By Jose Carrasquillo
In Framingham State’s home opener against Cortland State the Rams used their strong defensive effort to shutout Cortland after the first quarter with a final score of 29-14.
Isreal Etienne’s sack on Steven Ferreira set the tone for the rest of the game early, as Cortland went a quick three-and-out.
Following a rush from Zakery Walker for two yards, Adam Wojenski connected to Stephen Beahn for 19 yards to get the o:ense going. Following an incompletion from Wojenski, he found Beahn again for a gain of 10 before being forced out of bounds. Rufus Rushins finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown rush.
The Rams created a lead of 6-0 after the missed kick attempt.
Cortland would begin their drive from their own 11-yard line, following four quick plays for 72 yards in the air from Ferreira moved them into the red zone. On the next play following the completion to Angelo Foster for 48 yards, he was intercepted by Rashaun Rivers in the end zone giving the Rams the ball back.
Framingham failed to produce any points after the forced turnover from the defense.
Cortland responded quickly using their aerial attack from Ferreira to move the ball down the field quickly. Following two rushes from Zach Tripodi, Ferreira connected with Jason Carlock for 14 yards and he also completed a 15-yard pass to Nick Anderson on the next play. Svenn Jacobson sacked Ferreira on the next play but after the sack Ferreira rushed for 26 yards to move the ball into the red zone. Ferreira capped o: the strong drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tripodi.
With the touchdown, Cortland captured the lead with the kick attempt being good for a score of 7-6.
Framingham tried responding but they couldn’t gain much traction after running just seven plays for 18 yards.
Cortland began their next drive with the same formula that worked last time through Ferreira. Following Tripodi’s rush for three yards, Ferreira found Nick Anderson for a 12-yard gain. Ferreira finished the drive with a 68-yard touchdown pass to Angelo Foster. With the touchdown, the Red Dragons extended their lead to 14-6.
Framingham responded quickly using their two-minute o:ense to move the ball down the ;eld.
Wojenski began the drive with a completion to Beahn for 11 yards. Wright would gain no yards on the next play but on the play after he scored a 65-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 14-13.
Using a mix of Wojenski’s arm and Wright on the ground the Rams began moving the ball on the Red Dragons’ defense. After a holding penalty was called against the Rams on the Wojenski pass for 31 yards he connected with Beahn for a gain of 29 for a first down. Using the ground attack. Framingham bled the clock out with a rushing barrage from Wojenski, Wright and Rushins for a collective 10 yards. After an incompletion and a penalty against the Rams they were forced to kick the field goal which was good from Ryan Clifford to gain the lead at 16-14 before the half was over.
To open the second half both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter until Framingham broke the seal in the fourth quarter. Wright rushed for 44 yards on four straight plays to move the ball to the Cortland side of the field. Following a 12-yard catch from Miller, Robert rushed three times for 22 yards collectively to move the ball into the red zone. Wojenski finished the drive with a 16-yard rush of his own to extend the lead to 23-14.
Cortland failed to score again going a quick three-and-out due to a sack from Derek Welcome and Joshua Onujiogu.
The Rams began their drive in great field position from the Cortland 49-yard line. Wojenski connected with Miller for 15 yards. Wright broke free for 33 yards but was forced out of bounds, the play was brought back due to a holding penalty. Wojenski continued the rushing attack for three yards, on the next play Miller rushed for 12 yards to move the chains. Wojenski, Wright and Robert combined for 15 yards rushing for the next six plays. Miller capped the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown rush. With the touchdown, Framingham extended the lead to 29-14 giving them an insurance score.
Framingham’s defensive effort with three interceptions and eight sacks gave the offense plenty of chances. Framingham was led by Wright with 167 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown.