September 18, 2010

Maritime Holds Off Kings Point, 41-34, In Down-To-The-Wire Contest

More news about: SUNY-Maritime

THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (Sept. 18, 2010) – The Maritime football team successfully held off a late, potentially game-tying drive by stopping Kings Point four times inside the 10-yard line at the end of regulation to capture a 41-34 win over its arch-rivals from across the Long Island Sound on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field. The win improves the Privateers' record to a perfect 3-0, the program's best start ever. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy falls to 1-2 overall in defeat.

The Privateers donned their new maroon jerseys for the first time ever on Saturday. On the back of each jersey was the characteristic that the specific player wearing it was best known for. Sophomore wide received Erik Heedles was wearing accountability and Maritime counted on him today as he caught two remarkable touchdown passes from classmate Joe Dickey, including what turned out to be the game-winner with 4:56 left to play in the game to put Maritime up, 41-27. On the afternoon, Heedles made four receptions for 50 yards. Dickey was 6-for-9 in completions for 125 yards and two TD passes, while rushing for 72 yards.
 
The Mariners answered right back to come within a touchdown, 41-34, when the ensuing kickoff was brought back 91 yards by Alex Coviello, his second kicoff return for a TD of the game. After that play, Maritime got the ball and drove it to the Merchant Marine 35-yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 1:49 left in the game and one timeout remaining for USMMA. Kings Point got the ball down to the five yard line and had first-and-goal, four opportunities to score, but the Privateer defense stepped up and the final play was whistled for pass interference on the offense and Maritime took over and kneeled on the ball.
The Privateers outgained USMMA 467-270 overall in the game, as Maritime picked up 342 yards on the ground. Senior running back John Gagliano led all players in the contest with 81 running yards. He had one completion for 48 yards down to the Mariners' five-yard line late in the fourth quarter that set up the Dickey touchdown. Classmate tailback Greg McGough also scored two touchdowns on the day – both rushing – after gaining 39 yards. Dickey and freshman  each had a TD run apiece. Senior Madison Leary was 5-for-6 on extra point attempts to round out the Maritime scoring.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Pat Lasher led the team with 8.5 tackles (seven solo and three assited), while classmate linebacker Keith Barnes had eight total tackles (six solo and four assisted). Barnes also recorded a fumble recovery. Senior co-captain Steve Roman  recorded a third-quarter interception then returned the ball 21 yards. He also blocked an extra-point attempt by KP.
Kings Point started the game with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to grab a quick, 7-0 lead. The Privateers answered right back just over three minutes later after a 6-play, 64-yard drive ended with a 14-yard run by Dickey for the score. Maritime stopped the first Kings Point offensive drive of the day and forced a 3-and-out to get the ball back. After another great drive of 11 plays and 74 yards, the Privateers went ahead 14-7 after a one-yard TD run by McGough.

In the second quarter, the Mariners struck first on a 29-yard run by Karl Heimbrock, but the point-after attempt was blocked by Roman and Maritime retained the lead, 14-13. Davis ran in an eight-yard run late in the second half to end the scoring in the half and send the Privateers to the locker room with a 20-13 lead.

Maritime struck first on the opening drive of the second half, when, on fourth-and-two at the Kings Point 18-yard line, the Privateers went for it and Dickey connected with Heedles his first TD of the game on a pass that the sophomore snagged down over the defender's head. That gave Maritime a 27-13 lead. USMMA answered back later that quarter on another running touchdown by Heimbrock to cut the lead to 27-20. Then Maritime got the ball late in the third and into the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but a fumble was recovered by Kings Points' Barry Preusch at the Maritime 43-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, the Mariners tied the game on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Derrick Ventre to Coviello to tie the game at 27-27.

McGough would put the Privateers ahead again just under two minutes later, when he ended a four-play, 55-yard drive with a five-yard run to the house. Then Heedles scored his second touchdown of the day, the eventual game winner. The Mariners were down two touchdowns with under five minutes to play, but Coviello returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for the score. It was not enough, however, and Kings Point was unable to overcome the deficit as the Privateer defense held them scoreless on the final drive.

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