Saturday's Game: Maine Maritime Academy (0-5, 0-3 NEWMAC) at United States Coast Guard Academy (4-2, 2-1 NEWMAC), 1:30 pm, Cadet Memorial Field, New London, Conn.
Series History: Coast Guard Academy holds a 9-6 all-time record over the Mariners, and a 5-3 advantage when hosting. The two teams first met in 1970.
Last Meeting: Senior Corey Creeger amassed 329 yards of total offense, threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another to lead Maine Maritime Academy football to a 34-16 win over Coast Guard Academy in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday at Ritchie Field.
Creeger recorded 212 yards on 26 carries as the Mariners totaled 441 yards of total offense, including 324 rushing yards, while holding Coast Guard to just 230 total yards. The Maine Maritime defense was instrumental in the victory, tallying five sacks and three interceptions.
The Mariners put together a 14-play scoring drive on the opening possession of the game, using just over eight minutes before Creeger threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to freshman Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine) on 4th-and-5 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
Coast Guard's Patrick Crowley blocked the extra point and senior Will Daniels returned it all the way to make the score 6-2.
Following an exchange of punts, sophomore Trenton Bouchard (Winslow, Maine) intercepted Coast Guard's quarterback Ryan Jones at the Mariner-45 and on the next play Creeger ran 55 yards for a touchdown. The two point conversion pass failed making the score 12-2 with 2:19 left in the first quarter.
Coast Guard responded on a 3-yard run from Jones to cap an 83-yard drive to make it 12-9 following Cole Austin's extra point with 13:04 left in the first half. Darius Adams had a key 18-yard reception during the drive on the final play of the first quarter when he and junior John Bennett (Chelsea, Maine) both came down with the ball at the Mariner-18 and by rule, the ball stays with the offense.
On the next drive, Maine Maritime capitalized on a running into the kicker penalty by Coast Guard on 4th-and-5. Jacob Doolan's 3-yard touchdown run on 4th and 2 pushed the Mariner lead to 18-9. Doolan's two-point conversion run made the score 20-9 with 56 seconds left the half. During the 22-play drive that took 12 minutes off the clock, Creeger converted on 4th-and-1 with a 1-yard run to the Coast Guard 11.
Maine Maritime dominated the time of possession in the first half as they had the ball for over 22 minutes in the first 30 minutes. The Bears had just eight plays for 18 yards in the second quarter.
The Mariners led 20-9 at halftime but the Bears scored on the opening possession of the second half on a 5-yard touchdown run by senior Cam Cecchini with 10:43 left in the third quarter. Austin's kick cut the deficit to 20-16.
Following an exchange of punts, Creeger's 56-yard run gave the Mariners the ball at the Coast Guard 17 and Doolan's 5-yard touchdown run pushed the lead to 26-16. Creeger's two-point conversion pass to freshman Mason Kaserman (Portland, Maine) made it 28-16 with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
Coast Guard recovered pair of fumbles in Mariner territory in the fourth quarter, one by Titus Creamer and the other by Jake Behne, but the Maine Maritime defense stood strong, forcing the Bears to turn over the ball on downs the first time before an interception by John Bennett on the Mariner-10 on 4th and long with 4:42 left.
Creeger found Kaserman for a 90-yard touchdown reception to give the Mariners a comfortable 34-16 lead with 4:21 left in the game and the victory.
Alec Clark led the Mariner defense with 16 tackles, including nine solo stops and a sack for a loss of 10 yards. Derek Breunig (Westbrook, Maine) added 10 tackles (four solo), including two tackles for a loss of 25 yards and a sack. John Bennett ended the afternoon with nine tackles (four solo), an interception and a broken up pass. Andrew Plata (Cumberland, R.I.) and Bouchard added the other interceptions for the Mariners, while both Spencer Baron (Mariaville, Maine) and Cody O'Brien tallied forced fumbles.
R.J. Robiskie led the Bears with 10 tackles, while teammate Mark Wicke chipped in with eight stops.
Maine Maritime Academy's Last Game: Maine Maritime Academy football fell to MIT, 35-0, last Saturday afternoon in NEWMAC action at Ritchie Field.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Mariners were unsuccessful on their opening drive. The Engineers responded by orchestrating a 10-play 53-yard drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Udgam Goyal to Jack Bernatchez and a good extra-point attempt by Hayden Rome to make it 7-0.
The Engineers forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and regained possession at the Maine Maritime 24-yard line. MIT capitalized on the good field possession and added another touchdown, this time on a three-yard carry by Miguel Wagner, to make it 14-0 late in the first quarter. MIT added two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-0 advantage into halftime.
The Mariners held the Engineers scoreless in the third quarter, and put together a 15-play 64-yard drive to early in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a 19-yard rush by Maxwell Horton (Eliot, Maine) on a fourth down. The Engineers held the Mariners forcing a field goal try, but the attempt was blocked.
MIT added another touchdown in the fourth to take the victory.
Maine Maritime amassed 107 yards in the air, surpassing 100 passing yards for the fifth-consecutive game.
