Mariners Capture Overtime Thriller
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior quarterback Matthew Rende (Augusta, Maine) rushed for 151 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead Maine Maritime Academy to a 36-34 double overtime victory over Westfield State University in a New England Football Conference Bogan Division game on Saturday, Oct. 8.
The Mariners, who rallied from a 14-0 deficit, improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Bogan Divison. The Owls dropped to 2-4 and 1-2. It was the second overtime setback in three weeks for Westfield, who lost at home to Worcester State in triple overtime, 42-40, on Sept. 24.
Rende turned in the biggest play of the game with 10:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. He ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-one situation from the Mariners' 26-yard line. Rende broke thru the Owls' goal line defense and cut to his left, outracing a Westfield defender down the left sideline.
Rende's long run made the score 21-19 as the Mariners had an extra point blocked by Owl defensive end Chris Walker in the third quarter. Maine Maritime knotted the score at 21-all when fullback Tom Marcisso (Scarborough, Maine) rushed for the two-point conversion.
Maine Maritime had an opportunity to win the game in regulation but Michael Brennan's (Manchester, Maine) 36-yard field goal attempt was wide right with 4:53 remaining.
In the first overtime, the Owls took a 28-21 lead on a three-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Steve Guercio to tight end Jake Storey in the back of the end zone. Kennan Startzell remained perfect in PATs this season by splitting the uprights.
Maine Maritime tied the score at 28-28 on its first possession when Rende lofted a pass in the right flat to running back Nick Bourassa (Jay, Maine) for a 24-yard touchdown.
The Mariners had the first possession in the second overtime and scored on the first play when Rende scampered 25 yards, breaking several tackles, for a touchdown. In the all-important conversion attempt, the Mariners opted to go for two points. Marcisso bulled his way across the goal line from three yards out to make the score 36-28.
Westfield responded by scoring a touchdown on a 12-yard pass, rifled thru two defenders, from Guercio to Storey. The Owls were unable to convert the two-point conversion and Guercio lofted a pass to Justin Karrat in the right corner of the end zone that glanced off his fingertips.
The Owls started strongly, stopping the Mariners dangerous triple option while the Westfield offensive line opened huge holes for the running backs. Westfield opened the scoring on its first drive on a 51-yard touchdown run by freshman Michael Mercadante, who rushed for a game-high 186 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
Westfield took a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 12-play, 55-yard scoring drive that was set up by a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Cam Green. Sophomore running back Brian Beauchemin, who finished with 65 yards rushing on 19 carries, scored from the two-yard line to make it 14-0.
Maine Maritime finally got its option clicking in the second quarter. Pinned inside their own one-yard line after Joey Shisler downed a Dan Dowling punt, the Mariners marched 99 yards in 18 plays, scoring on Bourassa's three-yard plunge with 3:57 left in the first half.
The Mariners scored midway through the third period when Bourassa capped a 10-play, 58-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. The scoring drive started after Westfield just missed moving the sticks on a fake punt attempt and the Mariners took over on downs. Walker blocked the PAT as Westfield remained ahead, 14-13.
The Owls took a 21-13 lead late in the third quarter on a one-yard TD run by Mercadante. The seven-play 32-yard drive was set up by Erik Wellhoff's 13-yard interception return.
Westfield had its best rushing attack of the season, with 259 yards on 50 carries. Guercio completed 10 of 17 passes for 86 yards and two scores in his first collegiate start.
The Mariners racked up 359 yards rushing on 67 carries. Ian Champeon (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries and Bourassa had 75 yards on 15 totes.
Brock Lawrence (Benton, Maine) led the Mariners defensively with 10 tackles and an interception that thwarted an Owl scoring threat late in the first half. Alex Hermes (Fallsington, Pa.) also had 10 tackles. Westfield linebacker Justin Ehrhardt posted a game-high 12 tackles and strong safety Ryan O'Connell had nine tackles and an interception.
Maine Maritime returns to action next Saturday against Framingham State.
