Tag: Matthew Silva

Football Friday: Revisiting Framingham State’s 2012 Campaign

Endicott Football
Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne chases Endicott College’s PJ Bandini after an interception in the second half. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Happy Friday, everyone!

And welcome to our second installment of ‘Football Friday,’ a post where we revisit stories, teams, coaches, and student-athletes that we have covered over the past decade.

Today, we’re jumping back to 2012 to highlight a Framingham State University football team that not only won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship against Salve Regina University but also advanced to its first-ever NCAA D-III Tournament.

The Rams’ run toward a national championship, unfortunately, concluded in the opening round against SUNY Cortland – the Red Dragons edged Framingham State, 20-19, despite a fourth-quarter rally by the Black and Gold.

Yet, despite a one-point setback in the national tournament, the 2012 season was quite a memorable one for the Rams, which captured the program’s first and only NEFC title, while four members of the squad, including coach Tom Kelley, garnered major postseason awards from the conference. Additionally, Framingham State won 10 games for the first time in program history and only lost once in the regular season to Endicott College, which defeated the 2011 NEFC Bogan Division and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) champions on the opening day of the 2012 season.

Endicott’s defense shined in its week one victory against the Rams as the unit finished the contest with five interceptions, five tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery, and a trio of pass break-ups.

“We stuffed them on first down (and) forced them (into) long second downs (and) that really got them out of their groove,” Endicott’s Andrew Holfinger said following his team’s initial win of its 2012 campaign.

Luckily, the loss to the Gulls was quickly forgotten six days later when Framingham State scored its first win of the 2012 season against Nichols College.

The Rams, who defeated the Bison by a score of 34-6, leaned on its ground game as both Matthew Mangano and Melikke Van Alstyne combined for four touchdowns and 393 rushing yards.

The victory over the Bison seemed to provide the Rams with a ton of momentum as they would go onto capture its next nine contests, including a 16-0 win over rival Bridgewater State University followed by an exciting overtime victory against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Not only did the Framingham State offense shine throughout the 2012 season, but so did  the defense, which limited its numerous foes to 12.8 points per game, along with 63.0 rushing yards per contest.

After registering just seven points in the opening week, the Rams concluded seven contests with 30 points or more. But during the team’s final regular-season contest against Worcester State University, all three units – offense, defense, and special teams – collaborated to produce a season-high 65 points.

The 65-21 win over the Lancers allowed the Rams to clinch its second-straight NEFC Bogan Division crown, as well as secure a spot in the conference’s championship round one week later against Salve Regina.

“We’re certainly going to be tested,” Kelley said when previewing his team’s contest against the Seahawks at the New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon, which was held at Harvard University.

Salve Regina entered the contest with an identical 9-1 record. The Seahawks averaged nearly 400 yards of offense while the defense limited opponents to roughly two touchdowns per game.

But despite scoring the first points of the 2012 NEFC title game, Salve Regina struggled to contain both Melikke Van Alstyne and Matthew Silva, who combined for three rushing touchdowns. 

James Muirhead led the Rams defense with eight total tackles, including three stops for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble.

Salve Regina, which trailed Framingham State by four points (14-10) at the break, attempted to mount a late comeback during the final minutes of the fourth quarter but saw its rally dashed when the Rams recovered its onside kick.

Moments after the final kickoff of the game was recorded, the Rams celebrated a hard-fought championship, which Muirhead considered “so surreal.”

“All the hard work paid off,” said Muirhead, who was named the Bull Mottola Championship Game Most Valuable Player Award following the final whistle.

“I don’t really have any words to explain it,” he would add.

The 28-16 win over the Seahawks was a culmination of the Rams’ commitment of hard work and determination that was fueled by an overtime setback one year earlier in the same contest to Western New England. And while the victory over the Seahawks did not spark a deep postseason run, it was certainly the beginning of many more conference titles and postseason appearances for a squad that has maintained its success over the past few years.

Watching – and yes, covering – this team truly made me fall in love more with small college football. The 2012 season truly marked the beginning of my tenure of producing content on various New England D-III athletic teams and programs, and I am thankful for the time both Tom Kelley and the players provided me throughout this exciting and historic campaign.

Mass. College Football: Harvard Captures ‘The Game,’ MIT Wins First Postseason Contest

By Matt Noonan 

A late touchdown pass from Conner Hempel to Andrew Fischer sealed a 31-24 victory for Harvard University against Yale University on Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium in the 131st meeting between the Crimson and Bulldogs.

