WESTFIELD, Mass. – Worcester State running back Matt Lezama (Milton, Mass.) rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns, including an 83-yarder in the fourth quarter to help put the game away, as Worcester State held off Westfield State, 31-17 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game on Saturday at Alumni Field.
Westfield jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter, with freshman Norman Carroll (Springfield, Mass.) booting a 25-yard field goal, and sophomore running back Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn.) scoring on a four-yard run before the Owls 2-point conversion try was intercepted.
Worcester cut the lead to 9-7 just 1:49 before the half when Lezama scored on a 3-yard run to complete a short-field drive set up when Joe Houston (Grafton, Mass.) intercepted a pass at the 3-yard line.
The Lancers tacked on two more scores early in the third quarter, first on a 10-play 67-yard drive capped by Mike Kadlik's (Dedham, Mass.) 15-yard touchdown pass to Connor Amman (Stamford, Conn.), with Amman making a slick one-handed catch on a post pattern in the back of the endzone.
Westfield fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return attempt to give the Lancers another short field. While the Westfield defense kept the Lancers out of the endzone, Noah Hwang (Brooklyn, NY) kicked a 23-yard field goal to give Worcester a 17-9 lead with 7:36 left in the third.
The Owls answered on their next drive, marching 57 yards on 10 plays, with Holder finishing the drive with a three-yard TD run and rushing in the 2-point try to tie the game at 17-all.
Lezama gave the Lancers the lead for good with a 1-yard TD plunge with 13:39 left in the game, then added an 83-yard romp up the middle a series later to account for the 31-17 final score.
Holder finished with 103 yards on 27 carries and a pair of TD's for the Owls. Westfield utilized three quarterbacks as Justin Beck (Billerica, Mass.) left in the first half with an injury after completing 4-8 passes for 108 yards. Shawn Brathwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.) relieved Beck, and completed 11-22 passes for 120 yards, and junior Phil Cohen (Old Lyme, Conn.) took over for one series when Brathwaite was shaken up. The Owls connected on a number of deep passes, including a 61-yarder to Evan Garvey (Dalton, Mass.), who finished the day with seven catches for 122 yards.
For Worcester, Kadlick managed the offense to the tune of 12-23 for 93 yards and one score. The Lancers finished with 269 net rushing yards on the afternoon.
Defensively, Stephen Smialek (Dartmouth, Mass.) led the Lancers with 12 tackles. Matt Loureiro (West Boylston, Mass.) added 11 stops and a sack. Worcester improves to 3-6 on the season, and 3-4 in the MASCAC.
For Westfield, Shawn Grant (Manchester, Conn.) made 12 tackles and forced a fumble. Alyis Woodaward (Lunenberg, Mass.) and Jake Mullins (Vernon, Conn.) added 10 stops each. William Tejeda (Acton, Mass.) had his third interception of the season for the Owls. Westfield drops to 2-7 overall and 1-6 in the MASCAC.
Westfield State will be back in action on Friday, November 11th, hosting Western Connecticut for Military Appreciation night at 7:00 p.m. Worcester State will play at Framingham on Saturday, November 12.
Release Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information