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Owls Set to Take On Regionally-Ranked Western Connecticut

Ommel Bonilla makes a tackle earlier this season
Ommel Bonilla makes a tackle earlier this season

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Westfield State will play their last game of the season on Saturday at Western Connecticut State University, in a Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup.

 Westfield comes into the game with a 4-5 record, 3-4 in the MASCAC, while Western Connecticut State comes in with an 8-1 record, 6-1 in MASCAC. Western Connecticut needs a win to keep their Championship hopes alive as they are tied with Framingham State for first place and currently ranked seventh in the east region according to DIII football regional rankings.

Before the bye week, the Owls played Plymouth State losing 10-7 at Alumni Field on Senior Day. Running back Travon Holder had a big day on the ground rushing for 144 years and a touchdown. Quarterback Jake Cassidy threw for 68 yards and rushed for 84 yards.

Last week, Western Connecticut lost to Framingham State 48-26 on their home field, giving up the one game lead they had over the Rams in the MASCAC. Western Connecticut quarterback David James had 144 yards passing including a touchdown pass. Running back Kyle McKinnon ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

The Owls' offensive attack is led by quarterback Jake Cassidy and senior running back Travon Holder. Cassidy has passed for 823 yards and five touchdowns this season. Cassidy can also run too, as he has rushed 435 yards and five touchdowns so far. Running back Travon Holder leads the team with 924 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Holder is closing in on a 1,000 yard rushing season for the second year in a row, and with three touchdowns on Saturday, he would tie the single season touchdown record of 16 set by Dave Benoit in 2008 and Michael Mercadante in 2014.

The Colonials offense is led by senior quarterback David James and senior running back Kyle McKinnon. James has passed for 1,951 yards and 16 touchdowns so far this year, while McKinnon has rushed for 592 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Owl defense is led by senior linebacker Zach Howard and Zack Kane. Howard has 69 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions this year, while Kane leads the Owls in sacks with 4.5. Thus far, the Owls' defense has averaged allowing 23.8 points and 292.4 yards per game.

Western Connecticut State's defense is led by senior linebacker Kevin Maxen and sophomore linebacker Vinnie Scancarello. Maxen leads the team with 56 total tackles and one sack on the year. Scancarello has chipped in with 49 total tackles a fumble recovery. Western Connecticut has allowed on average 27.1 points a game and 359.8 yards a game.

For the Owls, there are 17 seniors who will be putting on the Owl uniform for the last time.

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