We continue with our ‘Early Preseason Outlook’ by highlighting the Framingham State University Rams, who will begin their conference title defense on Friday, September 6th when they visit Endicott College.
The Rams’ 2018 Season: It was another successful season for coach Tom Kelley‘s crew, which captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with an 8-3 mark. Framingham State returned to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2015 but saw their national championship hopes dashed in the opening round against Brockport State.
Yet, despite falling to the Golden Eagles, the Rams remained one of New England’s top programs last fall, as well as the team to beat in the MASCAC. The Rams played their best football late in the season when they scored wins against UMass Dartmouth, Western Connecticut, and Worcester State.
The 2019 Outlook: Framingham State graduated 19 student-athletes from last year’s unit, including halfbacks Quron Wright and Sebastein Robert, and wide receivers Mike Calicchio and Napoleon Miller. Additionally, the Rams bid farewell to some key members of their defense, too, so this season is all about the squad’s rising seniors, juniors and sophomores, who will be tasked with attempting to guide the Rams back to the national postseason for the second-straight season.
Quarterback Adam Wojenski returns for his final season and will most likely target Shaquille Joseph, who enjoyed a very successful second season with the Rams. Joseph ranked third on the team in receptions (27) while finishing second in touchdown receptions (6).
Fullback Rufus Rushins could be tasked with being more than just a third-down back for the Rams after finishing third on the team in rushing yards (235 yards). The Rams may also rely on Chris Jenkins or Nick Caliri, too.
Anthony Behonick and Joshua Smiley will be tasked with leading the Rams’ defense this fall – the duo combined for 115 total tackles last season, including five stops for a loss of 17 yards. Additionally, keep an eye on Joshua Onujiogu, who will join Smiley on the defensive line.
The Rams will need some help in the secondary as defensive back Rashaun Rivers graduated this past spring, along with DeSean Hart and Kenny Sullivan. Cully Curran will be the defensive back to watch heading into camp in a few weeks.
Framingham State’s Schedule: The Rams will be tested immediately with trips to Brockport and Endicott before welcoming Westfield State to Framingham on Saturday, September 21st for a 12 p.m. kick-off in week three.
Framingham will enjoy an early bye week during the final weekend of September before entertaining UMass Dartmouth on Friday, October 4th.
Framingham State closes the month of October with two key contests against Plymouth State and Western Connecticut before heading to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to compete in the annual Kelley Cup game.
After the Kelley Cup, the Rams will play their final home game against Bridgewater State. The game could decide this year’s MASCAC champion, so make sure to circle Saturday, November 9th on your calendar.
Players to Watch: Joshua Onujiogu (Defensive End/Wareham, MA), Adam Wojenski (Quarterback/Stratford, Conn.), Shaquille Joseph(Wide Receiver/Somerville, Mass.), Rufus Rushins (Fullback/Defensive Line/Lynn, Mass.), Henrique DeBoni (Kicker/Rio Claro, Brazil), Jared Archer (Offensive Line/Mansfield, Mass.), Andrew Fennelly (Offensive Tackle/Wayland, Mass.), Anthony Behonick (Linebacker/Rutland, Mass.), Joshua Smiley (Defensive Line/Springfield, Mass.), Jack Sullivan (Linebacker/Dartmouth, Mass.), and Cully Curran (Defensive Back/Arlington, Mass.).
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Happy Monday! With another weekend of college football in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive, Defensive and Special Team units of the week, as well as our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, too.
Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): In a must-win game for the Rams, Wojenski registered five touchdowns, including four through the air as Framingham State rallied to beat Western Connecticut, 39-35. The Rams’ signal-caller completed 18 of 27 passes for 325 yards.
Defensive Player of the Week: DeSean Hart (Mount Ida): Against Anna Maria, Hart recorded a pair of touchdowns – a 90 yard fumble recovery and a 100 yard interception – while tallying 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles and one pass break-up.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin helped his team secure the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown by converting all three extra points, as well as a 36-yard field goal. Additionally, three of his punts landed inside the Fitchburg State 20-yard-line. He also finished the game with six punts for 230 yards and five kickoffs for 221 yards.
