Worcester State Downs AMCATS in season Opener
Paxton, Mass. - Worcester State University used an efficient first-half aerial attack combined with a strong ground effort from half-back Marcus Price (Worcester, Mass.) to defeat Anna Maria College, 55-30, during the AMCATS' home opener at AMCAT field on a warm Saturday afternoon. The Lancers improve to 1-0 on the year, while Anna Maria falls to 0-1 to start the season.
The visitors were led by quarterback Tony Tokarz (Holden, Mass.), who paced the Lancer offense with 158 yards in the air and five touchdowns. Half-back Marcus Price plowed through the AMCAT defense to the tune of 173 rushing yards and two touchdowns. His 173 yard effort moves him into sole possession of 4th place on the all-time Lancer rushing list with 1,871 rushing yards in his career. Wide-outs Kenny Russell (Bedford, Mass.) and AJ Scerra (Marlboro, Mass.) also contributed with two receiving touchdowns apiece in the victory.
The AMCATS were led by quarterback Santino Simone (Worcester, Mass.) and wide receiver Dom Concepcion (Middlebury, Conn.). Simone accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing), including 243-yards in the air and 35-yards on the ground. Concepcion contributed with 135-yards receiving and two touchdowns. With a spectacular 60-yard reception in the 3rd quarter, Concepcion went over 1,000 yards receiving in his career.
Things started off promising for the AMCATS, who forced a three-and-out on the Lancer's first drive of the contest. On the ensuing Anna Maria drive, Graham Asum (Marlboro, Mass.) forced a fumble that was recovered by PJ Robinson (Winthrop, Mass.) that put Worcester State on the AMC 14-yard line. Tony Tokarz threw the first of his four touchdown passes of the half, connecting with AJ Scerra for an 11-yard strike. The visitors capitalized on a botched snap and converted the two-point attempt, giving Worcester State an 8-0 advantage.
The ensuing kickoff to the AMCATS' sailed out of bounds, giving Anna Maria field possession on their own 40-yard line. They capitalized on the field position, using a gritty 15-play drive that set-up a Jamaal Mitchell (Shelton, Conn.) 25-yard field goal to cut the lead to 8-3.
Defense proved to be lackluster the next two possessions with both teams trading punches, the Lancers increased their lead to 15-10. Worcester State struck first with a 64-yard touchdown run by Marcus Price, while Anna Maria countered with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Santino Simone to Dom Concepcion.
After the Concepcion score, the Lancers' were in complete control of the game, scoring 26 unanswered points en route to a 41-10 lead heading into intermission. During the run, wide-outs Kenny Russell and AJ Scerra combined for three receiving touchdowns while Marcus Price added a 5-yard rushing scamper into the end zone.
Despite the deficit, the AMCATS refused to go quietly, as they outscored the Lancers' 20-14 in the second-half. Simone and Concepcion hooked up for a 16-yard touchdown while Simone also added a pair of touchdown runs late in the fourth quarter. The effort proved to be too little, too late, as Worcester State went on to take the contest by a 55-30 score.
The glaring difference between the teams was the yards accumulated in the ground game. The Lancers held a staggering 336-113 advantage over the AMCATS in rushing yards for the contest.
Each team also needs to tighten the ship as the season moves forward, as both teams accrued over 100 penalty yards each in the sloppy affair.
Worcester State returns to action Friday at home against WPI at 7:00 PM while Anna Maria travels to Maine Maritime at 12:00 PM.