Trailing 7-3 in the third quarter, Harvard responded with three consecutive touchdowns to earn a 24-7 advantage. Paul Stanton Jr.’s one-yard scamper with 10:06 remaining in the session provided the hosts with their second lead of the afternoon.

Yale’s Tyler Varga jumpstarted a fourth quarter rally with a one-yard TD run with 12:35 remaining. Varga located Morgan Roberts roughly four minutes after his rushing score for an eight-yard touchdown pass before Kyle Cazzetta tied the game at 24-24 with a 33-yard field goal.

With less than a minute remaining, Harvard responded for the final time as Fischer hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass with 55 seconds remaining. Fischer led all receivers with eight receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

Harvard finished their 2014 campaign 10-0 and Ivy League champions.

MIT 27, Husson 20 (OT): The perfect season remains intact as the Engineers’ defense denied a potential game-tying touchdown in overtime to secure their initial postseason victory in program history.

Quarterback Peter Williams completed 20 of 29 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Wallace rushed for 144 yards and one score.

MIT trailed Husson, 14-10, in the third quarter, but Brad Goldsberry pushed the Engineers ahead, 17-14, with a six-yard touchdown reception with 3:54 remaining in the session.

The Eagles jumped ahead, 20-14, on a 14-yard touchdown reception from Joe Seccareccia to Cody Williams with 5:37 remaining. MIT evened the score at 20-20 with a 38-yard field goal by Tucker Cheyne, forcing an extra session.

In overtime, Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike, capping an 11-play, 49-yard drive. On the ensuing possession, Husson drove to the MIT nine-yard line, but came up short on a 4th-and-4 when Seccarecia’s pass fell incomplete.

MIT advances to the second round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament and will play Wesley College next Saturday, November 29.

Framingham State 42, RPI 36: Matthew Silva’s one-yard touchdown run in overtime proved to be the difference as the Rams defeated the Engineers in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl.

Silva finished the afternoon completing 17 of 34 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 16 yards on three carries.

Framingham State’s Kevin Donahue was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after making a game-saving tackle in overtime that secure the win for the Rams.

Mass. College Football: Framingham State 35, Bridgewater State 28

Framingham State celebrated a conference title on Saturday by defeating Bridgewater State. (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth)
Framingham State celebrated a conference title on Saturday by defeating Bridgewater State. (Photo Credit: Brian Willwerth)

By Brian Willwerth

BRIDGEWATER, MA – The Framingham State Rams are celebrating a championship in the inaugural season of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

They wrapped up the title on Saturday afternoon with a thrilling, 35-28 victory over Bridgewater State. The decisive score came when Melikke Van Alstyne ran it in from nine yards out with just 29 seconds remaining.

“I’m elated,” said Rams’ head coach Tom Kelley. “I’m happy for our seniors.

“We won our first MASCAC championship, and the first time in history we’ve beat Bridgewater four years in a row.”

For a game that featured nine touchdowns in all, it started out as a defensive battle. The Rams got on the board first when Van Alstyne scored his first touchdown of the game from one yard out. The Rams led 6-0 after the PAT was blocked.

The Bears responded with a 65-yard drive, capped off by quarterback Mike McCarthy’s five-yard run. The score remained 7-6 until the final minute of the half.

That’s when the game turned into a shootout.

Rams quarterback Matthew Silva found Jared Gauthier from 14-yards out.  Gauthier out-jumped the defender, and Framingham State was back on top, 13-7, but not for long.

The Bears got a good kickoff return, a personal foul on the Rams, a long pass play from McCarthy to Matthew Green, followed by McCarthy’s one-yard run, his second score of the afternoon. Bridgewater State took a 14-13 lead into the locker room.

In third quarter, McCarthy was picked off by Tyllor McDonald, and the Rams capitalized on the turnover, with Van Alstyne scoring from a yard out to make it 20-14.

Then, after McDonald intercepted McCarthy again, Gauthier’s 4-yard reception made it 27-14.

“Our defense has come up big all year long, and they came up big again,” said Kelley.

But McCarthy and the Bears would not fold. Playing in his final home game, he led his team 79 yards in 11 plays, and once again called his own number for his third rushing touchdown of the game. That made it 27-21.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Rams appeared to stop the Bears on 4th and goal, but a pass interference penalty gave BSU new life. On the ensuing play, McCarthy appeared to be going into the end zone, but fumbled. Fortunately for the Bears, offensive lineman Mike Duran was in the right place at the right time, and fell on the ball for the touchdown. With 3:51 left, the Bears had re-taken the lead, 28-27.  The difference in the game was the blocked PAT in the first quarter.

