BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The visiting Framingham State University Rams posted a 16-0 shutout over the Bears of Bridgewater State University in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division clash on Friday night at Swenson Field.
The defending Bogan Division champion Rams (3-1, 1-0 NEFC Bogan) limited the Bears (3-1, 0-1 NEFC Bogan) to 148 yards of total offense and just 30 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Bridgewater was averaging 237.3 yards on the ground and 353 yards of total offense coming into the game.
Junior running back Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) paced the visitors with 107 yards on 30 carries. Van Alstyne entered the contest averaging an NEFC leading 143.3 yards per game.
FSU freshman quarterback Matt Silva (Dracut, Mass.) came off the bench to complete 9 of 16 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. He connected with sophomore receiver Philip Clain (Swampscott, Mass.) on a nine-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 14-0 lead with just nine seconds remaining before halftime.
Framingham opened the scoring with 10:20 remaining in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Matt Mangano (Winchester, Mass.). A Bridgewater State fumble at their own 17 yard line gave the Rams tremendous field position. Five plays later, Mangano punched it in from two yards out to give Framingham a 7-0 lead.
Later in the quarter after a BSU punt, the Rams took over on their own 41 with 3:35 remaining in the half. Seven plays and three minutes and 26 second later, Silva connected with Clain in the end zone on third and goal from the nine.
The only scoring in the second half came on a fourth quarter safety as junior defensive end Jeff Touron (Brockton, Mass.) sacked BSU junior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) in the end zone.
McCarthy finished with 118 yards in the air for the Bears as he completed 13 of 32 pass attempts. He was intercepted twice and sacked three times. With his 118 yards passing, McCarthy became the eighth quarteback in BSU football history to eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier. He has thrown for 2,088 yards in three season with the Bears.
Along with the three sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble, the Framingham defense also came up with nine tackles for loss and seven pass breakups. Junior defensive backs Samuel Hill (Lynn, Mass.) and Brian Castellanos (Peabody, Mass.) recorded the interceptions for the Rams, while junior linebacker Michael Altavesta (Tewksbury, Mass.) notched six tackles (five solo) including two for loss. Junior safety Kevin Donahue (Norfolk, Mass.), who transferred to Framingham from Bridgewater, added five solo stops with two going for loss to go along with a pass breakup.
Both teams struggled with their field goal kicking. Clain missed a pair of field goals from 26 and 32 yards out. The 26-yard attempt came on the opening possession of the game. BSU sophomore kicker Jarred Diorio (Kingston, N.H.) was wide right on the Bears' first possession which was also their longest drive of the game in terms of both plays (16) and yardage (64).
Sophomore linebacker David Silvia (Barrington, R.I.) paced a strong defensive effort by the Bears as he notched a season-high 14 tackles including nine solo and one for loss. Junior defensive tackle Adam Toman (Barrington, R.I.) added nine stops (eight solo). Framingham, which entered the game averaging 344 yards of total offense and 260 yards on the ground, was held to 149 yards rushing and 261 yards of total offense.
Penalties hurt the Bears as they were flagged ten times for 87 yards. The Rams held nearly a 12-minute time of possession advantage (35:53 to 24:07) and did not turn the ball over.
In NEFC Bogan Division action a week from Saturday, Bridgewater travels to Westfield State for a one o'clock game with the Owls, while Framingham entertains Mass. Maritime Academy at noon in the Rams' Homecoming Game.
Notes: Bridgewater State was shutout for the first time since October 2nd of 2010, a 15-0 loss at Westfield State. The last time the Bears were shutout at home was a 17-0 defeat at the hands of Plymouth State University on September 9th of 2010. The game was played at Bridgewater-Raynham High School due to Swenson Field construction.