By Brendan Coughlin
It was a promising afternoon for Bridgewater State when they put the first 10 points of the game on the board. Unfortunately, Framingham State answered by blasting the Bears for a whopping 33 points, all coming in the second half.
Winning 33-10, Framingham clinched the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship. The Rams went a perfect 7-0 in conference play and punched their ticket to the playoffs.
The Bears offense was limited by a strong Framingham defense. Colin Neri’s first quarter field goal, along with Danny Higgins 37-yard pass to Travis Bassett right before the second quarter concluded, would be the full extent of BSU’s scoring.
Second half woes would kill BSU on this day. It started with the opening drive, when quarterback Matt Silva led Framingham down the field. Jalen Green would stomp into the endzone for a 2-yard score to make the deficit only 10-6.
The flood gates opened for Framingham State in the fourth quarter, as they would score four times and put 27 points on the scoreboard. Travis Hayes, Framingham’s leading receiver on the day, hauled in a touchdown pass from Silva on a 31-yard screen pass. BSU punted right back to the Rams, who scored on consecutive drives. This time, it was Aaron Owens finding the endzone.
Danny Higgins committed a costly turnover while BSU attempted to stop the bleeding. Framingham’s DaQuan Clemons came up with an interception. The Rams would score a third time in a row as Silva linked up with Marcus Grant for a 9-yard score.
With the game at 26-10, Framingham’s running back Green capped off the day of scoring when he was able to shake the entire defense and take off 58-yards to the endzone. Green was the most impressive player on the day, finishing with 171 yards rushing. He had an average of 7.3 yards per carry and ended with the two touchdowns. The entire Ram offense showed up to play. They totaled 217 yards through the air, paired with 237 yards on the ground.
The Rams were able to take advantage of key injuries on the Bridgewater defense. Linebackers Ryan Feeney and AJ Pascusso were both unavailable to the team by the end of the game. Nick Salois was the leading tackler with 10 on the day. The Bears have endured a lot throughout the season, and injuries were a key factor in losing to Framingham.
On a day that most Bears will not want to remember too vividly, a bright spot came when receiver Matt Green broke another school record. Green is now the all-time Bears’ leading receiver with 2,677 receiving yards in his four year career. He accomplishes this feat with just one game left in his storied BSU career.
Bridgewater will look to even their record out against Mass. Maritime Academy on Saturday, Nov. 15 at home, at 12 p.m. The game will be the 38th installment of the Cranberry Bowl.
The Bears were winners at last years Cranberry Bowl, 45-20. BSU also has the edge in the all-time battle against Mass Maritime, 25-8-1. That includes 23 out of the last 25 matchups won by BSU.