DANBURY, CT – Despite seven catches for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns from senior wide receiver Austin Calamita (North Branford, CT), the Western Connecticut State University football squad fell to visiting MSCAC foe Westfield State, 27-13, in the regular season finale for both teams on Senior Day at Westside Athletic Complex. With the loss, the Colonials ended the season at 8-2 overall and 6-2 in league play. The Owls finished the slate at 5-5 and 4-4. Framingham State won their contest and earned the bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The hosts racked up 350 yards of total offense compared to the visitors 293. However, Westfield capitalized with three game-breaking scoring plays that sealed the win.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Owls drew first blood when senior running back Travon Holder (Hartford, CT) took a feed and scampered 66 yards into the end zone less than three minutes into the second stanza. The point after attempt would sail wide, giving the visitors a 6-0 lead.
WestConn retaliated after the ensuing kickoff, putting together a five-play drive for 60 yards in just 2:23. The spurt was highlighted when senior quarterback David James (Stamford, CT) fired a pass to Calamita, good for a 32-yard scoring strike. Junior Jordan D'Onofrio (Orange, CT) added the extra point kick, giving the hosts their only lead of the game, 7-6.
Shortly thereafter, Westfield senior linebacker Tyler Robbins (Southwick, MA) burst through the line to force a James fumble. The ball bounced into the waiting arms of junior Zach Kane (Wakefield, MA) who raced in for the touchdown from midfield to put the Owls ahead 12-7 as the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Holder notched his second score, rumbling in from five yards out, extending the advantage to 20-7 as the Owls converted on the two-point attempt this time early in the third.
The Colonials responded midway through the third when James lofted a 19-yard pass to the back corner of the end zone to a wide-open Calamita, cutting the deficit to 20-13.
However, the Owls would seal the win with yet another monumental play to begin the fourth. This time junior quarterback Jake Cassidy (Lynn, MA) connected on a short pass to junior wide receiver Evan Garvey (Dalton, MA) who split a pair of defenders and sprinted in for the visitors' second 66-yard strike of the day.
WestConn senior running back Kyle McKinnon (New London, CT) had a solid afternoon with 86 rushing yards, while James finished 14-of-29 for 179 yards to go along with the pair of TD's to Calamita.
Holder was the workhorse for Westfield, finishing with 208 yards on 37 carries, while Cassidy finished 3-of-7 for 83 yards.