Fitzsimmons tosses first two collegiate TD's for Falcons in MASCAC setback
WORCESTER. Mass – Worcester State rallied late in the fourth quarter, defeating Fitchburg State, 17-14 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football action this afternoon at Coughlin Field in a contest with Sterling Cup implications.
Worcester State opened the scoring with 1:16 left in the first quarter, capitalizing on good field position after a fumble recovery as sophomore receiver Dan Orlando hauled in a 20 yard pass from newcomer Ismael Jenkins for the 7-0 lead.
The Falcons took the lead midway through the second quarter when freshman quarterback Connor Fitzsimmons connected on his first collegiate touchdown pass, finding junior Connor Flynn from two yards out, capping an eight play, 47-yard drive to make the score 8-7 going into the half, following a two-point conversion rush by sophomore Sterlin Garvin.
Following intermission, the Lancers regained the lead early in the fourth quarter as sophomore place kicker Noah Hwang drilled a 27-yard field goal to finish a 16 play, 60-yard drive for the 10-7 advantage.
The Green and Gold responded, taking the lead back (14-10) when junior wide out Ben Sattiewhite pulled down a 13-yard pass from Fitzsimmons for his second touchdown reception on the year, completing an eight play, 65-yard drive with 8:25 left in the contest.
The hosts answered back however with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter as Jenkins found senior wide receiver Derek Moore from nine yards out to polish off a six play, 34-yard drive, resulting in the 17-14 final.
Fitzsimmons paced the Falcons offense, completing 11-of-20 passes of 146 yards and two TD's, while Flynn and freshman Jesse Brown combined to catch six passes for 82 yards and one touchdown.
For Worcester State, Jenkins threw for 156 yards (21-of-39) and two touchdowns, while senior Matt Lezma and sophomore Dexter Andrews combined to rush for 124 yards on 32 carries.
Defensively, senior linebacker Tre Watson finished with a game-best ten tackles on five solo stops and five assisted tackles, while classmate Ousmane Samb added nine tackles (4 solo, 5 assisted) for Fitchburg State.
The Lancers were led by sophomore defensive back Theo Bryant, who totaled a team-best nine tackles on two solo stops and seven assisted tackles, while junior linebacker Eric Nunez added nine assisted tackles and one sack for the hosts.
Fitchburg State (2-4, 0-4 MASCAC) returns to action next Saturday as it hosts the Colonials of Western Connecticut State for a contest starting at 1:30 p.m. Worcester State (1-4, 1-2 MASCAC) will host UMass Dartmouth next Saturday at 2 p.m.