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The Early Preseason Outlook: Framingham State Rams

FSU RAMS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

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 DartmouthWestern 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 SullivanCully 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.).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

D3 Football: Wojenski Leads Framingham State To Second-Straight New England Bowl Win

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Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns in his team’s New England Football Bowl victory against Curry College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski tossed five touchdowns, while completing 19 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Rams topped Curry College, 48-14, in the 2017 New England Football Bowl this afternoon at Bowditch Field.

With the win, Framingham State has now won a pair of New England Football Bowls, including the inaugural game last year when they defeated Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island.

All five of Wojenski’s touchdowns were recorded in the first half as he connected with Khaneil Bruce and Quron Wright for a pair of strikes, respectively, while locating Shaquille Joseph on his team’s initial drive for a 24-yard score.

Wojenski would toss his next four touchdowns in the second quarter, which provided the hosts with a 34-7 advantage at the break.

Napoleon Miller and Sebastein Robert extended Framingham State’s advantage with rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while Curry mustered just one score in the third quarter when quarterback Alex Corvese hauled in a two-yard score on the far side from wide receiver Spencer Tyler.

The Rams conclude their 2017 season at 10-1 overall, while Wojenski ended his second season with the Black and Gold by tossing 19 touchdowns in eight contests.

Teams To Watch In 2017: Framingham State Rams

Quron Wright

Framingham State’s football team will once again be a squad to follow (and watch) this season in New England. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin Photography)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Name: Framingham State Rams

Ranking:
The Rams checked-in fourth overall on our ‘Preseason Top 10’ poll, which was posted on Twitter on Monday, July 31st.

2016 Recap: Last season was not your typical campaign for the Rams. Instead of contending for some national hardware in the NCAA Division III Tournament, Coach Tom Kelley‘s squad capped it season by capturing the first-ever New England Bowl championship. Yet, prior to defeating the Salve Regina in the region’s inaugural bowl game, the Rams sustained a few difficult plays, bounces and moments in a trio of games, including a heart-breaking 28-27 overtime loss to Bridgewater State, which provided the Bears with the conference crown and automatic bid to the postseason. Excluding the team’s three setbacks, the Rams did secure some quality wins over Endicott College (32-21), Western Connecticut State (23-17) and Fitchburg State (14-0). Framingham State will face all three teams this fall.

Key Losses: Trevon Offley (Running Back), Jalen Green (Running Back), Chris Dagg (Specialist), Aaron Owens (Linebacker) and Jaleel Wingard (Defensive Back).

Players to Watch: Adam Wojenski (Quarterback), Zak Walker (Quarterback), Quron Wright (Running Back), Napoleon Miller (Wide Receiver), Mike Calicchio (Wide Receiver), Stephen Beahn (Wide Receiver), Joe Wilder (O-Line), Thomas Burns (Defensive Back), Svenn Jacobson (Linebacker), Campbell Marchant (D-Line), Brian Donahue (Linebacker), Jaquan Harris (Defensive Back) and Joshua Onujiogu (D-Line).

2017 Schedule: The road back to the NCAA Division III Tournament will begin with a visit to ‘the nest’ on Labor Day Weekend when Framingham State tangles with Endicott College in Beverly. One week later, the Rams will play its first home game of the season against a talented Cortland State squad from the Empire 8. The Red Dragons defeated the Rams last season in New York, but the Rams’ offense still managed to tally 327 total yards of offense, while the defense recorded a pair of sacks and interceptions. This will be another quality test for the Rams before they hop into Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play in week three against Bridgewater State. Their 28-27 overtime loss from last year should certainly be motivation for the squad heading into this particular outing. Framingham State will conclude its initial month of play against Massachusetts Maritime Academy – this is always a fun game to attend because of the Kelley connection between both schools (Tom’s son Mike Kelley is a MMA alum and assistant coach for the Buccaneers. He is also the school’s baseball coach, too). Visits to Fitchburg State and Plymouth State highlight the month of October, while November will feature a pair of home dates against Western Connecticut State and Worcester State.

Season Outlook: Checking-in second on the conference’s preseason coaches poll, the Rams, who perhaps could have been picked to capture the league’s crown this fall, will certainly be one of many MASCAC squads to watch this season. Both non-conference games to start the season will be critical for the squad’s success, but the same could be said for its week three match-up at Bridgewater State. On paper, this squad looks ready to challenge the Bears for the conference’s crown, as well as the automatic bid to the ‘big dance.’ Quarterback Adam Wojenski gained a great deal of experience last year under center – the MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year appears ready to lead an offense that will feature a great deal of talent on the line and in the back field. Keep an eye on wide-out Stephen Beahn this season – he could be in for an exception senior year. On defense, linebacker Svenn Jacobson highlights a unit that should provide challenges to opposing offenses – this particular unit posses a great deal of experience and depth, which should help them be successful against both the run and pass.