Football Falls to Mass. Maritime, 38-17
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Massachusetts Maritime Academy produced a season-high 428 yards of total offense en route to a 38-17 win over host MIT in a non-conference football game on Saturday. Matt White posted three touchdowns and 104 all-purpose yards for the Buccaneers (1-2) while Mike Fitzgerald paced the Engineers (1-1) with 12 receptions for 161 yards.
Starting at its own 35, Massachusetts Maritime used runs by Nate Sherr and Barry Reopell to move the ball to MIT's 40-yard line. Quarterback Mike Stanton then found a wide open Jonathan Emond in the middle of the field who hauled in the pass and sprinted for the endzone.
On its ensuing drive, an eight-yard grab by Nate Forbes put MIT at its 44. Marcel Sanchez and Fitzgerald traded rushes and receptions until a 14-yard catch by Fitzgerald placed the Engineers on the Buccaneers' 25. Penalties pushed the Cardinal and Gray back to the 33 and resulted in a 3-and-18. Kyle Johnson converted on the third down by hooking up with Fitzgerald for a 30-yard toss. Sanchez then made a quick plunge for the touchdown.
Following a pair of punts, Massachusetts Maritime mounted an eight-play, 76 yard drive which helped it take the lead for good. Three consecutive runs by White generated 14 yards as a penalty put the Buccaneers at the MIT 47. Stanton unleashed a 28-yard pass to Kyle Rowe which was followed by a four-yard toss to Keith Caruso. White used three straight runs to cover the final 15 yards to the endzone with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Engineers were unable to convert on their next drive and resulted in Massachusetts Maritime starting at its 44. Sherr put together runs of two, 13, and six yards before Emond notched a 20-yard reception, helping move the Buccaneers to the MIT 15. Sherr completed the drive on the ground and Brandon Rodrigues converted his third successful extra-point attempt to give the visitors a 21-7 advantage with 11:10 left in the half.
Forbes returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to the Buccaneers' 31-yard line. Sanchez powered for 26 yards, but MIT would get no closer and had to call on Matthew Peterson who converted a 23-yard field goal attempt.
Massachusetts Maritime responded with a 17-play, 80-yard drive that spanned 8:29 and resulted in a touchdown with 1:04 remaining in the half. Sherr posted 14 yards on four carries and Rowe caught passes of eight and 12 yards to move the ball to the Buccaneers' 49. A penalty repositioned the ball back to the 39, but Sherr gained 12 yards in the air and five yards on the ground to secure the first down. MIT's Joel Santisteban registered a six-yard sack which moved the line of scrimmage to the 50 yard line. Massachusetts Maritime recovered the lost yardage on an eight-yard sprint by Stanton and a 12-yard rush by Sherr. White tallied three carries for 21 yards to set up first-and-goal from the MIT nine yard line. Reopell registered a three-yard plunge before White's initial attempt at the endzone was stopped short by Derek Li. On his next carry, White broke through for his second touchdown of the day. The Buccaneers' 28-7 margin would hold through the intermission.
The tandem of Fitzgerald and Sanchez helped move MIT from its own 40 to the Massachusetts Maritime 33 on the opening drive of the third quarter. On the next play, James Hutchinson forced and recovered a fumble at his own 43. The Buccaneers' offense quickly progressed to the MIT 17. A false start pushed Massachusetts Maritime back five yards and its offense stalled on its next two rushes. Aaron Prindle then sacked Stanton for nine yards which resulted in a pooch punt from Stanton that was downed at the MIT nine.
MIT used four plays to bring the ball up to its 28 before Charles Sykes intercepted a pass by Johnson. Sherr started the drive with a two-yard scamper which was followed by a 15-yard catch by Emond. Short runs by Sherr and Reopell moved the ball to the MIT six before an incomplete pass intended for Reopell brought up third-and-five. A false start by the Buccaneers pushed Rodrigues' field goal attempt back to the 28, which was then blocked by Teddy Tzanetos.
The Engineers' offense struggled to find its rhythm during the final 3:27 of the quarter as the frame ended on Andy Hirko's interception and 14-yard return. Massachusetts Maritime carried the momentum into the fourth quarter as it started at midfield. Stanton ran for four yards before throwing a 46-yard strike to White for the touchdown.
MIT's first drive of the period began with a 17-yard reception by Fitzgerald that put the ball at the Buccaneers' 36. The Engineers were able to gain a yard before Nick Mazurkiewicz picked off John Wenzel at the Massachusetts Maritime 25.
A three-and-out resulted in White's 41-yard punt which was returned 10 yards by Brian Doyle to MIT's 35. Johnson connected with Fitzgerald for 54 yard reception that put the ball at the Buccaneers' 11. Johnson ran for a yard and threw passes of three and six yards to Fitzgerald, setting up first-and-goal from the one yard line. Peter Avitabile, who stopped Fitzgerald on the previous play, collaborated with Hutchinson in denying Sanchez the score. However, Sanchez found success on his next try and narrowed the margin to 35-17.
The Buccaneers capped the scoring on a Rodrigues field goal with 4:16 on the clock. On an onsides kick attempt, a penalty against MIT resulted in Massachusetts Maritime starting its drive on the MIT 36. Cory Antunes led things off with a 16 yard-run which was followed by Reopell (five yards) and White (two yards). A two-yard loss on a rushing attempt by Reopell set up Rodrigues for his 32-yard field goal try.
Sanchez finished with 70 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Johnson went 14-of-17 for 160 yards and had one interception. Brian Doyle racked up a game-high eight and a half tackles, followed by Patrick Jupe (eight), Peter Gilliland (seven and a half), and Aaron Fittery (seven) who also had an interception and pass break-up. Of his four tackles, Prindle had two for a loss of 11 yards, including a nine-yard sack.
Sherr led all rushers with 107 yards while Emond was the Buccaneers' top receiver with 75 yards on three catches. Stanton was 9-of-12 for 185 yards with two touchdowns, two sacks, and one interception. Walter Butler paced the defense with six solo stops and a forced fumble. Hutchinson tallied five tackles, two for a loss of 10 yards, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Both squads open up New England Football Conference (NEFC) divisional play on Saturday, Sept. 25. MIT will travel to Boyd Division foe Curry College while the Buccaneers will host Bogan Division rival U.S. Coast Guard Academy.