DANBURY, CT - Junior running back Duane Gary (New Haven, CT) and senior quarterback Quinn Fleeting (Windsor, CT) led the Western Connecticut State University football team to a convincing 49-23 victory over Worcester State University at the Westside Athletic Complex on Saturday night, before a Homecoming crowd over 2,302.
Gary led all rushers with 123 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown, an 18-yarder early on in the third quarter to give the Colonials a 42-16 advantage.
Fleeting, a three-time Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week already, completed 13 of 17 passes for 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His scores were to Austin Calamita (North Branford, CT) to open the game's scoring at the 9:56 mark of the first stanza, and a 39-yard strike to Zatrell Lyons (New Haven, CT) late in the second quarter.
Fleeting also scored on a three-yard run to cap off an 11-play, 91-yard drive and give WestConn a 14-3 lead with 8:40 remaining in the second quarter.
Lyons finished with a team-high 72 receiving yards on three grabs.
WestConn led, 35-3, with 1:47 remaining before intermission, but Worcester State's Jacob Maher was on the end of a 34-yard pass from Noah Brum with 59 seconds remaining in the second quarter to cut the visitor's deficit to 35-10 at the break.
"Tonight was a really good team win," stated WestConn head coach Joe Loth. "We knew Worcester State was a good team and jumping out to the lead early, really helped."
Maher and Brum connected again with just 1:23 elapsed in the third quarter and WestConn realized the Lancers were not folding up their tents as they closed to within 19 points, 35-16.
Brum completed 22 of 36 passes for 172 yards and three TDs, all to Maher. His scores came from 34 yards, 13 and 11 as Maher amassed 93 yards on a team-high six catches.
Fleeting would convert just 3-of-5 pass attempts for 38 yards in the third quarter before yielding to junior back-up signal caller Tom Balacki (Huntington, NY) for the final 15 minutes.
Khalil Patterson (Hartford, CT) added stability in the Colonials' running game as he carried the ball 19 times for 94 yards.
Stevie Swinson (New Haven, CT) got the bulk of the carries down the stretch and finished with 36 yards on seven carries for the winners.
"It was great getting back to running the football at a high level," added Loth.
Frank Catanoso registered a team-high 66 yards on just three carries for Worcester State, including a 59-yarder late in the contest.
Dexter Andrews had 12 carries for 56 yards for the Lancers.
Defensively, Doug Katz (Monroe, CT) led the Colonials with six tackles.
Stanley Udor had a game-high nine tackles, including one for a loss, for Worcester State, which drops to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the MASCAC.
The Colonials held a sugnificant advantage in offensive yards on the night, amassing 505 yards to the Lancers' 370.
WestConn, which host Massachusetts Maritime next Saturday at 5 pm, improves to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.