WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State junior running back Travon Holder (Cheney/Hartford, Conn.) rushed for 153 yards and two TD's and James English (Danvers/Lynn, Mass.) picked off a pair of passes for the Owls as Westfield defeated Fitchburg State 33-31 at Alumni Field on Saturday afternoon as part of Westfield's Hall of Fame weekend.
Westfield won its second straight game to improve to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the MASCAC. Fitchburg falls to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the MASCAC.
The Owls rolled up 472 yards of total offense, and gained seven turnovers from the Falcons on five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Westfield State quarterback Jake Cassidy (Lawrence Academy/Lynn, Mass.) enjoyed an efficient day with a career best 119 yards rushing and a touchdown and 99 passing yards with a pair of touchdown tosses.
The two teams traded a pair of scores each in the first 15 minutes. Westfield took a 21-14 lead when Cassidy tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Bailey Raymond (Fermi/Enfield, Conn.) with 6:15 left in the first half, then stretched the lead to 27-14 late in the third quarter as Cassidy found Tyler Bevan (Platt Technical/Ansonia, Conn.) with a 12 yard TD pass lofted to the deep left corner of the end zone, where Bevan out-leapt a bevy of Falcon defenders for the score.
The Falcons cut the lead back to 27-21 as Fitchburg State quarterback James Antonelli (Westford, Mass.) found Devin Summiel (Shawsheen/Tewksbury, Mass.) on a slant route, and Summiel scampered down the middle for a 31-yard touchdown with five seconds left in the third quarter.
Westfield extended its lead to 33-31 with 8:05 left in the game, as Holder rushed in from a yard out to give the Owls a 33-21 lead after the try for two failed.
Westfield's defense slammed the door on any Falcons comeback attempts, ending all three Fitchburg State possessions in the fourth quarter with interceptions, two from English and one from William Tejada (Acton-Boxboro/Princeton, Mass.).
Tyler Robbins (Valley Christian/Southwick, Mass.) and Jack Buckley (Tyngsborough, Mass.) each added picks for Westfield, which was led by eight tackles from Zach Howard (Prouty/Spencer, Mass.) and seven from Andrew Carpenter (Auburn, Mass.).
Fitchburg was led by the rushing of Jevon Brown-Simpson, (Lynn English/Lynn, Mass.) who carried 19 times for 106 yards. Summiel finished with 80 yards and a pair of TDs on seven catches, and Antonelli finished 10-23 for 126 yards passing.
David Bednarz (Middletown, Conn.) led the Falcons defense with eight tackles.
Westfield State will travel to Framingham next Saturday, October 21 for a noon kickoff with Framingham State. Fitchburg State will be idle until October 28when they play at Western Connecticut
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