By Patrick Peterson
The Rams fell 29-28 to the visiting Plymouth State Panthers on Homecoming Weekend, ending their three-game winning streak.
It was the closest contest of the season and the team’s first loss since Sept. 8 at Cortland State.
The game got off to a good start, as the Rams scored on the opening possession with an 18-yard pass from quarterback Adam Wojenski to running back Quron Wright.
The Panthers answered quickly on the ensuing possession with a 12-play, 69-yard drive that tied the game at 7 in the first quarter.
The Rams’ defense was stout for the remainder of the first half, forcing four straight punts and allowing just one field goal on the final Panthers’ possession.
The offense, however, was not so productive. They fumbled the ball on their last possession and were held scoreless, heading into the half down 10-7.
Coming out of the half, Plymouth State received the ball and drove down to the Framingham 29-yard line, where a fourth-down pass break up by Rams’ defensive back Rashaun Rivers gave the offense a chance to score first.
The Rams were able to capitalize, going 71 yards in 14 plays and taking a 14-10 lead with a two-yard touchdown run by fullback Rufus Rushins.
Neither team scored again until the electric fourth quarter, which featured 33 points, three lead changes, and scores on offense, defense, and special teams.
To open the fourth, the Panthers converted their second field goal of the game to cut the Framingham lead to 1.
The Rams answered with an end-around run taken 17 yards for a touchdown by wide receiver Napoleon Miller.
The Panthers were then able to tie the game at 20 with an 80-yard touchdown pass on the opening play of the next drive.
Plymouth State finally took the lead back when a costly Framingham fumble on a kick return resulted in a safety.
The Panthers did not keep the lead for long, as Rams’ linebacker Jack Sullivan was able to intercept a pass on the ensuing possession and return it 65 yards for a touchdown. The Rams then completed a 2-point conversion, putting them ahead 28-22.
In the end, Sullivan’s heroics did not prove to be enough. The Panthers were able to score again in the final two minutes, handing the Rams their first MASCAC loss of the season and dropping them to a record of 4-2.