KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Nov. 9, 2018) – Riding a four-game winning streak, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy football team (7-1, 5-1 NEWMAC) welcome in arch-rival Coast Guard (6-3, 4-2 NEWMAC) tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 10, for the 38th Annual Secretaries' Cup game. Kickoff is slated for 12-noon at Brooks Stadium.
Series History vs. Coast Guard... This will be the 47th meeting all-time between the two service academies. USMMA holds a commanding 32-14 lead in the overall series. Since the Secretaries' Cup was established in 1981, the Mariners are 25-12 against the Bears.
Game Featured On ESPN3... For the second-straight season, the Secretaries' Cup game is being featured on ESPN3, as part of ESPN's week-long celebration of Veterans Day.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE ATTENDING REGARDING TICKETS... A ticket is required to get into Brooks Stadium for this game. The tickets are free and were available through multiple outlets the last few months. If you ordered your ticket through the Athletics' EventBrite page, you were instructed to print out the reservation. Bring that print-out with you to the will call window outside Brooks Stadium tomorrow morning to pick up the physical tickets, they are being held in your name. If you were unable to reserve a ticket, do not worry, there will be additional game day tickets available at the will call booth.
USMMA and Brooks Stadium Security Info… Please note that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will have enhanced security measures and personnel for the Secretaries' Cup Game. All bags will be checked entering Brooks Stadium. Brooks Stadium entry will be limited to two gates (Gate 2 and Gate 4) for ticket / security check. You must have a ticket for stadium entry and/or exit/re-entry.
Stadium Prohibited Items… No large bags, back packs and suitcases, no coolers or food containers, no alcohol, no outside food or beverages, no tobacco, and no vaping. Only small bags and small nap-sacks are allowed.
Campus Notes / Prohibited Items… McNulty campus will be closed on Saturday. No alcohol is permitted anywhere on campus without permit or permission from U.S. Merchant Marine Academy officials.
Throwback Jerseys... The Mariners are sporting throwback jerseys for this rivalry game. The jerseys were featured on ESPN SportsCenter's "Gear Up" tomorrow morning (complete info about the throwback jersey and the appearance on SportsCenter will be available later today). The jerseys replicate those worn during the 1980's and '90s. Distinguishable features include the old "M" decal on one side of the helmet; white, silver and white striping on the sleeves; white numbers with a silver outline; and a solid blue pipe down the side of the pants; among many other. The USMMA teams that wore these jerseys combined for seven post-season appearances.
Special Helmet Decals... The Mariners are also wearing two special decals on the back of their helmets - the 75th Anniversary Logo, representing the Academy's milestone year since being dedicated in 1943, and the "First To Serve" decal, which honors the 40th anniversary of the first eight females to graduate any service academy in 1978.
Mariners Regionally Ranked... In the season's second NCAA regional ranking this past Wed., Nov. 7, the Mariners were ranked #8 in the East Region. One other NEWMAC team was also ranked, MIT, which came in at #7. The only other "Pool B" team that was ranked was Thomas More (ninth in the South Region). Only one Pool B team will receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Comeback Kids... All three of the Mariners' wins in the month of October were in comeback fashion. It started with the Norwich home game on Oct. 6 - USMMA was down 24-13 early in the fourth quarter before scoring 20 unanswered points to claim the 33-24 victory. Then on the road at Springfield (which was receiving votes in the national poll at the time), the Mariners erased a 14-3 deficit to stun the Pride, 17-14, shutting Springfield out in the second half and handing them their first-ever NEWMAC loss. Finally, on Oct. 20 at home against WPI, the Mariners trailed the Engineers 24-0 at halftime before rattling off 25-straight points in the second half, capped off by the game-winning touchdown (and PAT) with just 38 seconds on the clock.
Best Start In Program History... With this 7-1 start, the Mariners have matched the best start in program history. They had begun only five other seasons 7-1(1968, 1976, 1985, 1986 and 1997).
Scouting Coast Guard... Led by 20th-year head coach Bill George, the Bears enter Saturday's game with a 6-3 record and are 4-2 in NEWMAC action. Junior QB Ryan Jones has passed for 1,530 yards on 142-for-244 passing with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Sophomore Justin Moffatt leads all Coast Guard receivers with 61 catches for 751 yards with two TDs. On the ground, sophomore Chris Gardner leads the way with 511 rushing yards and has found the end zone five times. Defensively, senior Jake Behne is the team-leader with 85 tackles and has three tackles for losses of combined six yards. Junior Mark Wicke is second on the squad with 63 tackles.
Merchant Marine Stat Leaders... Junior quarterback Krystian Abbott (Lansing, Kan.) is 51-for-98 on completions for 809 yards and six touchdowns. He is also the Mariners' rushing leader with 449 yards and five scores. Senior Wiley Martin (Polo, Mo.) is second on the team with 335 rushing yards and has found the end zone four times. Juniors Luke Jamison (Tequesta, Fla.) and Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) have both caught a team-high 20 passes - Jamison has 404 receiving yards with four TDs and Vitelli has amassed 255 yards with one score. Defensively, junior Reno Dubreuil (Moorpark, Calif.) leads the Mariners with 46 tackles, including eight for losses of 32 yards and 2.5 sacks. Freshman Eric Davidson (Moorpark, Calif.) is second on the team with 41 tackles (4.5 for losses, including a team-high 3.5 sacks).
"FIRST TO SERVE" – Celebrating the first eight women to graduate from a Service Academy… The USMMA football team and Athletic Department is proud to celebrate the eight women who were the first females to graduate from a Federal Service Academy. We have welcomed back members of the USMMA Class of 1978, who are also celebrating their 40th reunion this year, to be recognized before the game and participate in the coin toss. The Mariners are also sporting a special "First To Serve" decal on the back of their helmets to honor those eight Kings Pointers who led the way for women to attend all five of the Federal Service Academies.
Athletic Awards Dinner... Tonight, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) will hold a ceremony to award the highest honors given out by the Athletic Department - the "Acta Non Verba" and "Skip Prosser Achievement" Awards. This year's Acta Non Verba Award winner is Ray Bartoszek '86 and the Skip Prosser Achievement Award winner is Joe Martino '86. Additionally, the 1969 ECAC Lambert Bowl Champion Football Team was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. More information is available at this link.
Around The NEWMAC... All six other NEWMAC teams are also closing out the regular season tomorrow, and all three other games also start at noon. Maine Maritime travels to Catholic, Springfield visits MIT in a key matchup of two 5-1 teams, and Norwich is on the road at WPI.
Up Next... The Mariners will learn their fate for the 2018 postseason in the coming days. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m. and all bowl game matchups, including the ECAC Bowl, which the Mariners played in last season, will be announced on Monday, Nov. 12. Stay logged on to www.USMMASports.com for more information in the coming days.
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