But FSU would not panic. Silva calmly led his team 55 yards in seven plays, with Van Alstyne scoring the winning touchdown – his third of the game – in the final minute. The senior finished with 158 yards on 24 carries. Silva was 22-of-36 for 230 yards. The Rams celebrated the conference title on the field afterward.

“We’ve been a second half team all year long,” said Kelley. “When we got the ball with a couple of minutes to go, I was real confident that we were going to at least kick a field goal.”

It was a heartbreaking Senior Day for McCarthy and the rest of his teammates.  He rushed for a team-high 95 yards and threw for 117.

Framingham State closes out the regular season at Worcester State, while Bridgewater State travels to Mass. Maritime for the 35th Annual Cranberry Cup.

Mass. College Football: Week 10 Teams Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 10th week of the college football season in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Teams of the Week.

Division 1 – Boston College: Three touchdowns and two field goals in the second half was what helped the Eagles defeat Virginia Tech in Chestnut Hill.

Kevin Pierre-Louis returned an interception for a touchdown, which provided Boston College with the lead for good before Andre Williams pushed the hosts ahead on a 62-yard rushing touchdown.

Williams led all rushers with 166 yards and two scores, while quarterback Chase Rettig completed 11-of-14 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.

Alex Amidon led the Eagles’ receiving core with three catches for 53 yards.

The Eagles, who snapped a two-game losing streak, will travel to New Mexico next weekend for their final non-conference contest of the season.

Division 2 – American International: The Yellow Jackets secured a spot in the Northeast-10 Conference championship game this past weekend with a 43-34 win over New Haven.

Kevin Arduino completed 19-of-31 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushed for 166 yards on 22 carries and three scores. Stephan Davis led AIC’s receiving core with six catches for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Jaquawne Simpkins and Darion Chappel each recorded eight total stops. Simpkins finished with one sack for a loss of six yards.

AIC concluded the contest with 29 first downs, six more than New Haven, along with 486 yards of total offense (243 passing yards and 243 rushing yards). The Yellow Jackets also won the time of possession battle, too.

The Yellow Jackets will be at home this weekend for their final regular season contest against Southern Connecticut; kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Division 3 – Framingham State: Tom Kelley’s squad won another “Kelley Cup” on Saturday as the Rams defeated Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 58-12.

Framingham State raced out to a 20-0 lead thanks to three rushing scores, two by quarterback Nick Colson before the Buccaneers closed the gap with two touchdowns.

The Rams pushed ahead for good by outscoring the Bucs in the second quarter, 24-0, which helped them earn their sixth straight win.

Quarterback Matthew Silva completed 15-of-24 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns, while Melikke Van Alstyne rushed for 228 yards on 25 carries and two scores. Jared Gauthier led all receivers with five catches for 87 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Patrick McGrath led the unit with nine total stops, while Michael Altavesta recorded six solo tackles and a pass breakup.

The Rams will travel to Bridgewater this weekend to face the Bears, who were on a bye this past weekend.

Mass. College Football: Takeaways From Framingham State-Mass. Maritime

By Matt Noonan 

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Here are a few takeaways from this afternoon’s conference clash between Framingham State and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Game Summary: The Rams jumped out to a 27-12 lead and never looked back as Framingham State defeated Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 58-12, at Bowditch Field. With the win, the Rams claimed the ‘Kelley Cup,’ a tradition that began seven years ago. 

Rams quarterback Matthew Silva tossed four touchdowns and completed 15-of-24 passes for 308 yards, while Melikke Van Alstyne rushed for two scores on 25 carries for 228 yards.

The Buccaneers were led by running back Stefan Gustafson, who finished with 98 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Quarterback Mike Stanton completed just five passes for 67 yards and one touchdown.

Inside The Numbers: The Rams finished with 34 first downs and 658 yards of total offense. They also registered their most points of season, too. Framingham State recorded 51 points in two quarters and stopped the Buccaneers on 12 third downs.

Overall, the teams combined for 47 first downs, 150 offensive plays, 509 rushing yards, 276 return yards and 907 total yards of offense.

Framingham State’s Air Attack: One of the keys to victory for the Rams was their passing game, something the squad wanted to establish early on. And against the Buccaneers secondary, Jared Gauthier, Tevin Jones, George Jordan and Travis Hayes combined for 16 catches for 315 yards and four touchdowns.

What’s Next: The Rams, who have won six straight, will travel to Bridgewater State next Saturday, while the Buccaneers return to Buzzards Bay to host Plymouth State.