WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University football team saw its two-game winning streak come to a close on Saturday afternoon, as the Lancers suffered a 42-22 defeat to Westfield State in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at Coughlin Field.
With the loss, Worcester State drops to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the MASCAC. The Owls improve to an identical 2-2 record and 1-1 in conference play.
Worcester State got on the board first midway through the opening quarter when senior Dex Andrews (Dorchester, Mass.) capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run. Freshman Austin Nunn (Bellingham, Mass.) punched in the two-point conversion, giving the Lancers an 8-0 lead, which they would still hold when the period expired.
Westfield State would even the score early in the second quarter as senior Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn.) marched one in from a yard out. Holder himself added the two-point conversion and the score was level at 8-8 3:15 into the second quarter.
The tie wouldn't last long however, as on just the second play of the ensuing Lancer possession, senior Noah Brum (Honolulu, Hawaii) connected with classmate Cam Charette (Fairhaven, Mass.) for a 71-yard strike, putting the Lancers ahead 15-8.
Holder was far from finished in the contest, as he would punch in his second and third rushing touchdowns of the quarter in the next two possessions as the Owls took their first lead of the day at 22-15 with 3:16 remaining in the second quarter.
Looking to tie the game in the closing minutes before heading to the locker room, the Lancers were the victims of a back-breaking 51-yard pick-six from senior linebacker Zach Howard (Spencer, Mass.) with under two and a half minutes left on the clock, putting Westfield ahead 29-15.
Andrews rushed home his second touchdown of the half as the Lancers quick-strike offense was able to score before the half, but Worcester State still trailed 29-22 going into the break.
After three first half touchdowns, the Westfield State run game really showed its worth in protecting the lead after the teams emerged from the locker rooms. Holder and sophomore RJ Darby (Norwich, Conn.) carried the bulk of the offense in the half, as Westfield held the Lancers to just three second half possessions and 10:16 of offensive time on the field.
The Owls would score on their opening possession in the second half to extend their lead to two scores when quarterback Jake Cassidy (Swampscott, Mass.) found junior Evan Garvey for a 30-yard score. A muffed snap on the extra point attempt caused the kick to miss short, but the 35-22 lead would be more than enough for the Owls.
The next two Lancer possessions would stall and the Owls put the final nail in the coffin with 1:27 remaining as Cassidy took one in himself to cap the 42-22 Westfield State victory.
Holder finished the afternoon with an impressive line of 149 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns, while Darby was sharp on the ground with 15 carries for 78 yards. Cassidy went 9-for-16 through the air for 107 yards, throwing one touchdown pass.
For the Lancers, Brum went 33-for-46 on the afternoon for 349 yards and one touchdown. Jacob Maher (Marshfield, Mass.), Frank Catanoso (Marshfield, Mass.), and Andrews all finished with seven receptions.
Westfield outearned the Lancers by a slim margin of 393 to 384. Through the air, Worcester State held a heavy 361-107 edge, while Westfield owned the ground game with 286 yards to just 23 for the Lancers.
Next up, the Lancers head to New Hampshire for a Saturday afternoon affair with Plymouth State in MASCAC play, while the Owls host Bridgewater State.