Framingham State won back-to-back games for the first time this year in a close one, 23-17, against Western Connecticut State.
Facing their first third down from their own 21-yard line, the Colonels converted after a six-yard rush from Khalil Patterson. Western Connecticut State continued to move the ball after two rushes for a combined seven yards from Quinn Fleeting and Patterson. Fleeting connected with Austin Calamita for 12 yards on a big third down to keep their drive alive. But after that first down Framingham stopped the Colonels momentum and forced a punt.
The Rams looked poised to score early after Zakery Walker connected with Stephen Beahn for 25 yards following a three-yard rush from Jalen Green. Following an incompletion on first down Green rushed for a gain of 11 for a new set of downs. After a loss of four on second down Walker connected with Beahn again for a gain of 13 just short of another first down. On a surprising call instead of kicking the field goal from the Colonels 18, the Rams rushed with Beahn for a touchdown, but that touchdown was brought back after a holding penalty. After being pushed back to a fourth-and-11, Framingham went for it again with Walker targeting Michael Calicchio and forcing a pass interference call against Western Connecticut State. With a fresh set of downs, Green rushed on first down and fumbled giving away all of the Rams’ momentum.
Starting the Colonels drive from their own 11, Michael Nicol rushed for 20 yards on first down. Continuing the ground attack Nicol rushed again for five yards on first down and a one-yard loss from Patterson. Fleeting then connected to Patterson for a six yard gain and a first down conversion. After a seven-yard completion to Calmita on first down, Fleeting threw an interception to Facundo Isas.
Framingham couldn’t get much against the Colonels defense after the turnover just moving the ball six yards on three plays.
Western Connecticut State couldn’t make much progress either after forcing a three-and-out moving the ball only 17 yards on five plays.
After forcing a punt, Walker tried getting the offense going but threw three incompletions. On third down, the play was a called dead with penalties off-setting on both sides. After being awarded a new set of downs, Walker connected with Napoleon Miller for seven yards. Following an incompletion to Beahn, Walker was able to draw a pass interference pass on the defense after targeting Calicchio. After a two-yard gain on the ground from Trevon Offley, Adam Wojenski connected with Beahn for a 65-yard touchdown that was brought back after a costly illegal motion penalty against the Rams. Wojenski threw an interception on third-and-13 after an incomplete pass to Calicchio, ending the Rams drive.
The Colonels started their drive from their own 38 and tried continuing what was working for them on the ground with a 19-yard rush from Nicol, but was brought back after an illegal formation penalty. Following the penalty Western Connecticut State continued rushing the ball with Patterson and Nicol for seven yards, but on third down Fleeting couldn’t convert and was forced to punt.
The Rams started their drive from their own 26, Framingham gained little yardage after a one-yard rush on first down and an incomplete pass after that. On third down, Wojenski connected with Miller for a 67-yard completion and bringing the Rams into the red zone. On first and goal, Beahn rushed for six yards and the touchdown to give Framingham a 6-0 lead.
After the Rams touchdown, the Colonels came out aggressive with a four-yard rush from Patterson to start their drive. Fleeting attempted connecting with David James but drew a holding call to gain a first down. Fleeting and Nicol rushed on back-to-back plays for six and five yards to keep moving the ball. Framingham couldn’t stop Fleeting as he gained 23 yards on a completion to Jawad Chisholm. After a rush from Nicol for no gain, the Colonels were called for a holding penalty. After an incomplete pass on first-and-20, Fleeting found Chisholm for three yards. On third-and-long Fleeting connected with Nicol for 18 to convert the first down. After a four-yard rush from Patterson on first down, Fleeting rushed the ball in for a touchdown from nine yards out. With the touchdown Western Connecticut State took a 7-6 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff Quron Wright returned the ball 89 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead along with it.
