Saturday's Game: Maine Maritime Academy (1-6, 1-4 NEWMAC) vs. Springfield College (8-0, 5-0 NEWMAC), 12:00 pm, Ritchie Field, Castine, Maine.
Series History: This is the first-ever meeting between Maine Maritime Academy and Springfield College.
Maine Maritime Academy's Last Game: The Mariners enter Saturday's game after coming off a bye week. Maine Maritime Academy fell in their last game to Norwich University on October 21.
Norwich University outscored the Mariners 10-7 in the second half to edge the Mariners 24-22 in NEWMAC play.
The Mariners were forced to punt on their opening possession and the Cadets answered with a 7-play 69-yard scoring drive to take a 7-0 lead. The scoring drive was capped off with one-yard touchdown rush by Steve Cuqua and a good extra point from Clyde Tamburro.
Norwich held the Mariners on their next possession and the Cadets doubled their lead to 14-0 on a 33-yard touchdown carry by Matthew Chaffee.
On Maine Maritime's next possession Corey Creeger connected with Dominic Casale for a 35-yard completion and again for an 11-yard grab to set up a three-yard touchdown catch by Casale and a good extra point by Creeger, cutting Norwich's lead to 14-7.
Maine Maritime's defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Andrew Plata (Cumberland, R.I.) midway through the second quarter. The turnover set up an 11-play 65-yard scoring drive by the Mariners, capped off by a three-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion by Jacob Doolan (Fairfield, Maine) to give the Mariners a 15-14 lead entering halftime.
Norwich scored 10 points in the third quarter to take a 24-14 lead and despite a late-game touchdown carry by Joel Bennett, the Cadets held on for the victory.
Creeger ended the afternoon with 75 passing yards on six completions and 60 rushing yards on 22 carries. James Ferrar led Maine Maritime with 90 yards on 14 carries and Casale pulled down five catches for 69 yards.
Cuqua led the Norwich offense with 137 rushing yards on 21 carries, while Cahan Quinn led the Cadets defensively with 17 tackles, including eight solo stops, and a forced fumble.
Springfield College's Last Game: Springfield College also enters Saturday's game following a bye week. The Pride picked up a 68-20 victory over Catholic on October 21 in NEWMAC play.
The Pride's rushing attack churned out 625 yards, averaging 9.6 yards per carry, en route to 27 of Springfield's 29 first downs. Springfield scored touchdowns on its first 10 possessions and put up 48 points in the first half. Jordan Wilcox continued to shine as the fullback delivered 212 yards and three scores on just 13 first-half carries. Quarterback Jake Eglintine added 134 yards and two scores on 13 carries, while Chad Shade just three carries to total 106 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Luke Jimenez had a team-high seven stops to go along with a pick, while Josh Corporan tallied six tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble. Nick Giorgio added three tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.
Catholic's Alejandro Ros went 15-for-25 for 153 yards, two scores, and two interceptions, while Pedro Garcia rushed for 48 yards. Nick Della Jacono had a game-high 11 stops, and Nick Warner chipped in nine stops. The Cardinals finished the game with 323 yards of total offense, including 209 through the air.
Wilcox punched in the game's first score just 58 seconds into the contest as he needed just three carries to produced 68 yards on the game's opening drive. After forcing a turnover on downs, Hunter Belzo took a pitch down the right sideline for a 10-yard score, capping off a 10-play, 68-yard drive with 5:38 left in the quarter. Following Jimenez's interception, which gave the Pride the ball at the Catholic 48, Eglintine added the Pride's third score of the quarter on an 18-yard run with 2:35 on the clock.
Springfield recorded 239 rushing yards in the second quarter and scored four more touchdowns to make it 48-0 with 1:32 remaining. Wilcox plunged in for a one-yard score 1:51 into the stanza before Ishmael Glasco ran 12 yards up the gut for a score at the 9:46 mark. Eglintine added his second of the game on a 31-yard score after a Corporan interception, and thanks to an AJ Smith fumble recovery, Wilcox powered his way through multiple Catholic defenders for a highlight-reel 35-yard score with 1:32 to play. Catholic responded with their first score of the game with 21 seconds remaining on a four-yard toss from Ros to Blake Gomez.
The Cardinals scored first in the second half, using a 12-play, 71-yard drive that ate up over six minutes off the clock and was capped off by a 23-yard strike from Ros to Onani Moore. On the ensuing drive, Catholic got a heavy dose of Joshua Thomas, as the fullback carried the ball seven-straight times before finding the end zone from a yard out with 3:39 remaining.
Just 50 seconds into the fourth, Shade broke free for a 46 yards score, and just 2:03 later, the sophomore quarterback eluded several would-be tacklers before busting free down the left sideline for a 56-yard touchdown to make it 68-14 with 12:07 remaining. Catholic would complete the scoring with a 33-yard heave with no time remaining on the clock, as Gomez hauled in the score from Jorge Pola.
The Mariners: Corey Creeger leads Maine Maritime's offense with 695 passing yards on 33 completions and five touchdown passes. On the ground, Creeger also leads the Mariners with 624 rushing yards on 154 carries and eight touchdowns. Jordan Susi leads the Maine Maritime receivers with 277 yards on 12 catches and a touchdown and Mason Kaserman has 236 yards on six catches and three touchdowns.
Defensively, John Bennett and Alec Clark lead the Mariners with 61 tackles each. Bennett also has three interceptions for 60 yards, three broken up passes, one sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Clark has 1.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble.
As a team, the Mariners average 313.1 yards per game, including 200.9 rushing yards per game. Maine Maritime averages 18.7 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 40.7 points per game.
Maine Maritime leads the NEWMAC and ranks second among NCAA DIII teams in fewest penalties per game (3.29), fewest penalty yards per game (25.43) and passing yards per completion (21.83).
The Pride: Jake Eglintine has 299 passing yards on 14 completions and five touchdowns, while also amassing 690 rushing yards on 115 carries and 12 touchdowns. Jordan Wilcox leads the team with 1,241 rushing yards on 174 carries and 13 touchdowns. Tyler Hyde leads Springfield's receivers with 135 yards on four catches, while both Jedi Haynes and Jakai Whittingham have two touchdown receptions.
Defensively, Dominic Traversa leads the team with 45 tackles, including 22 solo stops, 8.5 tackles for a loss of 19 yards, two sacks for nine yards and an interception. Nick Giorgio has 40 tackles, 27 solo, 16.5 tackles for a loss of 87 yards, 7.5 sacks for 52 yards, three broken up passes and a pair of interceptions.
As a team, the Pride average 491.4 yards per game, including a NCAA Division III leading 448 rushing yards per game. Springfield College averages 44.3 points per game while only allowing opponents to score 12.8 points per game.