Offensive Team of the Week
Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken rushed for 152 yards and four scores on 28 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as the Golden Bears defeated Curry en route to claiming the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) title.
Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Bamgbose led all receivers with five receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s double-digit win over Massachusetts Maritime.
Stephen Beahn (Framingham State): Beahn hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions, including the go-ahead and game-winning score with 10 seconds remaining as the Rams topped the Colonials in Framingham. The senior wide out concluded the contest five receptions for 93 yards.
Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson led all rushers with 109 yards on 22 carries and one score against Plymouth State. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry, too.
Brendan Costa (Bates): Costa rushed for a game-high 170 yards on 20 carries and one score, averaging 8.5 yards per carry, while completing one of five passes for 23 yards as the Bobcats claimed their fourth-straight CBB crown.
Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese amassed 321 yards of total offense, including 227 passing yards, while recording a quartet of touchdowns (three through the air) in his team’s 42-28 setback to Western New England.
Moe Harris (Castleton): Against Gallaudet, Harris rushed for a game-high 128 yards on 29 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
Tyler Hyde (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Hyde rushed for 118 yards on seven carries and two scores, while averaging a game-high 16.9 yards per carry.
Joe Kalosky (Endicott): Kalosky completed 14 of 26 passes for 181 yards and three scores, while rushing for 27 yards on two carries during his team’s first Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) win over Nichols.
Jack Lavanchy (Bridgewater State): Lavanchy led all receivers in receptions (nine) and yards (169), while hauling in two touchdown receptions against Worcester State.
Emmanuel Leake (Anna Maria): Leake amassed 277 yards, including 211 passing yards against Mount Ida, while completing 12 of 20 passes for one touchdown. He also rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and one score.
Jimmy Martinez (Middlebury): Martinez recorded three catches for 117 yards and two scores in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Sean McAllen (WPI): Against Coast Guard, McAllen rushed for 152 yards on 20 carries and three scores, while averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
Jack Meservy (Middlebury): Meservy completed 11 of 16 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Noah Nelson (Bowdoin): Against Bates, Nelson amassed 314 yards, including 302 passing yards. Nelson completed 34 of 55 passes and two touchdowns, while rushing for 12 yards on 12 carries.
Michael Nolan (Nichols): Against Endicott, Nolan rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries and one score, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He also concluded the game with 10 yards on four receptions, too.
James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers with 95 yards on six receptions and one touchdown in his team’s big win against Trinity.
Gregory Olson (Bowdoin): Olson concluded Saturday’s tilt with Bates by recording nine receptions for 98 yards, while hauling in a pair of touchdown passes from Nelson. Olson averaged 10.9 yards per reception.
Hunter Paupaw (Worcester State): Paupaw rushed for 65 yards on seven carries and three scores, while averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
Mike Pedrini (Tufts): Pedrini rushed for a game-high 135 yards on 31 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and three scores in his team’s 28-14 win over Colby.
Jace Pena (UMass Dartmouth): Against Massachusetts Maritime, Pena completed 21 of 35 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns as the Corsairs sailed passed the Buccaneers for a 37-14 win.
Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan): Piccirillo was quite impressive against Williams, completing 26 of 32 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, while leading all rushers with 69 yards on 15 carries and two scores.
Michael Pina (Mount Ida): Pina completed 19 of 29 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 55 yards on eight carries (6.9 yards per carry) and one score in his team’s exciting win over Anna Maria.
Marquis Roderique (Anna Maria): Roderique concluded Saturday’s contest against Mount Ida with a career and season-best 11 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown reception was Roderique’s first of his collegiate career.
