Rams hold off Fitchburg behind defense, Owens’ pick-six

In a defensive slugfest, Framingham pulls off a tough earned win over the Fitchburg Falcons 14-0.

Framingham started off on the right foot by marching down the field on its first possession in nine plays for 57 yards in 4 minutes, approximately.

The Rams started from their own 43 and began marching by Zakery Walker connecting with Michael Calicchio for 10 yards on second-and-nine. Framingham then took it on the ground with two big rushes from Stephen Beahn for nine and 11 yards, respectively.  From there Walker connected with Calicchio again for 12 yards. Following a two-yard rush from Quron Wright, Walker’s rush resulted in no gain. On third-and-eight Walker capped the drive off with a third and final completion on the drive with Calicchio for 12 yards and the touchdown.

Fitchburg tried responding quickly with a drive of their own but they stalled out after eight plays for only 24 yards. Garret Dellechiaie tried marching down the field on the Rams early by connecting for 15- and nine-yard completions to Taylor Ekstrom and Devin Summiel.

On third-and-six, Dellechiaie rushed for seven yards to gain a first down, but was negated by a costly holding penalty against Thomas Burns, while trying to block Aaron Owens. The penalty backed the Falcons up to their own 50.

The Rams defense held strong on a key third-and-long situation forcing the Falcons to end their drive early on their own 50-yard line punting the ball away.

Framingham tried to keep the same momentum from their last drive with Trevon Offley rushing for 18 yards on second down after a four-yard connection from Walker to Napoleon Miller. After the big gain the Rams made a costly mistake with a holding penalty on the next play for ten yards.

Following the penalty, the Rams tried moving the ball after a Walker incompletion on first and 20. After the six yard gain from Wright, Offley rushed again for 29 yards on a third-and-14 for the first down, but it was brought back after another costly penalty from the Rams.

The holding penalty forced a third-and-24 which ended up forcing Framingham to punt after a one-yard rush from Offley.

Fitchburg would try again to march on the Rams but would come up with nothing after a five-play, 33-yard drive that ended after a thrown interception from Dellechiaie to Kenneth Bartolo.

Framingham would start from its own 18 with back-to-back rushes from Wright for six yards total. After a false start against Framingham forcing a third-and-nine, Offley rushed for a gain of 22 yards to convert the long third down. Walker completed passes to Miller and Malcolm Bryant for ten and three yards respectively.

At the start of the second quarter, continuing the drive on second-and-seven Walker threw an interception to Darius Banks but it was fortunately called back for an encroachment penalty against the Falcons. Walker was sacked on the next play for a loss of eight and threw an incompletion to Calicchio forcing the Rams to punt again.

Fitchburg would respond with a long 13-play, 58-yard drive by gaining most of their yards on the ground through Jevon Brown-Simpson. Framingham had a hard time stopping the rushing attack from the Falcons until Dellechiaie threw back-to-back incompletions on second and third down to force a punt from the Framingham 36.

Framingham would try to find the end zone before the end of the first half after starting its drive with seven minutes left.

After a one-yard loss from a pass to Beahn, Wright would rush back to back plays for six yards each moving the ball for the Rams. Following another incomplete pass from Walker, Framingham continued the rushing attack with Offley and Wright for three straight plays. Walker connected with Calicchio for six yards but was brought back due to a costly false start penalty. Framingham was forced to punt after a one-yard completion to force a fourth-and-six.

Following the Rams short punt for only 30 yards the Falcons started their two-minute offense to try and tie the game up.

Dellechiaie completed a 55-yard pass to Summiel on a third-and-nine after a loss of five yards on the previous play. The big play led to a Dellechiaie 10-yard rush on second down which started a first-and-goal for Fitchburg. After two incomplete passes from Dellechiaie the Falcons would attempt a field goal on third-and-goal. The kick from Ludwig was blocked by Campbell Marchant and returned 59 yards by Jaquan Harris.

The second half was more of the same for Framingham, trading field position with the Falcons for the first two possessions.

Fitchburg starting their drive from its own 21 tried moving the ball down the field on third-and-seven, but turned the ball over after an Owens pick-six for a touchdown after a four-yard rush from Brown-Simpson and a one-yard loss from Jesse Lastra. The touchdown pushed the Rams lead to 14-0.

The defensive slugfest continued for the rest of the second half with the battle of the punters continuing with each team just trading field position.

Framingham had seven sacks for 37 yards and forced two interceptions. Walker completed 12-of-20 passes for 72 yards and one touchdown. Calicchio had four catches for 40 yards. It was a rushing attack by committee with Offley, Jalen Green and Wright combining for 143 yards.

Svenn Jacobson led the way with 10 total tackles. Marchant came up with 3.5 sacks. Cody Wlasuk also contributed two sacks of his own in the win.