WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior running back Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn. / Cheney Tech) rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns as Westfield State defeated Mass. Maritime in MASCAC conference action Saturday at Clean Harbors Stadium in Buzzards Bay.
Westfield State quarterback Jake Cassidy (Lynn, Mass. / Lawrence Academy) got the offense started, driving the Owls down to the one yard line thanks to his 20-yard rush on a key third down early in the drive. Holder would finish the drive with a one-yard punch-in, giving the Owls a 7-0 lead.
The Owls would end up scoring on three of their first four possessions in the first quarter, spotting themselves a quick 21-0 lead due to the multi-touchdown efforts of Holder and an 18-yard score by sophomore running back RJ Darby (Norwich, Conn. / Norwich Free Academy).
Mass. Maritime would answer back with ten points of their own in the second quarter. With a six-yard touchdown pass from Ty Ebdon (Gales Ferry, CT) to Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.) and a 33-yard George Lampros (Bridgewater, Mass.) field goal, the Buccaneers cut the lead to 21-10 before the half.
At the start of the third, Darby and Holder marched the Owls down to the 20 yard line where Jake Cassidy would provide a 20-yard rushing effort for a touchdown to give Westfield State a 28-10 lead.
The Bucs would answer again with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ebdon to junior Will Bennett (Sandwich, Mass.) cutting the lead to 28-17.
The Westfield State drive to start the fourth quarter was all Holder, as he rushed for 55 yards including a 35-yard touchdown run to extend the Owl lead to 35-17.
Mass. Maritime responded yet again with a 73-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ebdon to sophomore running back Wyatt Schleicher (Peru, Mass. / Waconah) to bring the Bucs back to 35-24. The Bucs would try an onside kick following the drive, but their efforts were spoiled by a Westfield State recovery from sophomore defensive back Brian Short (Marlborough, Mass.).
Corey Pooler (Middleboro, Mass.) would finish the scoring with a 24-yard field goal to extend the Owl lead to 38-24.
Both kickers finished the day perfect. Pooler went 1/1 on field goals and 5/5 on extra points for the Owls. Lampros went 1/1 on field goals, with his 33-yard boot, and 3/3 on extra points for the Buccaneers.
Cassidy finished with 5 completions for 60 yards passing and 63 yards rushing including a rushing touchdown. Ebdon ended with 16 completions for 231 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The Owls improve to 3-3 (2-2 MASCAC), while the loss drops the Buccaneers to 1-4 (0-3 MASCAC).
Westfield State travels to Fitchburg State for another key MASCAC matchup next Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Mass. Maritime hosts Western Connecticut in a MASCAC meeting next Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m.
PHOTO GALLERY - Courtesy Diane Hallett