Defense Key as Football Rushes Past Cortland 29-14

Defense Key as Football Rushes Past Cortland 29-14

Framingham, Mass. – The Framingham State University football team trailed 14-6 late in the first quarter, but scored 23 unanswered points and kept the high scoring Cortland offense off the board for the final three quarters as the Rams defeated the Red Dragons 29-14 in non-conference action at Framingham's Bowditch Field.

With the win, the Rams improve to 2-0 on the season and defeat the Red Dragons for the first time in four meetings between the two schools.  The Red Dragons even their season mark at 1-1 with the loss.

The Red Dragons received a pair of touchdown passes from senior Steven Ferreira (West Sayville, NY) as they built a 14-6 lead with 2:22 remaining in the first, but the Rams would score 23 unanswered points including a 65-yard touchdown run from junior Quron Wright (Worcester, Mass.) to pull within one after a quarter.

The Rams tallied the only points in the second quarter on a 41-yard field goal by freshman Ryan Clifford (Brockton, Mass.) with nine seconds remaining before the half  The field goal capped a 13 play, 31 yard drive for the Rams who took the lead for good on the kick. 

After a scoreless third quarter, the Rams tacked on a pair of scores in the fourth to reach the final margin.  Sophomore quarterback Adam Wojenski (Stratford, Conn.) scored on a quarterback keeper as he plowed through a Red Dragon defender into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown with 9:46 left in the game.  Junior receiver Napoleon Miller (Boston, Mass.) scored on an eight yard run with 3:48 remaining for the Rams final score of the game.

Cortland had a pair of late drives, but the Rams defense came up with a stop both times.  Senior Nathan Fleming (Windham, Conn.) intercepted Ferreira with 2:10 remaining on the Framingham 13-yard line to halt the first drive.  A short punt gave Cortland the ball back on the Rams 25-yard line on their final drive of the game, but the Red Dragons could get no closer as the Rams defense sacked Ferreira on the first play and Ferreira threw three straight incompletions to close the drive.

The Ram offense accumulated 435 yards in the game including 284 yards rushing, while the defense held the Red Dragons to 362 yards with just 44 yards on the ground.  The Rams defense recorded eight sacks in the contest with three interceptions, while the Red Dragons recovered one Ram fumble.

Wright paced the Rams ground game with 167 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown, while Wojenski rushed for 50 yards on 14 attempts.  Wojenski completed 14-of-29 passes for 151 yards without a touchdown or an interception and was not sacked.  Senior Stephen Beahn (Spencer, Mass.) was the Rams leading receiver with eight catches, all in the first half, for 97 yards.

Defensively, the Rams were led by Fleming, who recorded a team-high 10 tackles including eight solo.  Fleming also picked up a sack and an interception.  Senior Svenn Jacobson (Cumberland, ME) added six tackles, all solo, and a sack, while junior Eli Etienne (Moorestown, NJ) added six tackles and a sack.  Sophomore Joshua Onujiogu (Wareham, Mass.) added six tackles and 2.5 sacks.  Senior Jaquan Harris (Boston, Mass.) and junior Rashaun Rivers (Westfield, Mass.) each had an interception in the game.  Rivers' came in the end zone in the first quarter to stop a Cortland drive.

Ferreira finished the game 19-of-34 for 318 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.  Ferreira completed touchdown passes of 13-yards to Zach Tripodi (New Fairfield, Conn.) and 68-yards to Angelo Foster (Newburgh, NY) in the first quarter. Tripodi rushed for 25 yards on 11 carries in the game with four catches for 49 yards.  Foster made three catches in the game for 135 yards, while Nick Anderson (Jacksonville, Fla.) added eight grabs for 95 yards.

The Red Dragon defense was led by a game-high 12 tackles, including seven solo, from junior Dan Appley (Herkimer, NY) and 10 tackles from sophomore Dylan Ferrari (Port Jefferson Station, NY).

The Rams open the MASCAC portion of their schedule on Friday night September 15th when they travel to Bridgewater State University for a 7 p.m. contest, while the Red Dragons host Hartwick next Saturday at 1 p.m. as they begin conference play.