Antonelli tosses pair of TD's in Falcons non-conference triumph
FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University football team returned to Elliot Field for its 2016 home opener, defeating the Spartans of Castleton State, 34-3 in non-conference action this afternoon.
With the win, the Green and Gold start the season 2-0 for the second straight year as Antonelli paced the Falcons offense, completing 12-of-17 passes for 90 yards and two TD's, while freshman Dakota Mullen and sophomore Sterlin Garvin hauled in one touchdown pass each for the Green and Gold.
For Castleton State, sophomore running back Moe Harris was a work horse, totaling 140 yards, including 64 yards on the ground and 58 receiving yards, while the duo of Nick Boles and Luke TanCreti completed 9-of-25 passes for 86 yards.
Defensively for the Green and Gold, senior linebacker Tre Watson led the way with six tackles, including five solo stops, one assisted tackle, two passes defended and an interception, while junior Damar Collins added six stops with five solo tackles and one assisted tackle.
Fitchburg State delivered the first score of the ball game when starting quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie marched the Falcons 81 yards on ten plays, before classmate Jevon Brown-Simpson took the football into the end zone from two yards out with five minutes left in the first quarter for the 7-0 lead.
Castleton State looked to knot the score on its en-suing drive, going 40-yards on seven play before senior linebacker Malcolm Brown-Simpson jumped a pass in the flat and returned it 85-yards to double the lead for the Green and Gold (14-0) early in the second quarter.
The Spartans cut into the deficit as junior place kicker Ryan Payne sent a field goal attempt through the uprights to put the visitors on the board with 8:26 to go to make the score 14-3 going into the intermission.
Following the break, Antonelli took over under center, and remained there for the rest of the game. While on just his second collegiate possession, he connected on the first of his two touchdown passes, finding Garvin out of the backfield for a five-yard catch for the 21-3 advantage with 9:54 left in the third stanza.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Fitchburg State embarked on a 12 play, 60-yard drive, polished off by a four-yard TD reception from Mullen for his first collegiate touchdown before the Falcons capped the scoring in the fourth quarter on an Antonelli five-yard keeper, resulting in the 34-3 final.
Fitchburg State (2-0, 0-0 MASCAC) returns to action on Friday as it hosts the Rams of Framingham State for a contest starting at 7 p.m. Castleton State (0-2, 0-0 ECFC) will host Anna Maria next Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Release courtesy of Fitchburg State student journalist Kyle Prudhomme