The Colonels stayed with the ground attack on the following drive starting with a seven yard gain from Nicol. Fleeting then rushed for six yards and the first down. After an 11-yard gain from Patterson, Fleeting had a gain of zero on first down. On second down, Clayton Minnich sacked Fleeting for a loss of five and forced a third-and-long. On third-and-long, Fleeting fumbled after a hit from Minnich again on his rush.
Framingham started its first drive of the second half with a gain of 11 on the ground from Offley. After a two-yard loss from Offley on the following first down, Wojenski couldn’t connect with Calicchio on second-and-long. On third down, Wojenski was picked off for a touchdown by the Colonels Ryan Jarzavek. The Colonels took a 14-13 lead following the touchdown.
The Rams couldn’t get anything going on the following drive going three-and-out and punting the ball away to Western Connecticut State.
The next three drives for both sides was a battle of the punters with both sides just trading field position.
Framingham tried moving the ball with three minutes left in the third quarter to regain the lead. After a completion to Nasir Thomas for one-yard, Wojenski rushed for one yard and fumbled but recovered it. Wojenski found Thomas for a gain of 26 yards to move the chains on third-and-12. After no gain from Green on first down, Wojenski threw an interception on second down to Jarzavek again.
To start the fourth quarter after a three-yard loss from Patterson Fleeting fumbled but was recovered by Western Connecticut State and Framingham forced a safety. Framingham regained the lead at 15-14
On the following kickoff, Jordan D’Onofrio kicked the ball out of bounds costing Western Connecticut State 20 yards and another personal foul cost the Colonels another 15. The Rams, trying to carry their momentum over from defense to offense, came out aggressively. Framingham started its drive with a three-yard rush from Beahn. After Walker took a loss of six yards on the rush, he connected with Miller for a gain of 10. Taking another gamble on fourth down, Framingham rushed for seven yards and the first down. On the new set of downs, Walker connected with Miller again for five more yards. After back-to-back rushes for no gain, Walker threw an incomplete pass to Malcom Bryant but was saved by a 15-yard pass interference call. Following the penalty, Offley scored on first-and-goal on a two-yard rush. Framingham tried its luck and went for a two-point conversion and converted to increase their lead to 23-14.
On the next drive Framingham’s defense held strong once again allowing only 18 yards on five plays.
Framingham starting its drive from its own 16 would try to drain the clock with eight minutes remaining. It continued its rushing onslaught with a combination of Offley and Green for five consecutive plays for 37 yards and bled the clock at the same time for four minutes before punting the ball away.
With their backs against the wall the Colonels came out firing to try to make a comeback. After back-to-back targets to Chisholm, Fleeting finally connected with him for 12 yards and the first down. From there it was Chisholm or nothing for Western Connecticut State. Following the first down gain Fleeting found Chisholm for 16 and 12 yards on back-to-back plays. Shortly after that Fleeting found Patterson for 14 yards. Following a Chisholm rush for a gain of five, he then found his favorite target on the day Chisholm for a gain of six and another first down. Fleeting then found Chisholm once again for 10 yards, then Nicol for 10 yards on the next play. After a rush for no gain on first-and-goal, the Colonels were called for a costly holding penalty. Following two consecutive incompletions, Fleeting found Calamita for a gain of six yards forcing the field goal attempt. D’Onofrio connected on a 28-yard field goal bringing the score 23-17.
The Colonels went for one of the biggest gambles in an on-side kick attempt and converted it regaining possession. On first down, Fleeting found Chisholm for 19 yards. After an incomplete pass to Calamita, Fleeting was sacked by Campbell Marchant forcing a fumble recovered by Framingham to seal the game for the Rams.
After the recovery on first down, Offley broke out for a 57-yard rush on first down bringing the Rams to the red zone. Following the big gain the Rams kneeled the ball to close the game out.
Offley led the way for the Rams with 114 yards on 13 attempts on the ground. Miller chipped in six catches for 95 yards as well.
Svenn Jacobson led the way with 11 tackles two of them for losses for the Rams. Marchant also added nine tackles and two of them being sacks and was named Homecoming MVP.