THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – There were no dramatic, 11th-hour heroics for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy this time.
A week after the offense clicked on all cylinders and pulled out one of its most memorable recent wins, Kings Point could not get it into gear in a 13-7 non-conference football loss to archrival SUNY-Maritime (2-1) on Saturday.
Twice in the second half the Mariners found themselves knocking on the Privateers' door and twice they could not convert those opportunities into points.
"Offensively, we didn't do anything," Kings Point head coach Mike Toop said. "It was really disappointing offensively today."
Last Saturday the Mariners (1-2) combined a relentless ground attack with an opportunistic and effective aerial game to register a 35-28 triumph over another archrival, Coast Guard with eight seconds remaining, in the annual Secretaries' Cup. They accrued 503 yards, including 307 on the ground. They scored three touchdowns through the air.
This Saturday, it wasn't meant to be in front of a crowd of 2,500 at Reinhart Field.
Quarterback Alex Coviello (Cape Coral, Fla.) scored the lone Kings Point touchdown on a 12-yard run that closed the gap to 13-7 with 10:17 remaining in the second quarter. Freshman corner back Andrew Harmon's (Orange Park, Fla). picked off Tyler Trodden's pass – his first college interception -- at the hosts' 30-yard line and returned it 19 yards to set up the TD.
The Privateers scored on two of their opening two possessions in the first quarter – the first on Erik Heedles' 22-yard reception from Trodden that gave them a 6-0 lead with 10:45 left (Madison Leary missed the extra point) and on running back Jaime Spanopoulos' seven-yard run with 2:13 to go. Leary kicked the extra point.
Kings Point, however, got its act together defensively and managed to hold their rivals scoreless the rest of the game.
The attack, however, had problems moving the ball.
Still, the Mariners had two golden opportunities to score in the second half.
In a fourth and two situation at the Maritime four-yard line, running back John-Paul Gosselin (Nashua, N.H.) was stopped short of a first down by the nose of the football with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter. That was after Kings Point ate up 9:40 with a 14-play, 65-yard drive.
In another fourth and two at the Maritime 12, quarterback Stephen Sasso fumbled the snap and was sacked by Thomas Boney for a loss of four yards with 7:21 left in the game.
Maritime got possession and ran out the clock with five consecutive first downs.
Gosselin, who gained a personal-best 240 yards against Coast Guard, was held to 65 yards on 17 carries vs. Maritime. Sasso, who ran for 28 yards in 13 attempts, completed one of two passes for six yards to Chase Dunn. Coviello was 0-for-1 in passing.
For the Privateers, Spanopoulos gained 87 yards on 16 carries and Trodden added another 67 yards on 22 tries, while completing 12-of-18 passes for 128 yards and one TD.
The Mariners visit St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. at 1 p.m. next Saturday.