SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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November 20, 2013

Salem's Van Alstyne sets rare mark at Framingham State heading into playoffs

(Continued)

“I feel like it’s because I’ve been playing with great players,” Van Alstyne said. “The milestones are a credit to the offensive line — and all our guys. I’ve been around great character guys, and we’ve given each other more drive than anything.”

This weekend, Van Alstyne will be playing for some hometown bragging rights, too. Ithaca is the alma mater of Salem High head coach Scott Connolly, who plans to go to the game to root on both his school and the player he helped graduate with the Witches’ all-time rushing mark.

“It’s a small world,” said Van Alstyne. “For us, we just can’t lose our composure. We’re on the the road and they’ll have their students there all riled up. It’s going to be a blast.”

Framingham State quarterback Matt Silva, who had a strong career at Dracut High, has developed a strong chemistry with his running back. The two of them are often the only ones in the backfield in FSU’s spread formation and have been feeding off each other for the last two seasons.

“He’s a gamer. We’ve been communicating really well and he’s really quick back there,” Van Asltyne said of his QB, who has thrown 19 TD passes.

Van Alstyne is listed at 190 pounds and has taken great care to make sure he can take the tackles that come with being a lead running back in college football.

“Part of it is knowing when to break tackles and when to slash. I try not to let anyone get a big hit on me,” he said. “It’s a lot of training before the season and keeping up on those gym sessions.”

Framingham State’s placekicker is Peabody High graduate Sean Wlasuk, who has 34 PATs on the year.

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