Quarterbacks Bailey Sawyer (Westbrook, Maine) and Zackery Brannon (Buxton, Maine) combined for the 107 passing yards for Maine Maritime, throwing 66 yards and 41 yards respectively, while Mason Kaserman led the Mariners receivers with 32 yards on two catches.
Defensively, Terrell Thomas (Auburn, Maine) continued his impressive freshman campaign with 15 tackles, including seven solo stops, a tackle for a loss of one yard and a broken up pass. Aren Dickman (Scarborough, Maine) and Justin Pinard (New Boston, N.H.) chipped in with 10 tackles each, with Pinard adding 1.5 tackles for a loss of two yards.
Goyal ended the afternoon with 192 yards on 15 completions and three touchdowns. Eric Bradford pulled down four catches for 69 yards and a score and Wagner recorded 83 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Sam Gozelski led the Engineers with six tackle, including a sack for 13 yards.
Coast Guard Academy's Last Game: Springfield quarterback Hunter Belzo ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns and also threw a touchdown pass leading Springfield to a 26-12 win over Coast Guard in the battle of New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) unbeatens.
Belzo carried 31 times for 207 yards and was 2 of 5 for 39 yards and a touchdown as he finished with 352 yards of total offense, 313 rushing and 39 passing.
Coast Guard had 305 total yards, 210 passing and 95 on the ground. Sophomore Chris Gardner led the Bears with 15 carries for 93 yards.
Junior quarterback Ryan Jones was 8 of 18 for 111 yards while sophomore Justin Moffatt was 2 of 3 for 49 yards and junior Miguel Moroles was 1 of 2 for 29 yards with an interception.
Moffatt, who leads the NEWMAC in receptions and yards, had a game-high seven receptions for 76 yards. He went over the 1,000 receiving yard mark an now has 1,039 career yards, 601 this season.
Coast Guard went three-and-out on the opening possession and Andrew Papiro returned a punt 73 yards to give the Pride a 7-0 lead with 12:45 left in the first quarter.
The Bears got on the board on a 43-yard field goal by senior Cole Austin with 2:25 left in the first quarter to cut the lead to 7-3.
The second big special teams play of the half came when Springfield's Ryan McCarthy returned the kickoff 70 yards to the Bear 26 and the Pride needed just one play to score as Belzo threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Deguire to make the score 13-3 with 2:08 left in the opening quarter.
Coast Guard senior Chip Crowley blocked the extra point and junior Michael Goldsworthy returned it 98 yards for two points to make the score 13-5.
The Bears had 92 total yards in the first quarter while Springfield, which had the ball for just 5:39 had 63 total yards, but the two key special teams returns were the key in opening quarter.
Belzo had a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:27 left in the first half to cap a six play, 69 yard drive to push the lead to 20-5.
The Pride had 165 total yards in the first half, 126 rushing while the Bears had 135 first half yards, 110 of those in the air.
Sophomore Chris Gardner's 2-yard run with 9:43 left in the third quarter cut the deficit to 20-12. The big play in the drive was a 54-yard pass from Jones to junior Liam Middleton down to the 2-yard line.
The Coast Guard defense forced a punt and then an interception on a trick play gave the Ball back to the Pride at their own 10 with 4:05 left in the quarter.
The Bears defense stepped up again and force a punt and the Bears drove to the Pride 26, but turned it over on downs with 12:07 left.
The Pride missed a 42-yard field goal attempt with 8:16 left keeping it a one score game, but Jones was sacked and fumbled at the Bear 8 yard line and Belzo closed the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run with 7:23 left in the game.
Senior linebacker Jake Behne led the Bears with 11 tackles while senior defensive tackle Nate Harvey finished with 10 tackles.
The Mariners: The Mariners average 199 yards per game, including 171 passing yards per game. Bailey Sawyer leads the Mariners with 742 passing yards on 52 completions and five touchdowns, while Dominic Casale leads the receivers with 366 yards on 25 catches and four touchdowns. Cooper Chiasson (Carthage, Maine) leads the running backs with 148 yards on 61 carriers.
Defensively Derek Breunig leads the Mariners with 44 total tackles, including 21 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss of 22 yards, a sack for 10 yards and a broken up pass. Freshman Terrell Thomas leads the team with 24 solo stops and also has 16 assisted tackles, for 40 total tackles, a tackle for a loss of one yard and a broken up pass.
The Bears: The Bears average 378.5 yards, including 218 passing yards. Ryan Jones leads the Bears with 1,135 passing yards on 88 completions and four touchdowns. Chris Gardner leads the Bears' running backs with 385 yards on 84 carries and four touchdowns and Justin Moffatt leads the receivers with 601 yards on 43 catches and a touchdown.
Defensively, Jake Behne leads the team with 52 total tackles, including 26 solo stops, 2.5 tackles for a loss of five yards, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and four broken up passes. Patrick Crowley leads the team with 32 solo tackles and R.J. Robiskie leads the team with 5.5 sacks for 25 yards.