GAME NOTES: Maine Maritime vs. Holland College (PEI, Canada)
The Game will be streamed live and on demand here.
Series History: Saturday's game marks the first meeting between Maine Maritime Academy and Holland College.
Against Canadian Teams: Saturday's game marks the first meeting between Maine Maritime and Holland College, but it does not mark the first time Maine Maritime has faced a Canadian opponent. The Mariners are 5-2 against Canadian opponents.
Exhibition Designation: Saturday's game is officially an exhibition. That designation simply means that the game does not count towards the statistical record for the NCAA's purposes. Unlike a controlled scrimmage where situations are set by coaches, this is a full 60-minute football game, dictated by the circumstances of the players on the field.
Kongsberg Cup: Saturday, two schools with Maritime ties will battle for the Kongsberg Cup. Kongsberg Maritime provides innovative and reliable solutions for merchant marine, offshore, subsea, navy, coastal marine, fisheries, simulation & training, port & harbour surveillance and more. Michael Muti of Kongsberg will present the trophy to the winning team at the end of Saturday's game.
Season Openers: Maine Maritime is 37-30-1 in the season's first game since the Mariners began playing football in 1946. Since 2000, MMA has gone 7-7 in the season opener. Under Chris McKenney, the Mariners are 6-6 in the season opener. The Mariners are 3-2 in their last five season openers, having dropped the first game of 2012 and 2013.
Home Openers: In the Chris McKenney era, Maine Maritime is 6-7 in the first game of the season at Ritchie Field. McKenney's Mariners are 3-2 in the last five home openers.
Holland College: Located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Holland College specializes in tourism and hospitality, justice, health, marine studies, aviation, industrial trades, computer technology, and media and communications. Students at Holland College enjoy hands on learning at a career-oriented college, which shares a maritime heritage. The Marine Training Centre at Holland College has been providing Transport Canada-approved training for more than four decades. The centre has earned an international reputation for its exceptional quality of instruction, excellent facilities and convenient location. In addition to the full range of certification from Deckhand to Master Mariner, and Engine Rating to Chief Engineer, the centre offers a number of specialized courses.
The Story of the 2013 Hurricanes: The Hurricanes went 4-4-1 in 2013, winning two of their final three games. Their final victory of the year, a 20-12 defeat of the St. John Seawolves, brought home the Moosehead Cup, given to the Atlantic Football League Champions. Following the championship, Holland was swamped by the NFCA powerhouse, University of Vermont, in their season finale. Ten of Holland's football players were presented with Hurricanes Scholar Awards, including Jay Dearborn (Energy Systems Engineering Technology), the Special Teams Player of the Year in the Atlantic Football League.
Rush Hour: Maine Maritime returns to the gridiron to defend its NCAA Division III statistical championship for rushing yards per game. The Mariners rolled up 376.2 yards per contest in 2013, making it the third most productive season on the ground in Maine Maritime's prolific rushing history. The 2013 Mariners averaged 5.82 yards per rush, the fourth best average per carry season on record. The 2010 Mariners plowed ahead for 471.6 yards per game, averaging 7.83 yards per carry and finding the end zone 60 times.
This year's rushing attack returns three of five starters on the offensive line along with quarterback Michael Fahey's 877 yards and 15 touchdowns. Josh Doolan brings his 6.6 yard per carry back to the attack for his sophomore campaign. The Mariners must replace fullback Billy Wetherbee, who amassed 1,467 yards in 2013.
Captains: John MacDonald and Alex Morrison will represent the Mariners as the team's captains in 2014. MacDonald is a senior Marine Engineering Operations major, while Morrison is a senior in the Power Engineering Technology program.
All-Conference Returnee: MacDonald is the Mariners only returning All-New England Football Conference selection. The senior was a Second Team choice at guard after Maine Maritime reached 300 rushing yards in two games, hit 400 yards in two games and broke 500 yards in two contests.
The New DC: Andy Byron joins the staff as the Defensive Coordinator having spent the last three seasons at Springfield College. The Pride posted a 21-10 mark and made two ECAC Bowl appearances with Byron coaching the secondary and outside linebackers during his tenure. He coached four all league selections and one ECAC North All-Star at Springfield. Byron recruited throughout New England and was instrumental in reshaping the team's defensive system. Byron graduated from Springfield in 2009 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He earned his Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration while coaching for the Pride.
High Honors: John Harper, Commissioner of the New England Football Conference (NEFC) will be in attendance Saturday along with The Gold Ball, the NEFC's championship trophy. The trophy has received a makeover, and will be dedicated on Saturday in honor of William J. Mottola. A retired Director of Athletics, Mottola joined the Maine Maritime staff in 1967. He coached football, baseball and wrestling, and served as the commissioner of the NEFC. Maine Maritime is one of two remaining charter members of the NEFC, and is the only institution that has been a full member since the league was founded.