WESTFIELD, MA – After a heartbreaking loss to Framingham State last week, the Western Connecticut State University football team's season came to an end with a stunning 18-0 loss at MASCAC foe Westfield State on Friday evening at Alumni Field. With the loss, the Colonials concluded the slate at 7-3 overall and 5-3 in league play, while the Owls finished at 3-7 and 3-5.
Turnovers plagued WestConn as they coughed the ball up five times in the contest (three lost fumbles and two interceptions), while Westfield committed just one turnover. The hosts were able to tally three touchdowns in the first half to account for all the scoring.
Senior quarterback Quinn Fleeting (Windsor, CT) went 11-for-21 for 107 yards and a pair of interceptions, while junior Duane Gary (New Haven, CT) led the WestConn rushing attack with six carries for 48 yards.
Westfield's Tyler Robinson picked off a pass from Fleeting deep in Colonials' territory in the opening quarter. Moments later, the Owls converted on the turnover when sophomore quarterback Jake Cassidy was flushed out of the pocket and scurried across the goal line from five yards out on a fourth-and-goal attempt. The ensuing point-after kick missed wide-left, leaving the hosts with a 6-0 advantage with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter.
After the teams exchanged turnovers, the Westfield special teams unit stepped up as Ethan Bartlett surged through the line to block a punt. Owl junior running back Travon Holder – who finished with a game-high 187 yards on 38 carries – would plunge into the end zone from a yard out, extending the hosts lead to 12-0 as the ensuing kick was blocked.
Later in the second stanza, the Owls would string together a 14-play, 80-yard drive while maintaining possession for nearly eight minutes. The drive was capped off by yet another one-yard touchdown from Holder, putting the Owls up 18-0 heading into halftime.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the second half. Holder racked up a 42-yard gain late in the fourth quarter as he was brought down at the WestConn 11. However, the Colonials stood strong as the Owls turned the ball over on downs at the WestConn six. But with just 3:46 left on the clock and deep in their own territory, the visitors didn't have much of a chance to turn things around.
Defensively, senior Douglas Katz (Monroe, CT) paced the Colonials with 12 tackles, while classmate Michael Siwek (North Haven, CT) chipped in with seven. The Owls finished with 303 yards of total offense (251 on the ground) compared to 199 for the Colonials.