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Falcons Withstand Late Bears Rally, 31-29

Falcons Withstand Late Bears Rally, 31-29

Summiel sets Falcons all-time career receiving yards record in MASCAC victory

Fitchburg, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University football team held off the fourth quarter rally by the Bears of Bridgewater State University, en-route to a 31-29 victory in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at Elliot Field this afternoon.

The Basics

Score: Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
Records: Fitchburg State University (2-2, 1-1 MASCAC) | Bridgewater State (0-4, 0-2 MASCAC)

How It Happened

Following a 37 yard field goal by freshman Geoffrey Reichert (Northbridge, Mass.) to put the Falcons up 3-0. Bridgewater State took the lead early in the second quarter on a 12-yard scamper from senior Alex McLaughlin (Littleton, Mass.) for the 7-3 advantage.

With the score 10-7 in favor of Fitchburg State, the Bears rallied again (14-10) as junior wide out Jack Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.) took a pitch from sophomore quarterback Stefano D'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) before tossing it 49 yards downfield to McLaughlin for a touchdown.

The Green and Gold regained the lead for good on a 12-yard strike from sophomore Nelson Valerio (Lawrence, Mass.) to senior tight end Devin Summiel (Tewksbury, Mass.) for the 17-14 margin just before the half.

In the second half, Fitchburg State upped its lead (24-14) on a 12 touchdown reception by senior Jesse Lastra (Fort, Myers, Fla.). The Falcons defense came up with a big play on the en-suing drive as junior Cyrick Watford (Meriden, Conn.) picked up a loose ball at the Falcons 17-yard line and raced 83 yards into the end zone for a touchdown to make the score 31-14.

The Bears rallied once again however in the final frame as McLaughlin rumbled in from four yards out to cut the deficit to 31-22 following a successful two-point conversion before Lavanchy hauled in a nine-yard pass from D/Emilia in the far corner of the end zone, resulting in the 31-29 final.

Inside the Numbers

33rd meeting between Fitchburg State and Bridgewater State on the gridiron with the Falcons 8-25 when taking on the Bears.

Watford's fumble return for touchdown was the Falcons first fumble return for touchdown since Christian Guzman accomplished the feat on September 5th, 2009 at Springfield College.

With his 80 receiving yards, Fitchburg State senior Devin Summiel (Tewksbury, Mass.) surpassed form Falcon receiver Ty Spencer's all-time career receiving yards mark of 2,329 yards. Summiel now has 2,357 career receiving yards.

With his 127 rushing yards Bridgewater State senior tailback Alex McLaughlin (Littleton, Mass.) moved into third place on the Bears all-time career rushing yards list with 2,811, surpassing former standout quarterback Mike McCarthy's mark of 2,806 yards.

McLaughlin also moved into ninth place on Bridgewater State's all-time scoring list with his pair of TD's (202 pts), moving pass former BSU players Andy Brems (190), Matt Green (192) and Justin Fuller (198).

Fitchburg State's passing attack was paced by Valerio, who completed 16-of-27 passes for 164 yards and three TD's.

Senior Jevon Brown-Simpson (Lynn, Mass.) led the Falcons ground game, rushing for 70 yards on 19 carries, while senior tight end Devin Summiel (Tewksbury, Mass.) and junior Herbert Acosta (Los Angles, Calif.) combined to make 12 catches for 130 yards and two TD's

Defensively for the Green and Gold, junior defensive back Jovon White (Meriden, Conn.) finished with a team-best 12 tackles on six solo stops and six assisted tackles as well as one interception and one fumble recovery.

The Bears passing game was led by sophomore Stefano E'Emilia (Bridgewater, Mass.) who completed 20-of-36 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown.

Senior Alex McLaughlin (Littleton, Mass.) sparked the Bears running attack, totaling 127 yards on 21 carries and pair of scores, while junior Jack Lavanchy (Walepole, Mass.) hauled in ten passes for 166 yards and two TD's.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Charles McCarthy (North Reading, Mass.) posted a game-leading 12 stops on five solo tackles and seven assisted stops for the Bears.

Up Next

The Falcons travel to Mass. Maritime Academy to take on the Buccaneers next Saturday at 1:00pm in MASCAC action, while the Bears head will host Westfield State on the same day in a MASCAC tilt, starting at 12:00pm.