By Michael Alves
On Nov. 6 at Bowditch Field, the Framingham State Rams Football team won another blowout win against Bridgewater State to win yet another MASCAC conference title.
The Rams started off their season 0-2, and many people had questioned how the season would result. But now, the Rams are on fire and extending their win streak to seven games.
Both teams opened up the game struggling to put any points on the board through the whole first quarter.
FSU missed a Keld goal early on, while Bridgewater State also went three and out on their first two drives as nothing seemed to spark.
The Rams and Bears both took risks going for it on fourth down, but the two teams failed and turned the ball over.
Then out of nowhere, in the beginning of the second quarter, junior Framingham State quarterback Nicolas GoFredo, miraculously evaded the pocket and threw a Patrick Mahomes-like throw on his left side. Freshman Kareem Coleman completed the spectacular 54-yard catch.
This play lit up the Bowditch Field crowd, which led to the Rams junior running back Bookie McBean Jr. to bowl his way into the endzone on a five-yard rush to start the game off 7-0.
The Rams continued scoring at the end of the second quarter when sophomore running back Devaun Ford punched it in on a 12-yard run to make it a 14-0 game.
With momentum quickly swinging towards the Rams side, the Bears refused to go back into hibernation when junior Bridgewater State quarterback James Cahoon threw a huge 42 yard catch to Wyatt Shisler, setting up for Cahoon to throw an eight yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hairston.
This cut the deficit to 14-7 with only 58 seconds to spare in the first half.
In the second half, Framingham State decided to answer right back when Goffredo passed the rock to Ford on a 54-yard touchdown to return it back to a two score game 21-7.
The Rams would also add on another score when Goffredo hit freshman receiver Isaiah Hanks on a pass in the redzone for an 11-yard touchdown to make the game 27-7.
The Rams would keep churning when Goffredo used his legs on a 20-yard rushing touchdown, punching in his third total touchdown during the third quarter to make it 34-7 following the missed extra point attempt.
To open up the fourth, the Rams would continue the storm when Mcbean Jr. found his way in the endzone for the second time of the game on a 23-yard rush to strengthen the lead to 40-7 FSU.
Bridgewater State would not go down without a fight adding a two-yard rush to reduce the enormous lead to 40-13 after a missed two point conversion.
Sophomore Framingham State backup quarterback Noah Leonard capped off the game on a
quarterback sneak to Knish the scoring 47-13 Framingham State.
The Framingham State football team was crowned MASCAC conference champions for the seventh time since joining the conference in 2013.
The quarterback matchup ended with Goffredo throwing 23-37 for 281 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams, while Cahoon threw 19-44 for 234 yards and one touchdown for the Bears.
Both Mcbean Jr. and Ford ran for a combined 161 rushing yards and four total touchdowns from scrimmage.
Rams senior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu led the defense with a monster performance racking up four sacks for a loss of 17 yards, while other Rams defensive end junior Gerell Boyce tallied two tackles and a sack as well.
Coach Tom Kelley said on having won the last and final four games at home, “It’s great. These kids have worked so hard and have had a lot of things thrown in front of them and they’ve responded to everything. They’ve just been a pleasure to coach this year.”
Kelley added, “It’s more than just the win at home, it’s the whole journey. These kids locked up the championship today. If you would’ve asked me a couple of weeks ago, or even 10 weeks ago, I would’ve thought it wasn’t possible. But Holy Mother of God it’s these players. They have just overcome obstacle after obstacle and have just done a super job.”
He said “It never gets old.” on winning another MASCAC title. “I think Tom Brady put it the best way. ‘What’s your favorite championship? The last one.’ They’re all special, but the last ones are always the best one.”
Kelley also said about predictions that, “They picked us pre season and I said, ‘We got some crazy coaches in this conference.’ You know just the story of the coaching turnover... it’s just been an amazing story and it’s accredited to these players for the way they responded.”
He said that to beat Worcester State next week and end the season on an eight game win streak, the team would have to “You know we have nothing to lose going into the game. We’re still champions and we’re still going to the NCAA tournament, so it’s a game that doesn’t have a lot of meaning for us, but it will have a lot of meaning for Worcester State so we gotta come to play. They have a very good offense and our defense is gonna have to come to play next week.”
Kelley said he changed his decision on retiring from head coaching because the head Football coach resigned two weeks before the beginning of the season. “It was pretty thin and I met with my full-time staff, not football, but my deputy athletic director, and there was no other choice but for me to come out of retirement... So here I am, and here I be.”
Quarterback Goffredo reflected on evading the pocket and throwing the spectacular ball to his teammate Coleman in the second quarter. “It’s instinct and it just all came together and I just let it fly. We were making plays out there and my guys caught the ball for me – that’s just what happens when our offense is clicking.”
The Rams QB1 added, “It feels awesome! Championship game – and you know you have to bring your ‘A game,’ and we definitely brought it today, and it feels good to win for sure.”
In order to beat Worcester State next week, Goffredo said that the team’s offense has to “fix the stuff on the O-line, keep making plays, and just keep getting better on RPOs [Run Pass Options] and just keep rolling from there.”
Referring to his 99-yard performance, starting running back Ford said, “It felt good. Our offensive line was just pushing forward and we were just getting ‘dirty yards,’ as Coach Landers says – just ground and pound and throw the ball down the field when we can.”
He added the energy in the final home game was “huge. It was a great atmosphere for our seniors – their last home game here at Bowditch. So it was just good to get the win and send them out with a dub.”
Ford added that for the team to run the ball efficiently against Worcester State next week, “We just have to stick to what we know – just run behind our guards and tackles and go throw the ball up to our guys and let our guys make plays.”
The Rams will play one more game in their regular season Nov. 13, but nobody can take away their seventh MASCAC title in eight years.