MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
41st Annual Admiral's Cup
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Ritchie Field, Castine, Maine
FINAL: MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 52, MAINE MARITIME 18
CASTINE, Maine -- Senior Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) completed 22-of-28 pass attempts for 357 yards and a pair of scores, while junior John Trudel (Niantic, Conn.) threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another as Massachusetts Maritime amassed a school-record 752 yards of total offense en route to a 52-18 victory over Maine Maritime in the 41st Annual Admiral's Cup clash Saturday afternoon at Ritchie Field.
The visiting Buccaneers, who are off to their second 2-0 start in three seasons, scored on six of their seven possessions in the opening half of action in notching their third straight triumph over the host Mariners (0-2) in the Admiral's Cup series. Senior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.), who rushed for a career-high 201 yards on just 20 carries, gave Massachusetts Maritime a 6-0 lead just 1:08 into the contest when he scored from 14 yards out, and after the visitors marched to the Maine Maritime 14 before turning the ball over on their next possession, Trudel found senior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) on a 10-yard hook-up and a 13-0 Buccaneer lead midway through the opening stanza. Stanton extended that margin to 19-0 on the next drive, as he connected with junior Jonathon Wright (Newburyport, Mass.) on a 36-yard scoring strike with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and after the Mariners got on the board with just over 10 minutes to play in the half on a five-yard run by junior Bradley Reed (Belfast, Maine), Trudel scampered in from six yards out on the ensuing possession and a 26-6 Buccaneer edge.
After holding on downs on the next Mariner possession, Massachusetts Maritime marched 74 yards on 13 plays, as Trudel found sophomore Kevin Healy (Palmetto, Fla.) on a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 33-6 lead with 2:48 remaining in the half, and the Buccaneers extended that margin after senior Sheldon Roper (Sharpsburg, Ga.) intercepted a Reed pass at his own 33 and returned it 34 yards to set up a 33-yard scoring strike from Stanton to junior E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.) with 1:49 left in the half. The hosts sliced their deficit to 40-12 at the break when Reed found senior Ryan O'Neal (Higganum, Conn.) on a 17-yard touchdown pass as time expired, and the visitors iced their triumph with two third quarter scores, including another Trudel-to-Healy hook-up of 15 yards and a 22-yard run by junior Austin Pierce (Peabody, Mass.) in a 2:21 span of the third quarter. Maine Maritime closed out the scoring for the day early in the final frame, as freshman Brian Bedard (Turner, Maine) hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Reed.
Massachusetts Maritime, which broke the previous mark of 724 total yards set last October 27th against Westfield State, rushed for 358 yards and passed for 394 on the afternoon, as Trudel accounted for four scores with just 50 yards of total offense (37 passing, 13 rushing). Gustafson and Pierce combined for 268 rushing yards for the Buccaneers, as Stanton and Trudel hit 11 different receivers as part of 25 total completions, including a career-high six catches for 77 yards by junior Kyle Hardy (Salem, Mass.). Bennett, Healy (who hauled in his first two career scoring passes) and Caruso combined for nine receptions and 154 yards for the winners, who have outscored Maine Maritime by a combined 128-47 in claiming the last the Admiral's Cups and taking a 24-17 lead in the all-time modern series between the two schools dating back to 1973.
Senior Billy Wetherbee (Veazie, Maine) rushed for 191 of the Mariners' 364 yards on the ground for the contest, as sophomore Joseph DiBiase (Portland, Maine) added 94 yards for the hosts. Reed completed just 5-of-19 pass attempts for 80 yards and his two touchdowns, as Bedard hauled in three receptions for 59 yards.
Sophomore Matthew King (Scituate, Mass.) paced Massachusetts Maritime defensively with 12 total tackles (10 solo), while Roper added six stops to go with his interception for the Buccaneers, who also received seven tackles (six solo) from junior Reynard Ortiz (Lowell, Mass.). Senior Chase Hutchinson (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) registered 10 solo tackles in the setback for Maine Maritime, which also received 10 stops each from junior Nathaniel Lewis (Bangor, Maine) and sophomore Michael Burgess (North Yarmouth, Maine).
Massachusetts Maritime opens Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference play next Saturday afternoon by heading to Worcester, Mass. to take on Worcester State in a league outing that kicks off at 1:30 p.m., while Maine Maritime begins its New England Football Conference slate next Saturday by traveling to Springfield, Mass. to take on Western New England at 1:00 p.m.