Castine, ME – Senior fullback back Jim Bower (South Paris, ME) scored three touchdowns and ran for 239 yards carrying Maine Maritime to a 61-32 victory Saturday afternoon (October 2) over Worcester State University in a Bogan Division, New England Football Conference (NEFC) contest.
With the win MMA improves to 3-1 and 1-1 in the Bogan Division while Worcester State drops to 3-2 and 1-1 in the Bogan Division.
Worcester State took a 3-0 lead on their first possession of the game when Erich Perfetti (Shrewsbury, MA) kicked a 33-yard field goal. The Lancers struck again after Cameron Jones (Stow, MA) recovered an MMA fumble on the 11-yard line. Six plays later Tony Tokarz (Holden, MA) rushed the ball in from two yards out to give Worcester State the 9-0 lead. The extra point attempt failed and the Lancers headed into the second quarter with the 9-0 advantage.
The second quarter turned into a shootout between both offenses with the teams combining for 62 points. The Mariners scored on all seven possessions of the quarter and racked up 41 points.
MMA started the stanza with a 10-play drive that covered 61 yards and ended with a Nick Bourassa (Jay, ME) touchdown rush from 15-yards out. Worcester State quickly answered on a Marcus Price (Worcester, MA) 54-yard run that gave the visitors a 16-7 lead. Price led the Lancers with 147 yards rushing on 22 carries.
The Mariners quickly responded on their next possession, when Jim Bower (11.4 yards per rush) took the ball 67 yards on the first play of the drive for the score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and MMA trailed 16-13. On the Lancers next possession, Josh Elwell (Owls Head, ME) intercepted Tokarz and brought the ball to the Lancer 15-yard line. Seven seconds later, Nick Bourassa (9 carries for 70 yards) scored his second TD of the game from 15-yards out giving MMA their first lead of the game at 21-16.
The Mariners struck again after a Worcester State fumble, taking just 1:33 off the clock and ending with Bower's second touchdown of the day. Bower's 13-yard run gave the Mariners the 29-16 lead and three scores in less than three minutes.
On the ensuing kick-off, Graham Asum (Marlboro, MA) took the ball 80-yards for the touchdown to inch the Lancers back to within six points at 29-23. The Mariners proved to be too much for the Lancer defense, scoring on their next two drives, one from quarterback Matthew Rende (Augusta, ME) and another from Jim Bower from 30 yards out. The Lancers finished of the scoring in the first half, with a Tokarz (14-for-28 for 131 yards) to Will Franklin (Brattleboro, VT) 12-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds left closing the gap to 41-30.
After two Worcester State punts to begin the second half, Matthew Rende (20 carries for 164 yards) scored from 37-yards out, capping off a 71-yard drive. The score put MMA in front 48-30. The Mariners scored again with 3:01 left in the third on a Rende to Nate Duford (Claremont, NH) touchdown pass from 4-yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked and Paul Lewis (Worcester, MA) picked up the ball in the end zone and returned the ball 103 yards for the two-point conversion for Worcester State.
MMA tacked on another score with 2:00 minutes left in the game on a Bill Wetherbee (Veazie, ME) 51-yard run, closing the scoring at 61-32. The Mariners rushed for 635 yards on the day and averaged 9.76 yards per carry. The Mariners had eight rushing touchdowns in the game.
Tony Tokarz passed for 131 yards on 28 attempts to go along with his 33 yards rushing in the loss. Will Franklin led the team with 6 catches for 86 yards and a score. The Lancer offense was hampered by two Tokarz interceptions. Worcester State College compiled 325 yards.
MMA sophomore Joel Chabourne (Westbrook, ME) led the Mariners in tackles with 10 and had two tackles for losses and a forced fumble. Josh Elwell and Alex Hermes (Fallsington, PA) each picked up an interception while Andy Pulk (Lewiston, ME) had a fumble recovery.
Worcester State linebacker Tyler Russell (Princeton, MA) led all defenders with 12 tackles while Cameron Jones and Paul Lewis each collected nine tackles.
The Mariners will be back in action next week when they host Westfield State College while the Lancers will host Massachusetts Maritime Academy for a 12pm kick-off.