THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – Maine Maritime Academy football fell to SUNY Maritime 24-21 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams at Reinhart Field.
The Mariners amassed 268 yards of total offense, including 202 passing yards but the Privateers scored 17-unanswered points in the final five minutes, including a 43-yard field goal with one second left in the game, to secure the come-from-behind victory.
Maine Maritime returns to action next Saturday, September 14 at Plymouth State at 1:00 pm.
The Privateers (1-0) scored on the opening drive, a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown carry from Hezekiah Williamson and an extra point from Joseph Gagliardi.
The Mariners (0-1) forced a fumble on the Privateers' next drive setting up a 7-play, 46-yard drive that was capped off by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nikolas Moquin (Goffstown, N.H.) to Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine) and a good extra point from Maxwell Horton (Eliot, Maine) to tie the game at 7-7.
Maine Maritime's defense forced a Privateer punt and Moquin connected with Casale again, this time on the first play of the Mariners' drive, with a 33-yard toss, to make it 13-7.
The Mariner defense came up big at the end of the half, when Joel Bennett (Chelsea, Maine) picked off SUNY's Robert Wheeler and the Mariners entered halftime with a six-point lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Mariners extended their lead to 21-7 when Moquin connected with Mason Kaserman (Portland, Maine) for a 54-yard touchdown reception and then ran the ball in for the two-point conversion, but the Privateers answered with a touchdown of their own on their next drive to cut the lead to 21-14.
SUNY's defense came up with an interception on the Mariners' drive and the Privateers used a 7-play 35-yard drive to tie the game at 21-21. The Mariners were forced to punt with less than a minute remaining and the Privateers escaped with the victory on the foot of Gagliardi, who hit a 43-yarder with one second left.
Moquin led the Mariner offense completing 12 passes, for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while Casale led the receivers with 95 yards on five catches and two touchdowns.
Defensively Spencer Baron (Mariaville, Maine) led the Mariners with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, a fumble recovery and a broken up pass. Terrell Thomas (Auburn, Maine) racked up nine tackles, six solo, and Bennett had seven tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Wheeler led the Privateers with 148 passing yards on 15 completions, a touchdown and 99 rushing yards on 16 carries. Liam Bailey led the Privateer defense with seven tackles, four solo, and a tackle for a loss of one yard.