BSC Bears Edge Framingham State, 26-20

Box Score 

Bridgewater, Mass --– In New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division action, the Bridgewater State College Bears downed the Rams of Framingham State College, 26-20, this afternoon from Swenson Field.

Bridgewater State (4-1, 3-0 NEFC Bogan) has now won each of the last six meetings of the two teams and are 23-1 versus the Rams (2-3, 1-2 NEFC Bogan) since 1984.

Offensively for the Bears, freshman running back Chris Russell (Stoughton, MA) rushed for a career-high 133 yards and a touchdown, while junior quarterback Steven Clark (East Falmouth, MA) completed 15 of 21 passes for 183 yards and a score. Clark also ran for an 11-yard touchdown. The Bears racked up 227 yards on the ground and 418 yards of total offense.

Bridgewater did a nice job defensively, allowing just 152 yards of total offense and intercepting two Ram passes. Framingham, however, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first quarter including the game’s opening kickoff.

Freshman Shawn Miller (Tyngsboro, MA) brought the opening kickoff back 82 yards to give FSC the quick 6-0 lead as the point after conversion was missed. Bridgewater saw their opening drive stall at the Framingham 17 yard line, and the Bears’ 34-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.

The Bears tied the game up on their third possession of the quarter as they put together a 12-play, 90-yard drive capped off by Clark’s 11-yard run. BSC, however, would miss the first of three failed extra point attempts.

The Rams quickly reclaimed the lead on the ensuing kickoff as sophomore Anthony Kewley (Rutland, MA) returned it 88 yards for a touchdown. Senior place-kicker Ashley Baker (Mansfield, MA) knocked home the extra point to give FSC the 13-6 advantage.

Bridgewater responded with scores on their next two possessions to jump ahead for good, 20-13. First, junior running back Jason Williams (East Falmouth, MA) punched it in from two yards out to complete a 6-play, 61-yard drive. Then, after taking over the ball on downs, the Bears strung together a 9-play, 75-yard drive resulting in an 11-yard touchdown run by Russell. Bridgewater missed the extra point on the Williams touchdown, but converted a two-point attempt after the Russell score on a pass from senior holder James Yaitanes (Stoughton, MA) to junior tight end Tony Cina (Hanson, MA).

Bridgewater capitalized on the opening possession of the second half. After a short kickoff and a 28-yard return by junior Bobby McCarthy (Marshfield, MA), BSC started the drive on the Framingham 43-yard line. Seven plays later, Clark connected with McCarthy on a 16-yard touchdown pass to increase the Bears’ lead to 26-13. The big play on the drive was a pass interference penalty against the Rams on third and 14 from the 34-yard line.

Framingham came right back on the ensuing possession as senior quarterback Eian Bain (Stafford Springs, CT), who did not play in the first half, ran for a six-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 26-20.

Neither team seriously threatened to score from that point on. The Bears did put together one final big defensive stand late in the fourth quarter. Starting on their own 18-yard line with 3:34 left in the game, Framingham advanced the ball to their own 38 and were faced with a fourth and one situation. After calling a timeout with 1:26 left on the clock, the Rams tried a quarterback sneak up the middle which was stuffed by BSC tackles Chris Dijak (Leominster, MA) and Mohammed Kanu (Randolph, MA).

BSC’s receiving trio of McCarthy, senior Chris Joyce (Bridgewater, MA) and freshman Patrick McGrail (Braintree, MA) combined to make 15 receptions for 172 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore Sean Larkin (Pembroke, MA) led the way defensively for the Bears as he registered 10 tackles (2 for loss) and a sack. Sophomore linebackers Tim Powling (Orange, MA) and Marcus Wells (Brockton, MA) each recorded their first career interceptions. Wells, who also made 5 tackles in the game, returned his pick 42 yards.

Senior safety Justin Paull (Taunton, MA) put together a solid performance for the Rams on the defensive side of the ball as he recorded 11 tackles, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.

Offensively for the Rams, Miller carried the ball 18 times for 71 yards while senior wide receiver James Hanafin (Burlington, MA) caught 4 passes for 53 yards. Ram quarterbacks, however, completed just 8 of 23 pass attempts for 85 yards and 2 interceptions.

The Bears will try to make it four in a row next Saturday as they take on divisional rival Coast Guard Academy at 1:30 in New London, Connecticut. Framingham hosts Westfield State next Saturday at 1:30 in their “Homecoming Game”.