FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Football team fell short to Framingham State University, 21-14, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) match up on Saturday afternoon at Bowditch Field.
Down 21-14 with 2:02 remaining in the game, UMass Dartmouth quarterback Cullen Hanna (Richmondville, N.Y. / Cobleskill Central) turned over the ball after being sacked by Framingham State defensive end Chevere Archer (Lynn, Mass.), solidifying the victory for the Rams.
The Corsair's defense was highlighted by senior captain Joe Teixiera (Seekonk, Mass. / Seekonk) with eleven tackles, including one for a loss, and Shaquille Brummit (Boston, Mass. / Brookline) with 10 tackles and a forced fumble.
For the Rams, Archer recorded ten tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and senior Kevin Donahue (Norfolk, Mass.) who tallied up a game-high 12 tackles and an interception.
Framingham State (4-1, 3-0 MASCAC) used a 14 play 95 yard drive to get on the board first with 3:51 left in the opening quarter. Senior Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) rushed for 74 yards on the drive including gains of 26 and 28 yards. He scampered into the end zone on a 2-yard run to cap the drive. Senior Will Menter (Haverhill, Mass.) converted the extra point and the Rams led 7-0.
UMass Dartmouth (1-3, 1-2 MASCAC) tied the score late in the second quarter with a 15 play 70 yard drive. Abiola Aborishade (Attleboro, Mass. / Attleboro) made the big play on the drive with an acrobatic reception for a 40 yard gain down the sideline on a 2nd and 22 from their own 39 yard line. The Rams would commit two more penalties giving the Corsairs a first and goal from the two. Two plays later sophomore Brinston Facey (Randolph, Mass.) drove the pile into the end zone from one yard out for the score. The extra point was blocked, but an offside call on the Rams gave the Alex Heffernan (Quincy, Mass. / Quincy) another shot at the PAT and he split the uprights tying the game a 7-7.
The Rams started the second half with 14 unanswered points to take a 21-14 lead. Van Alstyne scored his second touchdown of the day from one yard out. Altavesta set up the third scoring drive with his interception and return to the 11-yard line on the Corsairs first possession of the second frame. It would take Van Alstyne three plays to get into the end zone this time scoring from eight yards out.
UMass Dartmouth answered with a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Hanna capped a 12 play 76 yard drive with a five yard TD pass to Aborishade on a 4th and goal from the five to pull within one score with 4:08 left in the third.
With under ten minutes in the game, the Corsair defense came up with their first turnover of the game when Brummitt forced a fumble that junior Cody Merritt (Plymouth, Mass. / Plymouth North)) recovered at the Framingham 18-yard line. UMass Dartmouth could not take advantage of the short field as Donahue intercepted Hanna at the two on the second play of the drive.
Chasing seven points, the Corsairs took possession with 6:29 remaining in the game. They moved the ball down to the Framingham 35 yard line, but a pair of false starts pushed the visitors back to the 45. Hanna completed a short pass to Aborishade, giving the Corsairs a fourth and seven with 3:24 on the clock. After a timeout, Hanna completed a 15 yard toss to Brenden LaRosa (Everett, Mass. / Everett) to keep the drive alive. Hanna's first down attempt fell incomplete and on second down, Archer stopped running back Charles Ruffin (Miami, Fla. / King Philip) for a two yard loss. Third down, Hanna was hit by Archer, causing the game deciding turnover.
Corsair wide receiver Aborishade finished the game with 64 yards rushing on 18 carries and made seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Trent Barneys (Avenel, N.J. / Colonia) registered 64 yards on 18 carries.
Framingham State compiled 285 yards on the ground including 174 yards and three touchdowns from Van Alstyne and 78 yards on 11 carries from sophomore Matt Silva (Dracut, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth returns to Cressy Field when they host Bridgewater State on Friday at 7pm.