Rams Run by Mariners

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CASTINE, MAINE -- Tailback Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) pounded out 251 yards and five touchdowns to lead Framingham State to a 42-14 New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division win at Maine Maritime Academy's Ritchie Field on Saturday. The win ended the Rams (5-2, 4-0 Bogan) ten-game drought against the Mariners (4-2, 2-2 Bogan), and leaves Framingham in the division's driver's seat with an unblemished record.

The Rams dipped in the Van Alstyne well early and often, handing the sophomore the ball nine times on their first possession and 31 times on the afternoon. He accounted for 50 of the 74 yards the opening drive covered, including the final 15 to give the guests the early 6-0 jump.

A botched snap on an Maine Maritime punt set the Rams up with a short field for their second possession. The Mariners got the kick away from their own end zone, but only managed to get it out to the 19. Van Alstyne covered that distance over five plays, plunging in from yard out to make it a 13-0 game.

Framingham State made it 19-0 going into the locker room with an 11-play, 94-yard drive late in the second quarter. A -39-yard jaunt by Van Alstyne put the Rams on the Mariners side of the field and converted a clock-killing drive into a scoring march. Dino Mancinelli (Madison, Conn.) connected with Alexander Avery (Milford, Mass.) on back-to-back plays to end the drive with points. Mancinelli found Avery in the back right corner of the end zone for the Rams only touchdown that was not scored by their running back.

Mancinelli was on target throughout the game, connecting on 20 of his 26 pass attempts for 203 yards. He hit James McCarthy (Newton, Mass.) 10 times for 77 yards. Tyrone Figueroa (Newton, Mass.) and John O'Connell (Dedham, Mass.) each caught three passes for 41 and 40 yards, respectively. 

Maine Maritime finally got things rolling offensively in the third quarter, but not before Van Alstyne had scored from a yard out on the opening possession of the second half. Facing second down and 23 yards after an offensive facemask, Nick Bourassa (Jay, Maine) sprinted 36 yards down the left sideline before being pushed out at the Rams' six. Quarterback Matthew Rende (Augusta, Maine) called his own number on the one yardline to get MMA on the board with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

Bourassa led the Mariners ground attack with 81 yards on 13 totes, while Rende gained 56 yards on 12 carries.

Only 52 seconds of football elapsed before Maine Maritime scored again. A missed exchange between Mancinelli and Van Alstyne fell to the turf on at the Rams' 17. Frank True (Harpswell, Maine) scooped the loose ball and sprinted into the end zone to make it a 27-14 game after Ben Violette (Waterville, Maine) plunged in for the two-point conversion.

Van Alstyne snuffed out any comeback hopes on the ensuing possession. The sophomore raced 40 yards through the Mariners defense on the opening play of the drive. He went 14 yards to paydirt on the second. After a Maine Maritime three-and-out, Van Alstyne scored again on his longest rush of the afternoon, a 45-yard dash up the right sideline to make it the 42-14 final.

In addition to his fumble recovery and touchdown, True posted 10 tackles for the Mariners' defense. Alex Hermes (Fallsington, Pa.) led all tacklers with 17 tackles, including 14 solo stops. Michael Burgess (N. Yarmouth, Maine) posted a dozen tackles from his spot on the defensive line.

The Rams defense, which limited the Mariners to 259 total yards, got eight tackles from Olajuwon Dickerson (Milton, Mass.) and Patrick McGrath (Everett, Mass.). Dickerson also forced and recovered a fumble.