Tag Archives: Nick Doria

Mass. College Football: WSU Tops WPI, 15-14

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Worcester State sports information department, here’s Friday’s release about the Lancers football team defeating crosstown rival WPI, 15-14:

Worcester, MA — Worcester State junior Jack Sprague (Maynard, MA) hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass on fourth-down from classmate Pat Viencek (Bernardston, MA) with 37 seconds left in regulation to help lead the Lancers to a 15-14 victory over crosstown rival WPI in non-conference football action this evening at Coughlin Field.

The Blue and Gold (2-0) have now won three in a row over the Engineers (1-1) who hold the all-time series edge at 14-7. All three wins for WSU have come with under six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Following an interception by freshman Carrick Driscoll (E. Longmeadow, MA) that helped set Worcester State up on their own 20 with 2:37 remaining in the game, Viencek made several clutch passes to help the Lancers overcome the late deficit.

Facing third and 15 on their own 37, junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA) snatched a 21-yard completion as he sprinted into enemy territory on the WPI 42.

After a key pass interference call put WSU on the Engineer 34, Sprague kept the chains moving with a 14-yard catch to get into the red zone.

With under one minute to play, WPI freshman Kevin Lynch (E. Bridgewater, MA) diagnosed a screen pass that went for a tackle for a loss on first down and then junior Vincent Samuel (Merrick, NY) swatted a pass at the line of scrimmage on third and 12.

That set the stage for Viencek’s heroics as he completed the fourth down play to Sprague for what proved to be the game-winning score.

Worcester State claimed the early 3-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal by senior Alex Blakeslee (Shrewsbury, MA) on their first possession with 11:26 remaining in the opening quarter.

On the Engineers second series of the contest, junior Zach Grasis (E. Brookfield, MA) coughed up the ball on their own nine to put the Lancers in great field position.

After the visitors nearly stonewalled the hosts at the goal line, the Blue and Gold drew up a fake field goal play to extend the lead to 9-0 on an eight-yard scoring strike from Driscoll to junior Zack Skerry (Milford, MA) with 3:59 in the first quarter.

WPI immediately responded with a 41-yard flick by senior John Antonopoulos (Cambridge, MA) to classmate Ehab Hamdan (Revere, MA) with 1:45 on the clock. Hamdan snuck behind the secondary on a curl route and he streaked into the end zone for the score.

Both defenses locked heads for a scoreless second as Worcester State maintained their 9-6 margin at the intermission.

Early in the third, the Engineers took the 12-9 edge on a four-yard plunge by Grasis with 11:42 on the clock. WPI took advantage of a muffed punt return that was recovered on the WSU eight yard-line.

With 1:53 remaining in the stanza, Lynch darted through the line and blocked a Lancer punt at the 15 that rolled through the back of the end zone for a safety to make it a 14-9 contest.

In the fourth quarter, the hosts were stopped twice on fourth down by the Engineer defense and on their last series, the Boynton Hillers took over on their own 32 with 8:30 left in the game.

WPI drove into Lancer territory, but were halted on fourth down by Driscoll’s clutch interception in the end zone.

Viencek amassed 260 yards passing on the day for the Lancers in relief of injured junior Kevin Bumpus (Bridgewater, MA), completing 18-of-37 of his pass attempts.  Bumpus, the reigning Division II/III Gold Helmet award winner, was 10-for-21 for 103 yards before exiting midway through the second quarter.

Hippert led all players with 183 receiving yards on eight catches while senior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) hauled in a game-best 11 passes for 76 yards. Junior Dana Valentine (Roxbury, MA) added 54 yards on the ground to go with four receptions for 40 yards.

Senior Adam Straughn (Rockland, MA) paced all players with 12 tackles (10 solo) while classmate Nick Doria (Watertown, MA) chipped in with seven solo stops. Skerry added to his strong day up front for WSU with six tackles, including a pair of sacks.

Lynch led the defensive effort for WPI as he registered a team-best 10 tackles (eight solo) to go along with a pair of pass breakups and the blocked punt. Junior Robert Harasimowicz (Gardner, MA) added eight stops while Samuel was credited with a sack and half.

Grasis totaled 77 yards on 28 carries and the touchdown. Antonopoulos finished 15-for-27 for 152 yards and one score. Hamdan paced the receiving corps with six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown while senior Jake Konowitch (Northampton, MA) and junior Larry McGillicuddy (Stow, MA) both hauled in a pair of pass receptions.

Worcester State nearly enjoyed a 2-1 edge in totals yards (415-210) and doubled up the Engineers on first downs (24-12).  WPI turned the ball over four times while the Lancers had only one possession-changing miscue. The Crimson and Gray did have a 32:38-27:22 bulge in time on the field.

Worcester State opens up MASCAC play next Friday night traveling to NCAA Division III Bridgewater State at 7 PM. WPI wraps up its non-conference slate by entertaining Norwich next Saturday at 1 o’clock.

