Game Notes: Maine Maritime Academy at MIT

Game Notes: Maine Maritime Academy at MIT

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Saturday's Game: Maine Maritime Academy (0-5, 0-2 NEWMAC) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2-2, 1-1 NEWMAC), 12:00 pm, Roberts Field, Cambridge, Mass.

Series History: The Engineers hold a 7-0 all-time record over the Mariners in a rivalry that dates back to 2008. The past six meetings have been conference matchups, as both teams joined the NEWMAC from the NEFC. Last season, the Mariners fell to MIT, 35-0 in Castine.

Last Meeting: Maine Maritime Academy football fell to MIT, 35-0, last season on October 6, 2018 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 and Zackery Brannon (Buxton, Maine) combined for the 107 passing yards for Maine Maritime, throwing 66 yards and 41 yards respectively, while Mason Kaserman (Portland, Maine) 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 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.

Maine Maritime Academy's Last Game: Nikolas Moquin (Goffstown, N.H.) amassed 298 passing yards to set a new single-game record and teammate Dominic Casale (Freeport, Maine) surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards as Maine Maritime Academy football fell to WPI 51-20 in NEWMAC action at Alumni Stadium last Saturday.

The Mariners totaled a season-high 364 yards of total offense, including a season-best 328 passing yards and tallied three offensive touchdowns, on a tough Engineers' defense that had been holding opponents to just nine points in their previous four games.

WPI took their opening drive 64 yards down the field and scored on just their second play, when Connor Field rushed 55 yards into the end zone. Bryce Wade added an extra point and the hosts took a 7-0 lead in the first minute of play.

Senior Trenton Bouchard (Winslow, Maine) recorded the fifth interception of his career when he picked off WPI's Julian Nyland early in the first quarter. Late in the first quarter, the Mariners orchestrated a 9-play, 65-yard drive that set up a 27-yard field goal attempt by Maxwell Horton, but the Engineers blocked the attempt and Brendan Chipman found Austin Pesce on the next play for an 80-yard touchdown toss.

Maine Maritime's offense struggled to find consistent momentum in the first half, and the Engineers took a 34-0 lead into halftime.

The Mariners opened up the second half with a 19-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a four-yard touchdown toss from Moquin to junior John Friend (Islip, N.Y.) to cut the deficit to 34-6 but the Engineers added 17 points in the fourth quarter to claim the victory.

Moquin connected with Casale for a 12-yard touchdown reception midway through the final quarter and again for a 7-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds to play to account for the Mariners' other scores.

Freshman Reed Hopkins (Augusta, Maine) pulled down seven catches for 85 yards while junior Mason Kaserman caught eight passes for 81 yards and Friend ended the afternoon with 33 yards on three catches and a touchdown.

Defensively junior Aren Dickman (Scarborough, Maine) led the Mariners with six tackles, including five solo stops and senior Kaleb Watkins (Rome, Maine) tallied two tackles, including a tackle for a loss of three yards.

WPI's Nyland ended the afternoon with 128 yards on 10 completions and a touchdown, while Sean McAllen led the running backs with 183 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns, and Connor Field added 102 yards on six carries and a score. Pesce led the WPI receivers with 80 yards, on his one catch for a touchdown.

Nick Ostrowski led the Engineers with 10 tackles, eight solo and a tackle for a loss of three yards.

MIT's Last Game: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy defeated the Engineers 35-29 in double overtime at Brooks Stadium last Saturday.

MIT got on the board first as senior Chris Mauck found junior Keithen Shepard for a diving touchdown in the back corner of the end zone for the 7-0 lead. The play was set up earlier in the drive as Mauck took advantage of an offsides penalty on third down by USMMA and connected with sophomore Jack Montinaro across the middle to the 11-yard line.

The Mariners answered with 6:40 left in the first as USMMA turned an MIT fumble into a touchdown. After Sam Kovaleski recovered the fumble, Krystian Abbott scored on a four-yard quarterback keeper to even the score at 7-7. The Engineers turned the ball over on the ensuing possession as well, but the MIT defense stepped up and forced a quick punt by the Mariners.

Early in the second, MIT forced USMMA fumbles on back-to-back plays as the Mariners eventually had to punt. On the ensuing possession, Mauck connected with Shepard for a 48-yard touchdown strike on a third-and-15 play to put the Engineers back in front at 14-7.

