Senior LB Dan Reale (center) led the
THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – John Gagliano rushed for two scores as the SUNY Maritime football team defeated Norwich University, 20-2, Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field to capture the 2010 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Championship. The Privateers remain undefeated, improving to 9-0 overall on the season (6-0 ECFC) as they handed the 2009 ECFC Champion Cadets just their second loss of the year.
After a first quarter dominated by both defenses, Norwich (7-2, 4-2 ECFC) got on the board first in the second quarter when freshman DB Isaiah Quinones blocked a Maritime punt out of the back of the Privateer end zone. The resulting safety put the Cadets ahead, 2-0, with 3:24 to go in the opening half.
After receiving the ball on the ensuing free kick, NU put the ball on the turf when Lumbus Burrell forced a fumble that that Maritime recovered on its own 40-yard line. Gagliano ended an 11-play, 60-yard drive when he ran it in for a four-yard score to put the Privateers ahead 6-2 with four seconds remaining in the half. Maritime would carry that lead into the locker room following a missed extra point.
On the Cadets first play of the second half, Jason Burry forced and recovered a fumble then returned it 14 yards all the way down to the Norwich six-yard line. One play later, Gagliano ran in his second score of the day. Quarterback Joe Dickey then ran in a two-point conversion to put Maritime up 14-2.
After a five-play, 19-yard drive by Norwich ended with a punt, the Privateers took over the ball at their own 19-yard line. Maritime proceeded to go on a six-play, 81-yard drive that ended when Fritz Jean rushed for a seven-yard touchdown to put the Privateers ahead, 20-2.
The Privateers executed and recovered a surprise onside kick on the ensuing kickoff when Madison Leary kicked the ball 15 yards and then fell on top of it to give the home team the ball right back.
Following a Maritime punt, Norwich got the ball and on their very first play again committed a turnover when Pat Lasher picked off an errant pass by sophomore QB Kris Sabourin.
Maritime stopped both of the Cadets drives in the fourth quarter and got the ball with 5:08 remaining in the game and was able to run the clock out to earn the victory.
Senior LB Daniel Reale led the NU defense with 11 tackles, while senior DL Zach Sucharski pitched in nine of his own. Junior DL Brandon Fowler and sophomore LB Alex Monteiro added eight tackles apiece.
The Cadets will return to the friendly confines of Sabine Field on Saturday, Nov. 6, to take on in-state conference rival Castleton State in the team's regular season finale. The second annual "Battle for the Bucket" is set to kick off at 1 p.m.