Mass. College Football: Worcester State Season Preview

AJ Scerra will be one of the team's four captains this season! (Photo Credit: Worcester State University Athletics)

AJ Scerra will be one of the team’s four captains this season! (Photo Credit: Worcester State University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Worcester State University athletic department, here’s the football team’s season preview:

A veteran crew looks to take the field in 2013 as the Worcester State Lancers try to contend for this year’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title.

“We are looking pretty good on both sides of the ball,” said 31st year head coach Brien Cullen ‘77 (156-120). “If we stay healthy, we should be competitive.”

Battling for the open quarterback position left vacant by All-New England Football Conference signal caller Corey Spencer will be junior Kevin Bumpus (Bridgewater, MA) and third-year transfer Pat Viencik (Bernardston, MA).

Bumpus, who transferred in from Assumption last season, passed for 1,220 yards and rushed for 230 yards in eight games during the 2011 campaign for the Greyhounds as the Worcester Area Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Vinecek tossed for 2,009 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games as the primary quarterback at Nichols in 2012.

At receiver, the group returns a talented cast that includes senior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) along with junior classmates Dana Barry (Hudson, MA), Jack Sprague (Maynard, MA) and Josh Fortin (Danielson, CT).

Scerra, who was tabbed with D3football.com All-Northeast Region accolades, hauled in a school-record 85 receptions to go with 958 yards and eight scores last season. Scerra is just 21 catches, 1,200 yards and five touchdowns away from setting all-time Worcester State records.

Junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA) provides the offense with another solid moving target from the tight-end position as he has 47 catches for 779 yards and eight TDs in his first two campaigns since matriculating from Sacred Heart.

Third-year Mike Dance (Rocky Hill, CT) and sophomore DaShawn Taylor (Ayer, MA) return to anchor the running game while sophomore transfer Matt Lezama (Milton, MA) provides some depth for the Lancers at the position. Dance and Taylor combined to rush for 521 yards and four touchdowns a year ago.

The Blue and Gold bring back a deep offensive line that includes senior teammates Kyle Morris (Walpole, MA), Mac Hanlon (Littleton, MA) and Tim Laramee (Shrewsbury, MA).

Newcomers to the squad’s primary blocking unit include sophomore transfer Zach Pappas (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian) who started seven games at Framingham State and first-year Cody Curelop (Mansfield, MA).

Junior Bryan Narcisse (Medway, MA) underscores eight returning starters on defense for the Lancers.

Narcisse, who was honored with D3football.com All-Northeast Region laurels as a defensive end, registered 67 tackles – 18.5 of which were for a loss – including 6.5 sacks for 61 yards and two forced fumbles.

Third-year Zach Skerry (Milford, MA) lines up on the other side of Narcisse and at the nose, sophomore Conor Sayles (Hopedale, MA) receives the nod.

Junior Kevin Coonan (Worcester, MA/Burncoat)  reinforces the core up front for the Blue and Gold.

At linebacker, seniors Matt Begley (E. Bridgewater, MA) and Adam Straughn (Rockland, MA) return to plug up the holes up the middle.

Begley, an All-NEFC pick, led the team with 70 tackles (51 solo) and he did a little bit of everything with a trio of interceptions, three sacks and four pass break-ups.  Straughn tries to pick up from where he left off last year as he notched 57 stops (39 solo), 6.5 tackles for a loss and four blocked kicks.

On the outside, senior Nick Doria (Watertown, MA), junior Justin Pennellatore (Mansfield, MA) and sophomore Zach Arsenault (Lancaster, MA) adds a solid presence to the Lancer pass rush.

Second-year teammates Bryan Gencarelli (Waterford, CT) and Samie Jean (Malden, MA) provide a veteran presence in the secondary. Also, look for junior Mike Goulden (Rehoboth, MA) and freshman Markiesh Harmon (Leominster, MA) to break-up passes at cornerback.

Scerra will handle a bulk of the return specialist duties while senior Alex Blakeslee (Shrewsbury, MA) comes back to take over the punting and kicking for the squad.  Blakeslee booted 33.8 yards per punt to go with eight touchbacks.

Worcester State plays their 2013 campaign in the newly formed MASCAC after competing for 26 years in the NEFC.

The Blue and Gold kick off the season with Anna Maria on September 7 on the road and WPI on September 13 at home before they begin league play with NCAA Division III Tournament participant Bridgewater State under the lights of Swenson Field on September 20 in Bridgewater.

The Lancers then take on Mass Maritime on September 28 at home before the bye week. After a pair of road games at Fitchburg State (October 12) and UMass Dartmouth (October 19), the Blue and Gold face off against Western Connecticut for the first-time on October 21 in their annual homecoming game.

WSU heads to New Hampshire to start off the next month with Plymouth State on November 2 followed by Westfield State (November 9) and NEFC Champion Framingham State (November 16) in the friendly confines of Coughlin Field.