The Mariners ended the half with 10 unanswered points for the 17-14 lead at the break, started by a 39-yard field goal from Gavin Gartner with 3:42 left in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Ian Blankenship came into the game on the final drive of the half for USMMA and found Joe Vitelli up the far sideline for his first career touchdown pass, which was a 21-yard strike that gave the hosts the 17-14 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, Shepard got the Engineers into the red zone with a 32-yard reception that gave MIT a first-and-goal situation at the five-yard line. Mauck eventually scored on a keeper up the middle on fourth down as the Engineers regained the 21-17 lead. In the closing minutes of the third, USMMA inched within 21-20 as Gartner nailed a 22-yard field goal.

The Mariners continued the back-and-forth battle as Eric Davidson picked off Mauck and returned the ball to the nine-yard line. On second-and-goal, Tyler Reihs scored from four yards out to put USMMA in front at 26-21. The two-point conversion for the Mariners was unsuccessful on a rushing attempt by Alec Kiernan.

MIT sophomore Dennis Gastel pulled down a great touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone, followed by a Shepard reception on the two-point conversion attempt as the Engineers again went in front at 29-26.

The game headed to overtime on a Gartner field goal from 25 yards out with 49 seconds left as the game was knotted up at 29-29.

In the first overtime, an MIT field goal from 35 yards out went wide to the left, followed by a blocked USMMA field goal attempt as senior Ben Bennington blocked Gartner's 20-yard kick.

In the second overtime, Matt Strong took the pitch to the right and went up and over for the go-ahead score. The extra point was no good though, giving the hosts a 35-29 edge. MIT was unsuccessful on its next possession though as the Mariners came away with the NEWMAC victory.

Robertson led MIT on the ground with 94 yards on 29 rushes, while Shepard had seven receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Mauck completed 15-of-33 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns.

For the Mariners, eight different players combined for a total of 242 rushing yards as James Early led the way with 61 yards.

Defensively, junior Sam Gantman led MIT with 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Senior Sam Cantrell and sophomore Will Exson also both posted 10-tackle efforts. For the Mariners, Colton Ray finished with a team-leading 10 tackles that included three sacks for a loss of 22 yards and one quarterback hurry.

The Mariners: Maine Maritime averages 274.6 yards, including 230.8 passing yards, per game, while averaging 16.2 points per game.

The Mariners are 37 percent (27-73) on third down conversions and 50 percent (5-10) on fourth down conversions.

Nikolas Moquin leads the Mariners offense with 162.8 passing yards per game, totaling 814 yards on 63 completions and eight touchdowns. Dominic Casale leads the receivers with 73 receiving yards per game, totaling 365 receiving yards on 29 receptions and seven touchdowns.

Terrell Thomas leads the Mariners defensively with 40 tackles, including 27 solo tackles, and 1.5 tackles for a loss of two yards. Spencer Baron (Mariaville, Maine) has 29 total tackles, including 19 solo stops, one tackle for a loss of three yards, a fumble recovery and a broken up pass.

The Engineers: MIT averages 313.0 yards, including 154.3 rushing yards and 158.8 passing yards per game, while averaging 20.3 points per game.

The Engineers average 40 percent (24-60) on third down conversions and 17 percent (1-6) on fourth down conversions.

Chris Mauck leads the Engineers with 627 yards, on 44 completions and eight touchdowns, while Josh Robertson leads the running backs with 397 yards on 92 carries and Keithen Shepard leads the receivers with 272 yards on 13 catches and five touchdowns.

Defensively, Sam Gantman and Sam Zimmermann lead the Engineers with 34 tackles and 15 solo stops each.

In the NEWMAC: Maine Maritime's Nikolas Moquin ranks second in total passing touchdowns (8), Dominic Casale leads the NEWMAC with seven receiving touchdowns and 42 points.

The Mariners rank second in the conference in total passing yards (1,154) and passing yards per game (230.8).

MIT's Josh Robertson ranks first in rushing yards per game (99.3), Chris Mauck ranks first in yards per completion (14.25) and CJ Reilly leads the NEWMAC with two blocked kicks.

In the NCAA: Dominic Casale ranks 16th among NCAA DIII players in total receiving touchdowns (7).

Record Breaker: Quarterback Nikolas Moquin threw for 298 yards against WPI last week, surpassing David Robinson who threw for 287 yards against UMass.-Dartmouth in 1991, to break the MMA single-game record for passing yards. Moquin connected with Maine Maritime receivers 22 times, and threw for three touchdowns.

Career Milestone: Dominic Casale amassed 89 yards on six catches and two touchdowns last week at WPI, to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards becoming just the seventh player in Maine Maritime history to achieve that milestone.