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CASTINE, Maine (Sept. 23, 2017) – For the second time in three games, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy football team put up 56 points, as the Mariners defeated Maine Maritime, 56-31, on Saturday at the (Maine Maritime) Mariners' Ritchie Field in the first league game in the newly-formed NEWMAC football conference. With the victory, the (USMMA) Mariners improve to 2-1 (1-0 NEWMAC), while Maine Maritime falls to 0-3 (0-1 NEWMAC) in defeat.
Merchant Marine totaled 577 rushing yards on the day, which was the most in at least the past six seasons – with the second-highest being when the Mariners posted 449 at Coast Guard back in 2014.
USMMA scored the first two touchdowns of the day in the opening quarter and held a 28-12 lead when the first half was over. The Mariners found the end zone three more times in the third quarter to take a 49-18 lead late in the quarter before holding on for the 25-point victory.
Senior quarterback Brice Moore (Pace, Fla.) ran for a game-high 137 yards and had a career-best four rushing touchdowns on the day. Six different Mariners ran for over 50 yards, with senior Luke Tiefenthaler (Freehold, N.J.) adding 93 and a score, sophomore James Early (Middletown, Md.) gaining 83, classmate Krystian Abbott (Lansing, Kan.) contributing 82 and a touchdown, senior Aaron Rice (Vermilion, Ohio) rushing for 78 and junior Joseph Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) adding 52 and two TDs.
Defensively, senior Anthony Sandoval (Palmdale, Calif.) had a team-high six tackles, while six other Mariners recorded five stops throughout the game. Merchant Marine had two sacks on the day, with sophomore Reno Dubreuil (Moorpark, Calif.) getting one for a loss of eight yards and juniors Brian Harris (Yonkers, N.Y.) and Charles Deegan (Huntington, N.Y.) combining on the other for a loss of five. Freshman Alec Adams (Marietta, Ga.) also chipped in by blocking the extra point after Maine Maritime's first touchdown.
Senior Jake McDonough (Wilmington, N.C.) was a perfect 8-for-8 on extra points for the second time this season and classmate Erik Swayne (Great Falls, Va.) had two punts that averaged 37.0 yards with a long of 40 yards and one inside the Maine Maritime 20 and nine kickoffs that averaged 53.4 yards.
For Maine Maritime, senior quarterback Corey Creeger completed 6-of-13 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown, while also gaining 80 yards on the ground with three rushing TDs. Creeger's classmate Jordan Susi was his top target, as he hauled in four catches for 119 yards. Freshman receiver Mason Kaserman added two catches for 33 yards and the score.
Two (Maine Maritime) Mariners tied for the game-high with 12 tackles each – junior John Bennett and sophomore Alec Clark – and two others had eight apiece – freshmen James Tanguay, II and Peter Ryan.
Up next, Merchant Marine hosts NEWMAC opponent MIT next Saturday, Sept. 30. Kickoff is slated for 12-noon at Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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