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||OT||Score|
|Maine Maritime||0||7||6||8||15||36||Record: (4-1,2-1)|
|Westfield State||14||0||7||0||13||34||Record: (2-4,1-2)|
|1st||10:46||WES||M. Mercadante 51 yd run (K. Startzell kick), 5-72 2:24, MEM 0 - WES 7|
|02:30||WES||B. Beauchemin 2 yd run (K. Startzell kick), 12-55 6:39, MEM 0 - WES 14|
|2nd||03:57||MEM||Nick Bourassa 3 yd run (Michael Brennan kick), 18-99 8:19, MEM 7 - WES 14|
|3rd||08:49||MEM||Nick Bourassa 11 yd run (Michael Brennan kick blockd), 10-58 5:12, MEM 13 - WES 14|
|01:32||WES||M. Mercadante 1 yd run (K. Startzell kick), 7-32 3:43, MEM 13 - WES 21|
|4th||10:33||MEM||Matthew Rende 74 yd run (Ian Champeon rush), 4-83 1:47, MEM 21 - WES 21|
|OT||15:00||WES||Jake Storey 3 yd pass from Steve Guercio (K. Startzell kick), 4-75 0:00, MEM 21 - WES 28|
|15:00||MEM||Nick Bourassa 24 yd pass from Matthew Rende (Michael Brennan kick), 2-25 0:00, MEM 28 - WES 28|
|15:00||MEM||Matthew Rende 25 yd run (Tom Marcisso rush), 1-25 0:00, MEM 36 - WES 28|
|15:00||WES||Jake Storey 12 yd pass from Steve Guercio (Steve Guercio pass failed), 5-25 0:00, MEM 36 - WES 34|
|PASSING YDS (NET)||41||86|
|TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS||75-400||67-395|
|Third-Down Conversions||3 of 14||9 of 16|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||4 of 5||0 of 1|
|Sacks By: Number-Yards||1-11||1-3|
RUSHING: Maine Maritime-Matthew Rende 21-151; Ian Champeon 26-116; Nick Bourassa 15-75; Cameron Panciera 4-17; Ryan O'Neal 1-0. Westfield State-M. Mercadante 26-186; B. Beauchemin 19-115; Justin Karrat 2-18; Steve Guercio 3-minus 10.
PASSING: Maine Maritime-Matthew Rende 3-7-2-41; TEAM 0-1-0-0. Westfield State-Steve Guercio 10-17-1-86.
RECEIVING: Maine Maritime-Michael Brennan 2-17; Nick Bourassa 1-24. Westfield State-Jake Storey 3-20; Kevin Nicol 2-39; Steve Guercio 1-13; Kane Terilli 1-8; Kevin Parnell 1-7; Andrew Buanno 1-6; M. Mercadante 1-minus 7.
INTERCEPTIONS: Maine Maritime-Brock Lawrence 1-0. Westfield State-Ryan O'Connell 1-39; B. Beauchemin 1-13.
FUMBLES: Maine Maritime-Ian Champeon 1-1; Matthew Rende 1-0. Westfield State-Kevin Parnell 1-0; TEAM 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): Maine Maritime-Andrew Hammond 1-0. Westfield State-Anthony Laramee 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Maine Maritime-Alex Hermes 5-5; Brock Lawrence 5-5; Joel Chadbourne 5-2; Ryan Williams 6-0; Ryan O'Neal 4-2; Andrew Hammond 3-1; Chris Brawn 3-1; Nick Cawood 1-3; John Regis 2-1; Frank True 2-1; Jacob Albon 2-1; Michael Collins 1-2; Matthew Rende 1-1; Matthew Ball 1-0; Cameron Panciera 1-0; Michael Brennan 1-0; Alexander Morrison 0-1; Bill Wetherbee 0-1; Christopher Hale 0-1. Westfield State-Justin Ehrhardt 6-6; Ryan O'Connell 6-3; Dan Dowling 6-2; Mike Szydlowski 3-5; Kevin Duffy 2-5; Jeff Smith 4-1; Anthony Raneri 2-3; Mike Mizzoni 2-3; Chris Walker 2-3; Cam Green 2-3; Anthony Laramee 2-3; Erik Wellhoff 4-0; Jarrett Ober 0-2; Nick Adams 1-0; K. Startzell 1-0; Gregg Jackson 1-0; Justin Karrat 0-1; Timmy Rich 0-1; Kevin Parnell 0-1.