Mariners Upended at RPI, 28-13

Connor Kennedy caught a 70-yard touchdown pass Saturday against RPI
Connor Kennedy caught a 70-yard touchdown pass Saturday against RPI

Troy, NY – The USMMA football team was unable to win back-to-back games since returning to the field last week, falling today at RPI, 28-13.  Zachary Boucher (Wyckoff, NJ) paced the USMMA offense, running for 86 yards and one touchdown.   Kristopher Meyer (Norman, OK) took the snaps under center for the Mariners, totaling 161 passing yards and one touchdown through the air as well as 73 rushing yards in the loss.

Merchant Marine (4-2, 1-2 Liberty) jumped out to an early lead as Boucher plunged across the goal line from two yards out to make it a 6-0 contest at the 6:09 mark of the first quarter.  The Engineers grabbed a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, capping a nine-play 68-yard drive with a one-yard Brendan McGlynn touchdown run. 

RPI (4-4, 1-4 Liberty) forced the Mariners to go three-and-out on the ensuing possession and needed just two plays to extend the lead.  McGlynn took the first play for 25 yards before Matt Lane broke free for a 38-yard touchdown rush that pushed the home team's advantage to 14-6.  The Engineers made it 21 unanswered points to end the first half with a 66-yard drive that ended in RPI's third rushing touchdown.  Nick Schaltz's one-yard surge into the end zone provided the Engineers 21-6 margin heading into halftime.

The Mariners offense exploded immediately to start the second half, scoring on their fifth play from scrimmage.  Meyer hit Connor Kennedy (Bellerose, NY) with a 70-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to one possession at 21-13.  The two teams would then trade defense stands as neither offense mounted a drive more than five plays until midway through the fourth quarter.

RPI broke through first and extended its cushion with just 2:26 remaining in regulation as Lane secured his second touchdown of the game, this time from five yards out.  Lane finished the day with 84 yards on nine carries as the Engineers rushed for 284 total yards.  The Mariners would be unable to close the gap down the stretch and ultimately dropped a 28-13 decision.

 Patrick Clarke anchored the USMMA defense with a team high 11 tackles, including 1.5 sacks.  Patrick Keyes (Parsippany, NJ) filled his stat line by securing an interception, forcing a fumble, and notching a fumble recovery for the Mariners.  The Merchant Marine defensive unit limited the Engineers to 4-of-15 (27%) on third down.

The USMMA football team will return to action next weekend for a 12:00 home game against Liberty League rival Union (NY).