Five Rushing Touchdowns Lead Privateers to Victory in ECFC Opener
THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (October 5, 2013) - Behind a career-rushing day of junior fullback Kyle Gardner (Amityville N.Y./St. Anthony's ), the Maritime Privateers football team picked up its first win of the season by the score of 35-24 on Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field.
Gardner led all rushers with 221 yards on the ground, and also scored a pair of touchdowns for the Privateers. Maritime also got two rushing touchdowns out of freshman quarterback Ryan Heizman (Commack, N.Y./Commack), who also picked up 30 yards on the game. Junior Greg Caneparo (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet) also had 92-yards on the ground and opened up the scoring with a 59-yard touchdown run in the early portion of the second quarter.
Maritime received the opening kickoff and went three-and out, the Privateer defense also forced a three-and-out on the opening drive for the Amcats. Anna Maria picked up a touchdown on its second drive of the game after Gregory McGoldrick connected on a pass to Josh Sundquist for a five-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Several drives later as the Privateers took possession to start over the second quarter, Caneparo took the handoff and sprinted for a 59-yard touchdown run to tie the game at six. Sophomore Diogo Dietrich (Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, DePaul Catholic) tacked on the extra point and Maritime had its first lead of the game at 7-6.
On the first Amcat drive of the second quarter, Anna Maria picked up a first down, but on the next set of downs the Privateers got a seven-yard sack from junior defensive lineman Hugh O'Brien (Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) picked up a seven-yard sack to stop the drive in its tracks. Maritime punted on its next offensive series, followed by Anna Maria rushing for a six-yard touchdown to take a 12-7 lead after the extra point was blocked by Privateer senior Chris Klass (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet ).
The Privateers took control of the ball with less than three minutes to go in the half, and Gardner began to chew up the yards once again. He ended the series with five carries for 51 yards to help set up a two-yard touchdown run from Heizman. Dietrich added the extra point and Maritime regained the lead at 14-12.
After the halftime break, things didn't start as well as the first half ended for the Privateers as Anna Maria picked up a 52-yard touchdown run from Robert Small on just the third play of the quarter. The two-point conversion again failed, but the Amcats took the lead back at 18-14.
A few series later once Maritime got the ball back, sophomore Dwayne Lacroix (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Malverne ) gave Gardner a breather and helped the offense once again make its way down the field. Lacroix picked up 19 yards on five carries and helped Maritime into a first-and-goal situation at the two-yard line. Heizman handled the rest as the rookie made his way into the end zone for his second score of the game.
On the final Amcat play of the period, Chris Bettano carried the ball for nine yards, but then lost control the ball as junior linebacker Nick Coffiey (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) stripped the ball and rookie defensive back Francis Gannon (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River) scooped up the loose rock at the Maritme 17-yard line to set up another Privateer possession.
After having been spelled on the previous drive and the first few carries of the fourth quarter, Gardner came in and had his number called once again. Gardner dashed for another long run, as the junior picked up a 39-yard touchdown to put the Privateers up by two possessions.
Anna Maria went quietly on its next series, while Maritime was forced to punt as well. The next series for the Amcats went even quicker when on third-and-seven deep in its own zone, Gannon picked off a McGoldrick pass to set up the Privateers in prime field position.
Gardner was the star once again on the following drive and picked up 29 yards to set up first and goal for Maritime at the 10-yard line of Anna Maria. Garnder got the call once again and made his way into the end zone for his second score of the game as the Privateers needed just two plays on the drive to take its largest lead of the game at 35-18.
A long Amcat drive on the next series ended with another Anna Maria touchdown out of the arm of McGoldrick, but the drive also hurt the visitors as they had taken nearly four minutes off the clock forcing the Amcats to attempt an onside kick to regain the ball.
Anna Maria kicker Julian Diaz booted the ball 15-yards but the rock landed in the hands of Gannon, who then went right to the ground to virtually ice the game in favor of Maritime. The Privateers rushed the ball a few times, and picked up one final first down on the final series to end the game and give Maritime its first victory of the season at 35-24.
While Gardner and Heizman led the offense with a pair of touchdowns each, the defense had a very solid and balanced game as Coffiey and O'Brien ended with 11 tackles each. O'Brien had three tackles for a loss of 11 yards, and also collected a sack for Maritime. Coffiey, in addition to his 11 tackles had a pair of forced fumbled, one of which was picked up by Gannon who ended the game fourth on the team with six tackles. Sophomore linebacker Kameron Knight (Clayton, N.C./West Johnson) had 9 tackles, while classmate Andrew Auriemma (Melville, N.Y./St. Anthony's) had six as well.
Maritime (1-3, 1-0 ECFC) will travel on the road for the next two weeks with its first stop at Becker next Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. start in Leicester, Mass. Anna Maria (1-3, 0-1 ECFC) will return home to take on league-for Husson for a 3 p.m. start in Paxton, Mass.