BY STEVEN SOUSA // Nov. 19, 2017 //
Curry football’s offense entered the DIII New England Bowl on fire, averaging 30.7 points per game. However, Framingham State extinguished that flame with 48-14 final score.
The Colonels entered the postseason riding high after a 37-20 victory over Salve Regina locked in a second place finish in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. That game also cemented a conference-best 417.3 yards per game average.
Similarly, the Rams were fresh off a 48-20 win over Worcester State that earned them the title of Co-Champion of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) with a 9-1 record. Framingham’s defense had allowed 293.6 yards per game all season while giving up 15.9 points per contest.
With two top-ranked units going at it, something had to give.
On the very first drive, the Rams’ defense flexed their muscles by intercepting Curry quarterback, Alex Corvese. Framingham quickly converted the turnover into points when sophomore quarterback Adam Wojenski found receiver Shaq Joseph for a 24-yard hookup.
Turnovers continued to plague the Colonels all afternoon as Corvese finished with four interceptions including three in or near the end zone while also losing a fumble. The Rams cashed in on three of those turnovers for a combined 20 points.
The Curry offense just could not get their footing. Sacks and batted balls killed several drives for the Colonels as they allowed five sacks on the day, not including one that was negated to a taunting penalty on Framingham State.
“We had a hard time picking up their four defensive linemen and then later in the game they were sending edge pressures,” said Curry head coach Skip Bandini. “They were a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, and a little bit faster; they have a lot of talent.”
The Colonels couldn’t even get their highly-touted ground game going that averaged 189.9 yards per game earlier in the season. On Saturday, they could only muster 21 rushing yards on 28 attempts.
One of the bright spots on offense was the connection between Corvese and receiver Spencer Tyler. The two hooked up for 75 yards on nine receptions and a touchdown in the first quarter. Sophomore Nick Villanueva contributed 92 yards on just four catches.
The loss certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort on Curry’s part, however. Bandini felt his team did a good job defending Framingham until the playmakers took over.
“They did a good job, I’m proud as hell of them, there’s really no quit in them,” reiterated Bandini.
Despite the bowl-game loss, the Colonels enjoyed an 8-3 record which marks the most successful season the program has had since the 2009 campaign. That year, Curry also finished at 8-3 and fell to Maine Maritime in the New England Football Conference Championship, 48-42.
Bandini doesn’t believe this season was a fluke and that there will be plenty more to come from the program.
“We just go back, get a little smarter, a little faster, recruit a couple more kids and we’ll knock their ass off next year,” said Bandini emphatically.
With a departing senior class of key contributors on both sides of the ball, the Colonels will certainly have their work cut out for them.
Corvese, Tyler, and lineman Ryan Boucher leave holes on the offense while defensive linemen Joseph Grogan and Joe Surace, linebacker Steven Grogan, and defensive back Jack O’Rourke all vacate the defensive side of the ball for the Purple and White.