By Mike Ferris
Framingham avenged its home opener loss to Cortland State Saturday when it hosted Fitchburg on Homecoming Weekend.
Defensive end Quentin Jones sparked the defense that looked a little Bat a week ago by sacking Falcons quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie on the first play from scrimmage.
Fitchburg couldn’t recover on that drive, going three-and-out and being forced to punt to the Rams.
Framingham return man Napoleon Miller was back deep to run the kick back, and, like Jones did for the defense, he rejuvenated a special team’s unit that was sluggish last week.
Miller fielded the punt at his own 47 and returned it 53 yards for an early 6-0 lead before Matt Silva and his high-powered offense even touched the field.
Fitchburg responded on its next drive. Led by a 29-yard rush from Taylor Wrice-Brooks and a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, the drive ended with a Wrice-Brooks two-yard score and a 7-6 Fitchburg lead.
Dellechiaie’s Falcons had much of the same luck on their next drive. Fitchburg went 37 yards in 13 plays o take a 14-6 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Despite the early deficit, the rest of the game was all Framingham as it proceeded to rattle off 28 unanswered points.
The first of these points came on the very next possession after Fitchburg’s second scoring drive.
The Rams used over Eve minutes and needed nine plays to go 55 yards before Tevin Jones caught his fourth touchdown pass of the year.
It wasn’t until a little over four minutes remained in the second quarter that Framingham would strike again.
This time, Silva threw a 13-yard touchdown strike to Travis Hayes. The ball was thrown in a place only Hayes could catch it and the diving catch gave the Rams a 20-14 lead. After recapturing the lead, Framingham wouldn’t surrender it again.
The six-point lead would stand going into halftime and Framingham wasted no time in the second half, scoring on its first drive in familiar fashion, as Silva found Tevin Jones again.
On this drive, two pass interference penalties set the Rams up at the eight-yard line and Jones got open in the end zone for his MAS- CAC-leading fifth touchdown of the year.
The touchdown gave Framingham a 27-14 lead and would be extended once more at the end of the third quarter.
With just under two minutes left in the third, Marcus Grant caught one his team-high seven receptions in the end zone.
The touchdown, which was Silva’s 14th of the year, extending Framingham’s lead to 34-14 and all but sealed the deal with only 15 minutes left.
The Falcons would score once more in the fourth quarter, but the effort was too little too late.
Dellechiaie threw his lone touchdown in the middle of the final quarter, Ending Jesse Lastra for a 14- yard touchdown and cutting the lead to 34-21, the eventual final.
Silva threw 27 times, completing 17 passes for 147 yards and four touchdowns.
He found four receivers: Tevin Jones, Hayes, Grant and Jared Gauthier.
Grant led the bunch with seven catches for 56 yards. He was followed by Hayes, who had four catches for 43, and Jones, who had four for 34.
Gauthier contributed two catches for 14 yards.
The ground game was less sluggish than a week ago. Jalen Green carried 13 times for 68 yards.
He was followed by Tevon Jones who had 11 touches for 57 yards and Aaron Owens who had six carries for 23.
Stephen Beahn was awarded MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors and the 2015 Calder Award for his 16 tackles, 13 of which were solo.
He was followed by Svenn Jacobson who had 11 tackles, six solo and a sack.
But Quentin Jones was the one who got pressure and hurried Dellechiaie for much of the game. Jones ended with three sacks for 17 yards.
The pressure he applied didn’t go unnoticed as safety Thomas Burns benefited from the pass rush Dellechiaie was feeling all afternoon.
Burns came up with two interceptions for the secondary that struggled a week ago.
Despite dominating on the scoreboard, Fitchburg totaled 445 yards in offense to Framingham’s 280. The Falcons also controlled the ball for a better part of the afternoon.
Framingham is set to travel to Western Connecticut Saturday as the Rams (2-1 overall, 1-0 conference) look to carry over the momentum from Homecoming Weekend.