KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2017) – The USMMA football team lost a NEWMAC contest to #25 Springfield College, 35-13, at home on Saturday at Brooks Stadium. The defeat drops the Mariners' record to an even 3-3 (2-2 NEWMAC), while the Pride remains undefeated and improve to 7-0 (4-0 NEWMAC) with the victory.
Senior Erik Swayne (Great Falls, Va.) recorded six points for Merchant Marine on a pair of field goals – a 19-yarder that opened the scoring on the day in the first quarter and a 29-yarder late in the second quarter that made the score 14-6 in favor of the visitors. Swayne also had a great day punting, averaging 43.8 yards on 10 punts with a long of 53 yards and three inside the Pride's 20-yard line.
Neither team created much offense in the opening half as 11 of the 17 drives in the first two quarters ended in punts. The Mariners got on the board first on Swayne's FG at 3:54 of the first, but the Pride responded on their very next drive when it used just two plays to go 62 yards, including a 41-yard connection from senior quarterback Jake Eglintine with junior Jakai Whittingham that gave Springfield a 7-3 lead at 3:06.
The next five possessions were all three-and-outs before the visitors got the ball at 10:06 of the second quarter and used six plays to go 71 yards for a TD on a four-year run by senior Jordan Wilcox to go up 14-3 at 7:55 after junior Christian Humulock's second converted PAT kick of the game.
After two more three-and-outs, it was the Mariners that got the ball with 5:03 to play in the half and they ran 3:43 off the clock on 11 plays that spanned 41 yards and ended in Swayne's second field goal of the day.
The Pride answered right back, however, as a costly offside penalty against the Mariners on a 4th-and-5 gave Springfield a first down deep in the Mariners' territory and Eglintine hooked up with Whittingham once again, this time on a 13-yard TD pass with just 13 seconds left in the half, and the Pride went into the locker room with a 21-6 lead.
Springfield fumbled on their first two drives of the third quarter, but the Mariners were unable to take advantage and had to punt away both times. The Pride scored on their next two possessions, with Eglintine escaping for a 40-yard rushing touchdown at 2:24 of the third and then again for a 13-yard run at 12:30 of the fourth.
The Mariners were able to capitalize on a Springfield turnover-on-downs that gave Merchant Marine the ball at the Pride 25-yard line, and senior DeVar Jones (Albany, N.Y.) cashed in on a three-yard run at 4:50 that ended a nine-play, 25-yard drive. Classmate Jake McDonough's (Wilmington, N.C.) PAT closed out the scoring on the day.
Senior quarterback Brice Moore (Pace, Fla.) completed four passes for a total of 73 yards and also ran for 28 yards on the ground. Junior Joseph Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) was the Mariners' leading rusher with 47 yards and classmate Wiley Martin (Polo, Mo.) finished with 20 yards. Sophomore Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) was Moore's primary target with three catches for 36 yards and freshman Matt Restifo (Hudson, Ohio) caught one pass for 37 yards.
On defense, junior Jesse Byorth (Billings, Mont.) led Merchant Marine with 10 tackles, including two for losses of six yards and one forced fumble. Sophomore Reno Dubreuil (Moorpark, Calif.) made eight tackles and junior Brooks Cannell (Ambler, Pa.) finished the day with six and had one fumble recovery for four yards. Senior Justin Sydlowski (Plymouth, Mich.), who finished the day with five tackles, had the Mariners' other forced fumble which was recovered by junior Jacob Davis (East Chatham, N.Y.), who also had also five tackles.
For Springfield, Eglintine finished the day 3-for-7 on passing for 76 yards and two TDs, he also ran for 79 yards and found the end zone twice on the ground. Wilcox was the game's leading rusher with 169 yards and one score. Whittingham caught the two TD passes and totaled 54 receiving yards on the day. Humulock was a perfect 5-for-5 on PATs.
Senior Christian Zotti led all players on the day with 11 tackles and junior Nick Giorgio recorded eight stops, half of which were for losses a combined 23 yards. Senior punter Whit DeVaux averaged 35.4 yards on five punts, including a long of 55 yards.
The Mariners are back in action next Saturday, Oct. 21, when they travel up to Worcester, Mass., to take on WPI. Opening kickoff against the Engineers is slated for 2:30 p.m. at WPI's Alumni Stadium. Live stats and a live video stream of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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