Football Fends Off Bridgewater State for 19-13 Victory

Jaquan Harris
Jaquan Harris

Bridgewater, Mass. – Senior Jaquan Harris (Boston, Mass.) intercepted a pass on the Rams five yard line with just over a minute remaining in the game to halt a potential game-tying drive for Bridgewater State University as the Framingham State University football team defeated the Bears 19-13  in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at Swenson Field.

With the win, the Rams improve to 3-0 on the year and are now 1-0 in the league. The Bears, still in search of their first victory of the season, are now 0-3 on the year and 0-1 in the MASCAC.

Harris recorded a pair of interception in the game for the Rams and returned them for 62 yards, while also recording two tackles, one for a loss, with a fumble recovery and three pass breakups.  Seniors Kenneth Bartolo (Malden, Mass.) and Nathan Fleming (Windham, Conn.) recorded seven tackles apiece, while Bartolo accounted for the third of the Rams three interceptions in the game.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Rams took the lead on a three yard touchdown run by sophomore Rufus Rushins (Lynn, Mass.) that capped a 12-play, 69 yard drive. Freshman Ryan Clifford (Brockton, Mass.) converted the extra point and the Rams led 7-0 with 10:40 left before the half.

Clifford extended the Rams lead to 10-0 with a 40-yard field goal with 1:54 remaining before the half. 

The Bears had a chance to get on the board midway through the third quarter, but Russ Bolarino missed a 34 –yard field goal.  The Rams extended the lead to 16-0 on their ensuing possession as senior Zak Walker (Ayer, Mass.) connected with junior Napoleon Miller (Boston, Mass.) for a 15-yard touchdown pass.

Clifford connected on his second field goal of the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter extending the Rams lead to 19-0.

Bridgewater State finally got on the board with 6:30 remaining in the game on a 16-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Stefano D'Emilia to Malik Garrett.  The Bears went for two and the Rams broke up the pass attempt in the end zone.  Two minutes later, D'Emilia and Garrett connected for a 20-yard touchdown pass.  Bolarinho converted the point after and the Bears trailed 19-13 with 4:31 remaining.

The Rams were forced to punt on their next possession giving the Bears the ball back with 2:01 remaining on their own 39-yard line.  After a pair of first downs, the Bears had the ball on the Rams 27-yard line.  After incompletions on first and second down, Harris intercepted D'Emilia on the five yard line and returned the ball back to the 37 allowing the Rams to take a pair of knees to end the game.

Junior Quron Wright (Worcester, Mass.) paced the Rams with 144 yards rushing on 35 carries, while classmate Sebastein Robert (Cambridge, Mass.) added 62 yards on 10 carries.  Walker finished the game 5-of-10 for 47 yards with a touchdown and two picks.

D'Emilia three for 120 yards for the Bears with two touchdowns and a pick, while Alex McLaughlin rushed for 73 yards on eight carries.  Garrett had five catches for 65 yards and two scores.

The Rams are back in action at home next Saturday when they host Mass. Maritime at Bowditch Field at noon.