Michael Slaughter, Jr. (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter, Jr. rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
John Smith (Husson): Smith rushed for 143 yards on 15 carries for three scores, while averaging 9.5 yards per carry in his team’s eighth win of the season. The win secured the Eagles a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. The three scores bumped Smith’s total to 23 rushing touchdowns this season, which shattered his original single-season mark of 20 that he set in 2015.
Anthony Service (WNE): Service amassed 240 yards of total offense, including 196 passing yards in his team’s fourth-straight conference win over Curry. The senior signal-caller completed 15 of 22 passes and one touchdown, while rushing for 44 yards on 10 carries. Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Wilcox rushed for 213 yards, an average of 15.2 per carry, and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
Defensive Team of the Week
Max Breschi (Bates): Against Bowdoin, Breschi registered 11 total tackles, including a quartet of solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry.
Anthony Fogarty III (Bridgewater State): Fogarty III paced the Bears’ defense with 12 total stops, including nine solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of 19 yards and one interception returned for 27 yards.
Joseph Grogan (Curry): Against Western New England, Grogan recorded eight total tackles, including four solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards.
Alex LaPiana (Tufts): Against Colby, LaPiana registered six total tackles, including four solo stops, along with one fumble recovery and one interception.
John Jackson (Middlebury): Against Hamilton, Jackson tallied nine total tackles, including six solo stops and one tackle for a loss of four yards. He also recorded a forced fumble and fumble recovery, too.
Jon Lindgren (Bates): Lindgren recorded 16 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, one tackle for a loss of five yards, six pass break-ups and one blocked kick.
Brett McEvoy (Nichols): Against Endicott, McEvoy led all defenders with 15 total tackles, while concluding the game with five solo stops and half a sack for a three-yard loss.
Blayne Merchant (WPI): Merchant tallied seven solo tackles against Coast Guard, including four tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu concluded Saturday’s primetime conference tilt with Western Connecticut with seven solo stops, including a sack for a loss of nine yards.
Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Pacheco led the Engineers’ defense with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one tackle for a loss of six yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and blocked kick.
Sebastien Philemon (Colby): Philemon recorded 18 total tackles, including six solo stops, two tackles for a loss of five yards and one sack for a loss of three yards in his team’s 28-14 setback to Tufts.
Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein led the Spartans’ defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, one tackle for a loss of one yard and one interception for 15 yards.
Mitch Turley (MIT): On ‘Senior Night’ in Cambridge, Turley turned in a monstrous performance, tallying 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops, one fumble recovery for 34 yards, one interception and one pass break-up against Norwich University.
Marquez Walls (Dean): Against SUNY Maritime, Walls registered seven total tackles, including five solo stops, three interceptions for 50 yards and two pass break-ups. Additionally, he scored a touchdown on a 73-yard punt return in the opening quarter, which provided the Bulldogs with the lead after one quarter of play.
Andrew Yamin (Amherst): Yamin recorded seven solo tackles, including a trio of stops for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of four yards in his team’s big win over Trinity.
Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti registered seven total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a tackle for a loss of 13 yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s win over Maine Maritime.
Special Teams of the Week
Henry Atkeson (Amherst): Atkeson punted the ball eight times against Trinity with five boots landing inside the Bantams’ 20-yard line. He totaled 252 yards on eight punts for an average of 31.5 yards per kick.
Riley Ford (Mount Ida): Ford connected on seven of eight extra points, as well as a 30-yard field goal for 10 points against Anna Maria.
John Glaser (Endicott): Glaser recorded 10 points off seven extra points and a 26-yard field goal during his team’s initial conference win against Nichols.
Christian Humulock (Springfield): Humulock converted eight of nine extra point attempts in his team’s 62-0 win over Maine Maritime.
Andrew Verre (Salve Regina): Verre connected on seven of eight extra point attempts during his team’s win over Becker College.
Mark Wright (MIT): Wright connected on four of five kicks, including a 30-yard field goal. Wright concluded his team’s conference clash against Norwich with eight points.