Asum Sets NCAA DIII Single-Game Kickoff Yardage Mark In 65-21 Setback To Framingham State
Framingham, MA --- Framingham State freshman Matt Silva (Dracut, MA) passed for 267 yards and five touchdowns while junior Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, MA) rushed for 157 yards and two scores as they both helped lead the Rams to a 65-21 victory on the final weekend of NEFC Bogan Division play at Maple Street Field.
Framingham State, who has won four out of the last five matchups, improves to 9-1 and completes a perfect season at 7-0 in divisional play. They will host Salve Regina next Saturday in the NEFC Championship game.
The Lancers, who hold a 20-7 edge in the all-time series, end their season at 6-4 and 4-3 in the NEFC Bogan Division. They await word on a possible ECAC Bowl game bid.
After sophomore Zach Skerry (Milford, MA) blocked a field goal on Framingham State's first possession, the Rams scored their first points of the quarter on a 67-yard touchdown blast by Van Alstyne with 7:10 on the clock.
The hosts then tacked on a 23-yard field goal by sophomore Phillip Clain (Swampscott, MA) and a one-yard TD plunge by Van Alstyne for the 17-0 advantage at the 1:43 mark. Van Alstyne's run was set-up by an interception by senior Tyrone Notice (Gardner, MA) at midfield.
Worcester State, however, struck back 14 seconds later when senior Graham Asum (Marlboro, MA) sprinted for a 94-yard kick return for a touchdown to cut into the advantage.
But Framingham State responded on a key fourth-down conversion when Silva flicked a 29-yard scoring strike to senior Alexander Avery (Milford, MA) with 11:43 left in the second quarter for the 24-7 advantage.
Asum helped the Blue and Gold keep pace when he returned another 94-yard kickoff return to the Rams end zone to equal the NCAA Division III record. The last time a player scored two kickoffs for scores was when Michael Graham of Western New England accomplished the feat last season on October 29 in an upset win over Endicott.
Framingham State had other plans as the hosts scored 21 unanswered points by the half on a trio of touchdown passes by Silva – including a pair to first-year Tevin Jones (Springfield, MA/Commerce) and a 41-yard screen pass to Van Alstyne – for the 37-14 lead at the intermission.
To start off the third, the Rams scored on two of their first three possessions to build up the 58-14 edge. Silva hit Avery for his second score on a 26-yard reception with 12:21 remaining and second-year Matt Mangano (Winchester, MA) hit the pay dirt with an 11-yard touchdown at the 6:57 mark.
Following Framingham State's first score, Asum had one last touch for a 61-yard return to reset the national record for the most kickoff return yards. He finished the contest with 333 yards on eight returns to eclipse the 2011 mark set by Tieler Souza of Puget Sound on September 24.
Worcester State put together one last scoring drive which culminated in an eight-yard touchdown by senior Corey Spencer (Malden, MA) to junior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) with 13:43 left in the fourth.
The Rams capped off the games scoring on a 25-yard hookup from sophomore Al Krasco (Medford, MA) to freshman Dylan Hodson (Yarmouthport, MA) midway through the final stanza.
In the final box score, Framingham State rolled out 643 yards of total offense – a new school record – and maintained possession of the ball for 40 minutes and 11 seconds.
The Rams defense held one of the NEFCs top offenses to just 151 yards of offense (-6 yards rushing). Coming into the contest, the Lancers were eighth among Division III New England schools coming into the contest averaging 424.8 yards per game. The hosts also forced a pair of interceptions and two fumbles.
Spencer finished the contest with 157 yards in the air. In 10 games, Spencer has the second-most passing yards (2,825) and touchdowns (22) in a single season.
Scerra was his favorite target as he hauled in five receptions for 53 yards and the squads only offensive score. Entering the game second in the NCAA Division III in total receptions, Scerra now has a school-record 85 catches for 958 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jones and sophomore Brendan Kelliher (Boston, MA/Lexington) both caught five passes each as Jones ended his day with 120 yards and two TDs.
Defensively, senior James Muirhead (Middleboro, MA) led Framingham State with six tackles (five solo) including three for a loss of 16 yards, and one sack. Along with junior Chevere Archer (Lynn, MA), Muirhead forced both of the Rams two fumbles.
Notice distinguished himself with five tackles (four solo) and he snatched both his squad's interceptions. Nine of Spencers 17 incompletions were broken up by Framingham State's defense.
Junior Pat Conrad (Forestdale, MA) paced the Lancer defense with a game-best 10 tackles (seven solo). Third-year classmate's Adam Straughn (Rockland, MA) and Bryan Narcisse (Medway, MA) added eight stops each while Narcisse finished with 3.5 tackles for a loss of nine yards.
As a team the Blue and Gold had 12 tackles for a loss while second-year Tyler Asum (Milford, MA) forced one fumble.
For the season, Asum has 30 returns for a school-record 952 yards and three TDs while he increased the program mark to 1,998 yards. With his two touchdowns today, he now has four scores that have gone for 90-plus yards in his outstanding career.
Clain was a perfect nine-for-nine on PATs and he added a field goal for 12 points on the afternoon.