Fitchburg, Mass. – Senior defensive back Jaquan Harris (Boston, Mass.) recorded five interceptions tying an NCAA single game record as the Framingham State University football team defeated Fitchburg State 32-16 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at Elliot Field.
With the win, the Rams improve to 5-0 on the year and are now 3-0 in the MASCAC. The Falcons fall to 3-3 on the year and are now 2-2 in the league after the loss.
Harris recorded five interceptions in the game, including a pick on the Falcons opening drive, tying the NCAA Division III single game record with 11 players including the most recent James Patrick from Stillman who recorded five in a game in 2002. Harris also recorded two solo tackles in the game.
The Rams hit the end zone first, capitalizing on Harris' first interception of the game on the Falcons first drive of the game which he returned 19 yards to the Fitchburg 46 yard line. Four plays later junior Quron Wright (Worcester, Mass.) scampered six yards in to the end zone for the 6-0 score. Wright would add a second touchdown with a 16-yard run on the Rams' next possession en route to a 13-0 lead after the first frame.
Fitchburg State answered in the second quarter when Nelson Valerio (Lawrence, Mass.) found senior Devin Summiel (Tewksbury, Mass.) on a crossing route deep in the endzone, a good extra point by Geoffrey Reichert (Northbridge, Mass.) made the score 13-7.
Framingham outscored the Falcons 16-0 the rest of the quarter. A pair of touchdowns and a safety pushed the Rams lead to 29-7 going into the intermission. Senior Zak Walker (Ayer, Mass.) scored on a quarterback sneak and hit junior Nasir Thomas (Springfield, Mass.) for a 38-yard touchdown.
The Falcons scored the only points of the third quarter. After back-to-back interceptions by the two teams, the hosts put together their best drive of the night going 71 yards on 11 plays, capped by a 9-yard Antonelli to Summiel scoring strike. The Falcon defense caused a Rams safety to cut the lead to 29-16 after three.
Freshman Ryan Clifford (Brockton, Mass.) hit a 36-yard field goal with three minutes remaining in the fourth for the 32-16 final.
The Rams amassed 405 yards of total offense in the game to just 195 yards for the Falcons. The Rams rushed for 263 yards in the game, while their defense held the Falcons to just 28 yards on the ground.
Senior Nathan Fleming (Windsor, Conn.) collected a team-high 13 tackles including 1.5 for a loss, while sophomore Joshua Onujiugu (Wareham, Mass.) added seven.
Wright paced the offense rushing for 145 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns, while also making one catch for 34 yards. Walker finished the game 7-of-15 for 142 yards with a touchdown and two picks.
The Rams are back in action next Saturday when they travel to Plymouth State for a 1 p.m. MASCAC contest.