three fumbles and an interception) by the Rams to take a 21-7 lead at the break. The Buccaneers capitalized on the Rams first turnover of the game, a fumble on their opening possession, to put points on the board. Stefan Gustafsoncapped a nine play 79 yard drive with a 22 yard touchdown run. The Rams blocked the extra point giving the Bucs a 6-0 lead with 9:10 left in the first quarter.
Senior Tyrone Notice returned the ensuing kickoff 68 yards to the Mass. Maritime 19-yard line setting the Rams up for their first score of the game. On the first play from scrimmage, Silva hit sophomore Phil Clain with a 19 yard scoring strike.
The Buccaneers scored on their next possession to reclaim the lead on a 31 yard touchdown pass from Stanton to Bennett and added another touchdown, a six yard TD pass from Stanton to junior Keith Caruso with 25 seconds left in the first to take a 21-7 lead that would stand until the final quarter.
Silva and Van Alstyne were the co-recipients of the 2012 Calder Award which is presented annually to the MVP of the Homecoming game in memory of former FSU football player and team captain John Calder.
Silva finished the game 28 of 46 for 269 yards and two touchdowns and one interception, while Van Alstyne rushed for 158 yards on 35 carries with three scores. Notice had a strong game on special teams for the Rams with four kick returns for 118 yards with a long of 68. He also blocked a kick and secured the game with the overtime interception. Senior James Muirhead led the Rams defense with 11 tackles including eight solo stops.
Stanton finished the game 26 of 50 for 322 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Gustafson rushed for 85 yards on 15 carries with a score. The Buccaneers had a pair of receivers eclipse the 100 yard mark as Bennett finished with 10 catches for 156 yards and two TDs and Caruso had nine grabs for 119 yards and a score.
The Rams return to action Saturday at Fitchburg State at 1:30 p.m.