Worcester, MA --- Senior Marcus Price (Worcester, MA) and classmate Tony Tokarz (Holden, MA) combined for five touchdowns to highlight an offensive outburst that featured 411 yards of total offense as Worcester State defeated Nichols, 49-3, this evening at Coughlin Field.
In the first-ever Thursday game for both squads, the Lancers improve to 3-0 overall while the Bison finish their non-conference loop at 0-3. Worcester State is now 17-5 in the all-time series and they have won eight of the last 10 against Nichols dating back to 2001.
Price logged his third-straight 100-yard rushing game as he scampered 25 times for 128 yards and a pair of scores. In three years, Price now has 2,136 yards which is now 472 yards away from second place on the all-time rushing list.
Tokarz was 10-for-19 with 176 yards and trio of touchdowns while he added 64 yards on eight carries on the ground. His main target was sophomore AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) who hauled in five receptions for 134 yards and two scores.
The Bison were paced by freshman Felipe Njeim (Stoughton, MA) who ran 12 times for 44 yards. Junior Jon Sindone (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and sophomore Mark Parker (Natick) also combined to amass six catches and 54 yards through the air.
The Lancers started off the game on the first play from scrimmage on a 62-yard scoring strike from Tokarz to Scerra. Price would then put Worcester State on top 21-0 by the end of the first quarter as he rumbled into the end-zone twice on a six-yard run with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter and a four-yard blast near the end of the opening period.
Aided by a key roughing the passer penalty, Nichols would take advantage of good field position and put three points on the board when senior Bill Crory (Townsend, MA) booted a 25-yard field goal.
After going three-and-out on their next possession, the Bison would miss another chance to score on a Crory 35-yarder before the two squads would both force turnovers – including a Lancer fumble recovery by freshman Justin Sundara (Webster, MA) and a Nichols interception by sophomore Joe Lambert (New Haven, CT) in the end-zone.
Starting with the ball on the right side of the 45-yardline, Price ripped off a 18-yard run and Tokarz flicked a 27-yard pass to Scerra to send both teams to the locker room with WSU on top 28-3 at the intermission.
Worcester State would blank the visitors, hold them to 70 yards of total offense and score three touchdowns in the second half.
The Blue and Gold were highlighted by a 25-yard touchdown reception from Tokarz to senior Kenny Russell (Bedford, MA), a third-year Tekena Omegbekuse (Worcester, MA/Doherty) two-yard TD rush and junior Richie Dube (Shrewsbury, MA) tacked on the exclamation point with a 63-yard punt return for a score with 4:52 remaining in the game.
Defensively the Lancers held the Bison to 112 yards of total offense and forced four miscues – including interceptions by senior Andrew Tokarz (Holden, MA), junior Josh Key (Putnam, CT) and sophomore Nick Doria (Watertown, MA).
Freshman Tyler Asam (Milford, MA) distinguished himself with six tackles, three tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks while Sundara chipped in with two tackles for a loss, one sack and a fumble recovery. Senior Ray St. Laurent (Shrewsbury, MA) notched three tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Senior Mike Rubalcaba (Barre, VT) and junior Peter Curto (Braintree, MA) both finished with eight stops for Nichols. Curto recorded 1.5 TFL and a fumble recovery as freshman Marcel Simmons (New London, CT) tallied two tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Lambert underscored the Bison defense with a pair of pass breakups.
Coming off a tweaked leg injury that held him out of last-week's game against WPI, sophomore Derek Muccini (Upton, MA) tied the school-record held by Nate Riedel (vs. MMA – 1997), Jose Riberiro (UMB – 1996) and Tom Gabriel (MIT – 2005) with seven PAT's as he was a perfect 7-for-7.
Dube also ended his evening with 117 punt return yards in addition the score being the Lancers first return touchdown on special teams this season.
Both squads will hit the road to start their respective New England Football Conference division schedules on Saturday afternoon affairs at 1 PM. Worcester State will play Westfield State while Nichols faces off against WNEC.