WORCESTER, MA- Trailing 21-0 in the second quarter, the Western Connecticut State University football squad put together a stunning rally to upend host Worcester State University, 42-28, in the Lancers Homecoming contest at Coughlin Field on Saturday. With the win, the Colonials remained perfect, improving to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play, while Worcester State's upset bid was spoiled as they dropped to 0-4 and 0-2.
"Its never easy to spot a team 21 points. We did a good job of battling back," explained WestConn head coach Joe Loth following the breathtaking comeback. "Will Daniels had a great day that included some big plays for us. However, we still have a lot of improvements we need to make in all three phases – offensively, defensively and special teams," he added.
The Lancers scored the first points of the game on its second possession, as Aaron-Moses Williams (Springfield, Mass.) scored on a QB sneak on fourth and goal from the one at the 5:03 mark of the first quarter. The touchdown capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive, and put the Lancers ahead 7-0.
The score was still 7-0 midway through the second quarter when Worcester State's Nick Ashley (Worcester, Mass.) recovered his first of two fumbles on the day, giving the Lancers possession at the Colonial 31-yard line. Just four plays later, sophomore Amir Mells (Dorchester, Mass.) rushed in a four-yard touchdown, stretching Worcester's lead to 14-0.
With the second quarter winding down, Worcester State's defense again came up large. On a second down and four from the Colonial 19, WestConn quarterback David James (Stamford, Conn.) was taken down from behind by Worcester freshman Josh Obisui (Worcester, Mass.), forcing the ball to pop out. Obisui quickly scooped the ball up and scampered 15 yards to the house, putting Worcester State ahead 21-0.
WestConn scored their first points of the game running its two-minute drill just before the half, as James found Jahzaari Mullings (Bridgeport, Conn.) in the back corner of the end zone from 21 yards out with 19 seconds left in the first half, sending the teams to the locker room with a score of 21-7.
The Lancers forced a Colonial three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, and consequently put together a promising drive, however the threat quickly fizzled when WestConn's Jarius Bailey (Cromwell, Conn.) picked off a Williams throw at his own four-yard line. After the turnover, the Colonials would need just two plays - a 44-yard catch and run from Roy Penn-Consentino (Liberty, N.Y.) and a 40-yard touchdown reception from Will Daniels (Bethel, Conn.) - to cut the Lancer lead down to 21-14.
Worcester State would go three-and-out on its next drive, and the Colonials once again answered. Penn-Consentino capped an 11-play, 73-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown, tying up the score at 21 with 5:34 left in the third quarter.
Three and a half minutes into the fourth quarter, Western Connecticut grabbed its first lead of the afternoon on a 22-yard touchdown catch from senior Nick Kimball (New Milford, Conn.) and never looked back. Daniels would grab his second touchdown catch of the game, and Will Dorvillier (Stamford, Conn.) recorded a 67-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter to stretch the Colonial lead to 42-21.
Worcester State found the end zone one last time with 1:54 left in the contest, as tight end Colin Robinson (Centerville, Mass.) caught a pass over the middle and shed a pair of Colonial tacklers for a 52-yard touchdown, giving the game its final score of 42-28.
James had a big day through the air for the visitors, going 23-of-38 for 370 yards and four touchdowns. Williams completed 23 of his 40 attempts, passing for 246 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Daniels was the game's top receiver, with six catches for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns for WestConn.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ashley led all players with 11 tackles to go along with 1.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Juniors Danny George (Leicester, Mass.) and Gus Ramstrom (Natick, Mass.) each finished with 10 tackles for the Lancers. Vincent Scancarello (Monroe, N.Y.) and Austin Thornberg (East Haven, Conn.) each had eight tackles to lead the visitors.
Worcester State will be back in action next Saturday with a road trip to Mass. Maritime at 12 p.m. Western Connecticut will enjoy a bye week next weekend before the Colonials, too, take on Mass. Maritime at home on October 12 for their Homecoming contest.