Sept. 20, 2008
Courtesy Framingham State Sports Information
Framingham, Mass. - Framingham State junior running back Dave Leach hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bruce Rich with eight seconds left to lift the Framingham State Rams to a 42-38 win over MIT at Maple Street Field. The Engineers scored the go-ahead touchdown with just over one minute remaining, but were unable to keep their unblemished record in tact.
Saturday’s New England Football Conference game was an offensive shootout as the teams combined for 980 yards of total offense. The Engineers (2-1) held the advantage on the ground as they rushed for 230 yards to the Rams 171, while the Rams (2-1) held the advantage in the air, 361-236.
The Rams jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as their defense forced the Engineers to turn the ball over on downs on their first two possessions while the Rams offense marched down the field for two scores. The Rams first drive, which covered 62 yards in five plays, was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Rich. Phil Cosmos, who was a perfect 6-of-6 in PAT attempts, converted his initial try to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. The second drive lasted just 12 seconds as Rich connected with junior wide out Anthony Kewley for a 75 yard touchdown strike.
The Rams maintained their lead until late in the second quarter as MIT responded with 17 unanswered points. The Engineers broke into the scoring column when freshman Pete Gilliland nailed a 22-yard field goal attempt with 39 ticks remaining in the opening quarter. The Engineers defense forced the Rams to punt on their next two possessions while the Tech offense found its groove en route to two straight touchdowns. Junior running back DeRon Brown scored the first touchdown with 9:33 remaining in the half on a four-yard run that capped a 10-play, 63-yard drive. Five minutes later, senior Robert Utz broke a couple of Framingham State tackles while covering 53 yards on the ground to give MIT a 17-14 lead with 4:03 remaining in the half.
It would take the Rams just over two minutes to reclaim the lead as Rich and Kewley connected from 34 yards for their second touchdown of the day. After Cosmos’s extra point, the Rams took a 21-17 lead into the half.
The Rams would extend their lead to 28-17 on their first possession of the second half as Rich took them 60 yards on five plays and rushed in the score from just beyond the goal line. Brown would pull MIT back within four points on a three-yard touchdown run with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter.
After a 15-yard touchdown pass from Rich to wide out Jonathan Hayes, the Rams led 35-24 with 13:14 remaining in the game. MIT once again answered on its next possession as senior Ben Grannan scampered six yards for a touchdown that cut the deficit to 35-31 with 8:53 remaining.
The Engineers' defense made a stand and forced the Rams to turn the ball over on downs with 5:44 remaining, giving their offense a chance for the go-ahead score. The Engineers would take 4:28 seconds off the clock before junior Rick Mancuso hit senior tight end Thomas Franklin in the back of the end zone from four yards out for the potential game-winning score. The touchdown provided MIT with only its second lead of the game, 38-35, with 1:16 remaining and the stage was set for a last-minute comeback by the Rams.
After the kickoff was downed at the Rams 46 yard-line, the Rams had 54 yards to cover in just 1:14. Rich completed a pass to Kewley for 11 yards and a first down at MIT’s 43 yard line. After Leach rushed for 5 yards and tossed an incomplete pass, the Rams faced third and five. On the next play, Rich eluded the MIT rush, picked up the first down on a 13-yard run, and managed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. After an incomplete pass, MIT was called for pass interference which gave the Rams a first-and-10 on the MIT 14-yard line. Rich completed an 11 yard pass to Hayes for a first down on the three-yard line with 12 seconds remaining. After a Framingham timeout, Rich connected with Leach for the winning score.
Rich finished the day 22-of-29 for a career-high 361 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 36 yards and two scores. Kewley finished the game with 301 all-purpose yards including seven receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns, and four kickoff returns for 101 yards. Rich’s other favorite target, Jonathan Hayes, made six catches for 108 yards and one score, while Leach rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries. James McCarthy and Ken Glover led the Rams defense with 10 tackles apiece.
The Engineers were led by Brown who finished with 139 yards rushing on 38 carries and Utz, who had 90 yards on 11 carries. Mancuso finished the day 16-of-28 for 236 yards.