BUNCH, MUSTANGS SPEAR SPARTANS WITH 54-34 ECFC WIN
On senior day, Mount Ida College football senior running back Johrone Bunch (Meriden, CT/F.T. Maloney) haunted visiting Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) member Castleton State College with 219 rushing yards and four touchdowns en route to a 54-34 league victory Saturday afternoon on a blustery day in Newton, Massachusetts. Bunch also tied his own record for rushing touchdowns in a season (13) that he's conquered three times throughout his career (2009, 2010, and 2011).
The Mount Ida College athletic department recognized nine senior football players and two cheerleaders for their contributions to their respective programs before kick-off. Senior football players Bunch, Nick Lynch (Hampton Bays, NY/Hampton Bays), MacIntosh Bozier (Belmont, MA/Belmont), Mackenson Charles (Lynn, MA/Lynn Tech), Billy Crisafulli (Natick, MA/Natick), Herve Kasanda (Woburn, MA/Essex Junction), Kyle Lawson (Middlesex, VT/U-32), Anthony Mitchell (Bronx, NY/Cardinal Spellman), and Jimmy Wenz (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) were honored. Senior Mackenzy Perkins (Glenham, NY) and Cayte Bergholm (Haverhill, MA) were the cheerleaders recognized.
The Mustangs finish the regular season with a 6-4 record matching their total from last year, tying the most victories in a season through the 11 year history of the program. Mount Ida finishes league action with a 5-2 record good for third in the conference standings. They will wait to find out if they are selected for their second Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) post-season bowl game this Sunday. The Mustangs visited Springfield College in the North Atlantic Bowl during post-season action in 2010.
Castleton State finishes their third year as a program and as a member of the ECFC with an overall record of 4-6, 3-4 in league play.
Bunch, who was awarded the Boston Globe Gold Helmet award following a career performance in 2009 against the Spartans with 351 yards on the ground and five touchdowns, led the Mustangs offensively with one of his best performances of the year.
Lynch hauled in two touchdown catches good for 105 yards receiving while Mustang junior quarterback Scott Drosendahl (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) was sharp as well with 229 yards passing going 11-14 with two TD passes and one interception for his only blemish for the afternoon.
Mount Ida freshman defensive back Jovan Wilkins (Poughkeepsie, NY/Poughkeepsie) tied the record for interceptions in a season snatching his sixth of the year in the second quarter with nine minutes to go. Wilkins needs three more picks to capture the all-time record for interceptions in a career. Mustang junior defensive end A.J. Knibbs (Spotswood, NJ/Spotswood) provided plenty of pressure on 2010 co-Offensive Player-of-the-Year, Spartan quarterback Shane Borzowski (Rensselaer, NY/Rensselaer), adding two sacks to become the all-time sacks leader in the history of the program (21.5 career). Bozier was impressive as well with a sack, a fumble recovery, and a blocked punt. The punt block by Bozier was good enough to tie the career record and break the all-time season record for blocked kicks.
The Spartans hung in there for a while with a strong offensive performance led by Borzowki tallying four touchdown passes with 333 yards through the air and one interception going 26-41 on the day. Spartan sophomore wide out Brandon Boyle (Springfield, VT/Springfield) hauled in three receiving TD's with 12 catches good for 218 yards. Borzowki also added a rushing touchdown with 7:33 to go in the third quarter.
The Castleton State defense was led by defensive back Andrew Pursell (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill) with a game high eight tackles. Spartan junior linebacker Dustin Young (Dunnellon, FL/Dunnellon) added an interception and four sol o tackles.
The Mustangs scored the first two touchdowns of the contest starting with a 27 yard TD scamper from Bunch for his first of the day capping a three play, 55 yard drive for the 6-0 lead with 10:19 to go in the opening stanza. After a successful point after attempt (PAT) from junior kicker Bobby Hemann (Newington, CT/Newington) the hosts would lead 7-0.
A minute later (9:19), Mount Ida's Bozier would block a Castleton State punt on the one yard line that was recovered in the end zone by freshman Tevin Moye (Hamden, CT/Hamden) for the 13-0 advantage. A failed PAT by the Mustangs kept the score at 13-0.
The visitors got on the board following Borzowki's first touchdown pass of the day to junior tight end Adam Farmer (South Burlington, VT/South Burlington) finishing a nine play, 68 yard drive making it 13-6 Mount Ida. The PAT was no good delaying the score at 13-6.
With 30 seconds left in the first quarter Bunch added his second score of the day from two yards out scampering into the end zone capping an eight play, 60 yard drive that ate up five minutes and twenty seconds off the clock for the 20-13 lead following a successful Hemann PAT.
Boyle hauled in his first of three TD catches in the beginning the second quarter from 39 yards out from Borzowski finalizing a six play, 55 yard drive (1:44) pulling within a touchdown trialing 20-13 after a converted point after by Spartan kicker junior Dave Fox (Troy, NY/Tamarac).
There would be no action until the 1:31 mark in the second stanza when Drosendahl hooked up with Lynch on an impressive 25 yard touchdown pitch and catch to lead 26-13 after a failed Hemann PAT.
Less than 30 second later the Spartans added a 65 yard bomb Borzowski to Boyle, hooking up for the second time on the day, with a minute to go before the midway point making it 26-20 after a successful Fox PAT.
Mount Ida countered 35 second later on Lynch's second score of the day from Drosendahl on a 57 yard catch and run for a commanding 33-20 advantage heading into the break.
The Mustangs didn't let off the offensive throttle to start the third quarter finishing a six play, 60 yard drive capped off by a three yard scamper from freshman running back Chris McNally (Bourne, MA/Bourne) pulling away by 20 points (40-20) after a Hemann kick.
Castleton State stopped the bleeding temporarily with 7:33 to go in the third quarter capping a six play, 27 yard drive with a seven yard TD scamper by Borzowski pulling within two scores (40-27).
The next drive and eventual score by Mount Ida, which ate up over 10 minutes of the clock, put the visitors in a tough hole to dig out of on Bunch's third touchdown run of the game from four yards out for the 47-27 lead with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
With eight minutes to go the visitors added another score on a 22 yard pass from Borzowski to Boyle for their third hook up of the game trailing 47-34 capping an eight play, 65 yard drive.
Mount Ida added the final score of the contest on a 48 yard run from Bunch for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game on an impressive scamper putting the Mustangs in the end zone on only two plays for the 54-34 lead an eventual ECFC win in week 10. The visitors couldn't keep up offensively with the Mustangs leading to their ultimate demise.