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Silva, Orlando snare Gold Helmets

Posted by Craig Larson, Globe Staff  September 14, 2011 05:22 PM

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A week before the season, Framingham State had questions at quarterback.

There are no questions now after the spectacular debut of freshman Matt Silva.

silvaframing.jpgIn his first career start, the Dracut High product threw five touchdown passes and ran for another -- all in the first half -- of the Rams' 54-13 New England Football Conference win over visiting Nichols last Friday night.

"I think we have found our quarterback," said Framingham State coach Tom Kelley, who was at Harvard's Dillon Fieldhouse Wednesday to present his young QB with this week's Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet for Division 2-3 at the New England Football Writers luncheon.

Kelley and his staff were forced to call a late audible in late August when all-NEFC signal caller Kurt Leone was denied a fifth year of elibility by the NCAA. He delivered 33 touchdowns passes in his only season with the Rams after transferring from Merrimack.
Silva and sophomore Dino Mancinelli shared time in the opener, a 33-13 loss to Endicott, "but we had to make a decision on one," said Kelley.

Silva made the most of his opportunity, directing the Rams to scores on their first seven possessions while completing all 14 of his passes for 234 yards. He also picked up 58 yards on five carries and converted 6 of his 7 extra point attempts.

"This was like living a dream," said the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Silva. "I was more nervous for our first game against Endicott. This game, I was just more excited. We had a good game plan, and I thought that we could take advantage.

The Rams (1-1) play at Salve Regina (1-1) on Saturday.

New Hampshire junior receiver Joey Orland earned the helmet for Division 1. Playing in front of his hometown fans in Bethlehem, Pa., Orlando scored a career-high three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a 48-41 overtime win over host Lehigh. After catching a touchdown in the second quarter and returning a punt 57 yards for another touchdown in the third, he capped off the day with a 25-yard touchdown reception on the first play of overtime, which proved to be the game winner. Orlando eclipsed his career best with 166 receiving yards on 10 catches. The performance brought him over 1,000 yards receiving for his career.

The Wildcats (1-1) have a bye this week.

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