Phillips Rushes For Career-Best 192 Yards As Football Falls At Westfield State

Phillips Rushes For Career-Best 192 Yards As Football Falls At Westfield State


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Alumni Field, Westfield, Mass.




WESTFIELD, Mass. --  Junior Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn.) rushed for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Westfield State used two special teams scores to hold on for a 35-28 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.


Holder staked the host Owls (1-5, 1-3 MASCAC) to a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter on touchdown runs of four and 65 yards, but the visiting Buccaneers (1-4, 0-3 MASCAC) sliced that margin in half with 6:23 to play in the half when senior quarterback Chris Haggerty (Cohasset, Mass.) hooked up with fellow senior Dylan O’Neil (Hanover, Mass.) on an eight-yard scoring strike.  Westfield State got that touchdown back on the ensuing kickoff when sophomore Evan Garvey (Dalton, Mass.) went the distance from 90 yards out, and the Owls extended their advantage to 28-7 at the break when senior quarterback Phil Cohen (Old Lyme, Conn.) found freshman Bailey Raymond (Enfield, Conn.) from seven yards out with 29 seconds remaining before intermission.


Massachusetts Maritime again sliced that margin in half midway through the third stanza on a one-yard plunge by senior Richie Phillips (Onset, Mass.), and the Buccaneers crept back to within seven just 1:16 into the final stanza when Haggerty connected with junior Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.) from 30 yard out.  The visitors forced a punting situation on the ensuing Westfield State possession, but the Owls ran a fake and used a 44-yard run by senior Zach Howard (Spencer, Mass.) for what proved to be the margin of victory and a 35-21 edge with just over nine minutes to play.  Phillips’s second visit to the end zone of the day from 24 yards out less than three minutes later again cut the Massachusetts Maritime deficit to seven, and the Buccaneers got the ball back with 4:38 to play on an interception by sophomore Leo Munafo (Wrentham, Mass.) in his own end zone.  Haggerty converted three third down situations and drove the visitors’ to the Westfield State 8-yard line on a sideline pass to O’Neil in the closing seconds, but he was unable to get the ball back in play before time expired.


Holder amassed 234 all-purpose yards in the victory for the Owls, who amassed 361 return yards on eight attempts that included 132 kickoff return yards by Garvey.  Cohen threw for 78 yards to go with his score for the hosts, who amassed 248 of their 354 total yards on the ground for the day.  Phillips shattered his career-high rushing effort with a game-high 192 yards on the ground to go with his two touchdowns in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, as Haggerty completed 22-of-39 pass attempts for 203 yards and two scores.  Sances hauled in a game-high 89 yards on four receptions for the Buccaneers, who also received six catches from freshman Ryan Finney (Hingham, Mass.) as part of 459 yards and 87 plays on offense for the afternoon.


Senior William Tejeda (Princeton, Mass.) registered a game-high 12 total tackles (eight solo) and a sack to lead the way defensively for Westfield State, which snapped a 10-game overall winless streak that dated back to last October.  Howard added 11 stops to go with his special teams touchdown for the Owls, who received 10 tackles each from senior Tyler Robbins (Southwick, Mass.) and junior Andrew Carpenter (Auburn, Mass.).  Sophomore Jack Buckley (Tyngsboro, Mass.) also recorded a key first half interception in his end zone for the hosts, who recorded three sacks overall.


Sophomore Cameron Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass.) made 11 total tackles in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, while Munafo made nine tackles (five solo) to go with his first career pick.  Sophomore Sean Smialek (South Dartmouth, Mass.) recorded eight stops for the Buccaneers, who also received a pair of tackles for loss from senior Tim Churchill (Scituate, Mass.).


Massachusetts Maritime travels to Danbury, Conn. next Saturday afternoon to take on Western Connecticut in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash that kicks off at 5:00 p.m., while Westfield State hosts Fitchburg State in a MASCAC outing next Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field that kicks off at 2:00 p.m.