Worcester, MA --- Junior Marcus Price (Worcester, MA/Doherty) rushed for a career-best 203 yards with two touchdowns while classmate Tony Tokarz (Holden, MA) amassed 293 total yards with a pair of scores as Worcester State defeated Coast Guard 31-7 this afternoon in New England Football Conference action.
With the win the Lancers end a three-game losing streak to improve their record to 4-4 and 2-3 in the NEFC Bogan Division while the Bears slip to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Blue and Gold also earned their first-ever victory against Coast Guard in six attempts dating back to the 1995 season.
The Lancers rolled out a season-high 541 yards of total offense as Tokarz and Price accounted for 497 of those yards. Coast Guard amassed 218 themselves, but were held to just 70 yards and five first-downs in the second half alone.
Price averaged 7.5 yards on 27 carries as he rushed for a two scores. Tokarz tossed for 213 yards and added 80 yards on the ground as he threw for a touchdown and added a 16-yard rushing TD in the second half.
Freshman Andrew Scerra (Marlboro, MA) had a break-out game as he had caught eight passes for 85 yards and a touchdown while junior teammates Kenny Russell (Bedford, MA) and Will Franklin (Brattleboro, VT) combined for 11 receptions and 113 yards.
Offensively the Bears were paced by sophomore Pat Meggers (Manchester, CT) who ran for 54 yards while classmate Jon Resch (Lititz, PA) had 136 yards of total offense with 92 yards in the air and their lone touchdown of the contest. Second-year Ryan Vinall (Boerne, TX) also hauled in four passes for 44 yards for the Bears.
Worcester State senior Tyler Russell (Princeton, MA) collected a game-high 16 tackles (eight solo) with one pass breakup as he eclipsed the school record for stops as he now has 134 in eight games. Russell passed the mark of WSU Hall of Famer Scott Holland who set the mark in 1995.
Sophomore Cameron Brigham (Worcester, MA/Burncoat) and junior Joe Sweet (Walpole, MA) each chipped in with eight tackles while Brigham added an interception for four yeards. Junior Cliff Oratakhai (Worcester, MA/South) picked off a pair of passes for 28 yards as sophomore Johnathan Salvatore (Kissimee, FL) had the Lancers only sack of the contest.
Coast Guard was propelled on defense by senior Kyle Ennis (Mayo, MD) and second-year Max Walker (Travers City, MI) who each notched 11 tackles and combined for two sacks and three tackles for a loss. Sophomore Drew Russo (Boca Raton, FL) accounted for nine tackles (six solo) as he had a great day in the secondary with an interception and two pass breakups.
The two squads traded off on four possessions – with two ending in interceptions – before the Lancers started off the second quarter with the first points of the game in the form of a 44-yard field goal by freshman Erich Perfetti (Shrewsbury, MA) for his eighth make of the season.
After Worcester State failed to take advantage of a Coast Guard turnover, the Bears marched down to the Lancer goal line, but missed a chance to knot the score on a 27-yard field goal try by junior Jacob Shackleford (Richardson, TX).
The Blue and Gold responded with a nine play, 80 yard drive that was fueled by Price who burst for a 54-yard run and a key fourth-down conversion inside the 10-yard line. Tokarz would flick a four-yard pass to Scerra as the Lancers ended the intermission with the 10-0 lead at the break.
After the half, Worcester State opened up a 17-0 lead on the fourth drive of the third quarter as Tokarz rushed for a 16-yard touchdown with 3:12 on the clock as he was forced out of the pocket by Walker. Scerra would make two catches for 32 yards to help set the table for the score.
On the ensuing kickoff a 24-yard return by junior Chris Izureita (Mason, OH) and two Lancer personal foul penalties put the Bears in great field position on the WSU 21 yard-line. That would set the stage for Coast Guards only score as Resch used good blocking to cross the end-zone on a nine-yard rush to trail 17-7 at the end of the third quarter.
But the Lancers would score 14 unanswered points in the fourth to put the game away two touchdowns by Price as he scored on a one-yard rush with 12:40 remaining and again on a 25-yard burst with 6:01 left in the contest. Coast Guard never threatened as two of their drives were ended by Oratakhai interceptions.
Both teams will continue NEFC Bogan Division play with home games next Saturday. Worcester State hosts local rival Fitchburg State at 1:30 in their annual homecoming game while the Bears entertain Framingham State at noon.