SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – On Saturday afternoon, sophomore running back John-Leon Gosselin (Nashua, N.Y.) put together a three-touchdown, 201-yard day to help the United States Merchant Marine Academy football squad defeat Liberty League-opponent Union College, 28-21, at Frank Bailey Field in Schenectady, N.Y. With the victory, the Mariners improved to 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the league. Following the loss, the Dutchmen fell to 2-6 on the year and 2-4 in the conference.
With just 57 seconds expired in the first quarter, Gosselin rushed for his biggest of the day as he notched a 63-yard touchdown to put Kings Point ahead, 6-0. Junior kicker Richard Grennen (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) made it 7-0 with a successful point-after attempt.
As the opening quarter winded down it was Gosselin with the ground-attack once again. This time the Nashua native sneaked into the endzone with a one-yard rush to put Merchant Marine up, 13-0. Grennen's PAT had the same result (14-0).
Union sophomore wideout Chase Richey (Winter Park, Fla.) was the first to make the hometown crowd happy as he caught a 21-yard pass from junior Connor Gallo (Brunswick, N.J.) for the Dutchmen's first score of the game. Junior kicker Adam Henry (Hightstown, N.J.) chipped in a successful PAT, which cut USMMA's lead down to 14-7. This was the only touchdown scored in the second quarter.
Coming out of halftime, Union went back to work and knotted the game at 14-all. With 10:35 remaining in the third quarter, Gallo hooked up with Richey again, this time for a 27-yard TD.
Eight minutes later, Gosselin was able to give the Mariners the lead back as he scored his third touchdown of the game. Once again, it was a one-yard rush into the endzone. USMMA led, 21-14.
Following the pattern of the contest and its see-saw, back-and-forth battle, the Dutchmen tied the contest at 21-all. With three minutes elapsed in the final quarter, Union senior running back Chris Coney (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) mirrored Gosselin's last score and sneaked in a one-yard rushing TD. Henry's PAT tied the game.
With only 2:26 remaining in regulation, Kings Point senior quarterback Derrick Ventre (Cincinnati, Ohio) took his turn at a rushing touchdown and found an opening. He recorded a 12-yard touchdown to put the Mariners up, 28-21. This lead would be one USMMA would not relinquish.
For the Mariners, Gosselin finished with 201 rushing yards on 30 carries, with three touchdowns. Ventre threw for 72 yards, while defensively, junior linebacker Kevin Stapf (Fort Pierce, Fla.) led the team in tackles with 12. Senior defensive back Garret Washington (Chatham, N.Y.) had two interceptions, while senior linebacker Jacob Fabricius (Fruitland, Idaho) had 1.5 sacks.
For the Dutchmen, Coney rushed for a game-high 232 yards and one touchdown, while Gallo was 7-for-9 and threw for 110 yards and two TDs.
Head Coach Mike Toop and the Mariners return to action next Saturday when they host RPI on Senior Day at Captain Tomb Field. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. If you can't make it to the game, please visit www.usmmasports.com and tune into Ray Martel and Seth Cantor's broadcast of all the play-by-play action.