Mass. College Football: Bumpus Leads Worcester State Past Anna Maria

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Worcester State University athletic department, here’s today’s release from the Lancers football game. Led by junior quarterback Kevin Bumpus, the Lancers defeated Anna Maria in both teams season opener, 34-6. Here’s the release:

Paxton, MA — Junior Kevin Bumpus (Bridgewater, MA) aired out a school-record 427 yards passing to go with four touchdowns as he propelled Worcester State to a 34-6 victory over Anna Maria in non-conference football action this afternoon.

Bumpus, who went 20-for-35 for the contest, eclipsed the previous mark (419 yards) set last season by Corey Spencer in win over Fitchburg State.

The Lancers (1-0) were also led by junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, MA) hauled in five receptions for 104 yards and one touchdown while classmate Jack Sprague (Maynard, MA) caught four balls for 113 yards.

Senior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, MA) finished with two catches for 103 yards and one score.

Junior Dana Valentine amassed 92 all-purpose yards and found the end-zone twice in his first game since transferring from Salisbury University.

For the AMCATS (0-1), senior Robert Small (Sleepy Hollow, NY) scampered for 140 yards and one touchdown to pace the hosts.

After Anna Maria failed to take advantage of a fumble on the opening kickoff by the Lancers, Bumpus wasted little time by hitting Scerra in stride on a 66-yard scoring strike with their first play from scrimmage to put the visitors ahead 7-0 early with 12:20 on the clock in the first quarter.

Both squads then traded possessions before the Lancers went on an 11-play, 83 yard drive that culminated in a two-yard plunge by Valentine with 14:32 left in the second quarter.

The Lancers scored twice more in the opening frame when Bumpus fired a seven-yard touchdown flick to junior Dana Barry (Hudson, MA) at the 7:23 mark (PAT blocked) and a 23-yard scoring reception by Hippert with 3:05 remaining for the 27-0 lead at the intermission.

Coming out of the locker room, the AMCATS broke the shutout on an 84-yard burst by Small on their first play of the third quarter (PAT failed).

But the scamper, which became Anna Maria’s second-longest run in program history, marked the only score of the third stanza as both squads were unsuccessful on getting into the red zone on their next three possessions.

With under three-minutes to go in the third, the Lancers had a great chance to increase their margin, but a pass interference penalty on the 11-yardline set-up a long field goal try that was missed by senior Alex Blakeslee (Shrewsbury, MA).

The Blue and Gold, however, held the hosts in check on their next series to set-up a nine-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown screen pass from Bumpus to Valentine for the 34-6 edge.

The AMCATS had two more chances in the fourth quarter to get back into the game, but they were stopped both times by the stingy Lancer defense who only yielded 59 yards of total offense in the final period of play.

To pace the Blue and Gold defensively, junior Bryan Narcisse (Medway, MA) collected 13 tackles (nine solo) for an eye-popping seven tackles for a loss – including four sacks for 34 yards.

Junior Zach Skerry (Milford, MA) chipped in with eight tackles (six solo), one sack and a forced fumble as teammate Matthew Begley (E. Bridgewater, MA) notched four solo stops and two tackles for a loss.

In the secondary, rookie Rafael Guzman (Cambridge, MA) had a day with a pair of solo tackles, one interception and two pass deflections.

Sophomore Tyler Rocha (Cranston, RI) led Anna Maria with six tackles, 2.5 TFL and one sack while freshman Deon Brown (Dunellen, NJ) impressed with three solo tackles, one caused miscue and a pair of break-ups.

Second-year Chris Bettano (Tewksbury, MA) did a little bit of everything with 123 all-purpose yards – 89 coming off of five kickoff returns. Blakeslee averaged 35.8 yards on six punts – with three inside the 20 yard line – and he was four-for-five on PAT’s.

Worcester State led in first downs (19-13) and had nearly twice as much total offense as their opponents (462-239), but the AMCATS actually controlled time of possession (35:20-24:40).

With his touchdown, two receptions and yardage this afternoon, Scerra moved into a tie with Jeremy Gaucher (2002-05) with 143 catches, into sole possession of third place with 20 career touchdowns and he moved past Jeremy Frisch (1999-01) into fourth with 1,934 yards.

In the next week the Lancers will host WPI this Friday at 7 PM on Friday while Anna Maria takes a road trip to Maine Maritime on Saturday for a 12 o’clock meeting with the Mariners.

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.