THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (October 26, 2013) – The Maritime Privateer football team rushed their way into the record books on Saturday afternoon. Behind 550 yards on the ground, Maritime set a new single-game rushing record as it defeated the Castleton State Spartans at home by the score of 38-6.
The 550-yards of rushing offense set the new record, breaking the previous mark of 515 yards in 2009 against Becker. The Privateers also tied the single-game high for rushing attempts with 72, tying the mark against Castleton set two seasons ago in 2011. Maritime also collected 29 rushing first downs to set another record, breaking the previous of 28 done three times before.
The defense also put together a complete performance of 61 tackles as well as one force fumble and recovery and a pair of interceptions. The unit as a whole allowed just one touchdown and allowed the Spartan offense inside the Maritime 40-yard line just twice over the 60-minute contest.
The game was just 7-6 at halftime, but Maritime came back with 31 unanswered points in the second half to end the game with the one-sided victory. "We had a tremendous effort in the second half, I was proud of the character that our team showed coming out of the locker room for the last 30 minutes of the game," said Maritime head coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes.
Maritime was also celebrating Youth Day as well as Coach to Cure MD Day at Reinhart Field, having guests from throughout the area meet the team after the game to receive autographs from the team.
The Privateers also welcomed honorary captain, and special guest Javier Romero to Reinhart Field. Romero was tasked with flipping the opening coin toss, and was given some of the best seats at the stadium. Romero suffers from muscular dystrophy, and visited the team to spend some time with the football team.
"Javier really inspired our team today," Kendrick-Holmes added. "It was a pleasure for our coaches and players to meet with him today." For more information on Javier and to hear his story, please visit HopeForJavier.org
Castleton won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half to put the Maritime offense to work to start off the game. The Privateers alternated runners as senior Frank Laino (Rockaway, N.Y./Fort Hamilton), and juniors Greg Caneparo (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet) and Kyle Gardner (Amityville N.Y./St. Anthony's) picked up the first 37 yards of the drive on six carries.
Freshman Ryan Heizman (Commack, N.Y./Commack) got in on the running action and picked up 14 yards to put Maritime into the red zone. After an eight-yard gain by Gardner on the ground, Laino punched it into the end zone with a dive to put the Privateers up 6-0. Sophomore Diogo Dietrich (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/DePaul Catholic) tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0.
The Maritime defense made its way onto the field next as the team ended up allowing just eight yards on 10 plays. Junior linebacker Nick Coffiey (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) highlighted the drive with three tackles on the series.
After picking up a pair of first downs on the ensuing drive, the series was short-circuited by a penalty. The 1st-and-25 after the penalty was too much for the offense to handle, despite getting it down to just 4th-and-12.
Castleton had its lone score of the game on the next drive as the Spartans picked up four first downs on the drive before Doug Saffo stuffed the ball into the end zone on a two-yard run. A pair of encroachment penalties on the extra point attempts allowed the Spartans to get to 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line and attempted a two-point conversion, which failed.
The Privateers put together yet another long drive and marched into Castleton territory with another strong rushing series. After the first two passing attempts on the series were incomplete, Heizman was picked off to allow the Spartans to set back up offensively.
Castleton completed its first pass of the drive with just four seconds left, but the Privateers ended it quickly as senior Andrew Vazquez (Yonkers, N.Y./Sacred Heart) forced a fumble that was picked up by Coffiey to essentially end the first half of play.
The teams headed into the locker room with Maritime hanging onto a slight 7-6 lead. Once the second half began, the Privateers flipped the switch into the 'ON' position and began to click on all cylinders.
The defense began the half forcing a 3-and-out, to set up Maritime in decent field position at the Castleton 43-yard line. Gardner and Heizman highlighted the drive with back-to-back 17 and 16-yard rushes to set up 1st-and-goal. After getting pushed backwards on the next two plays, Heizman ran the ball himself for eight yards to put Maritime up 14-6.
Castleton picked up one first down on the next drive, but as Tyler Higley dropped back on a 2nd-and-1 play and was picked off. Once again it was Coffiey in the middle of the play causing a disturbance to the Spartan offense.
Four plays later, Maritime was back in the end zone, celebrating its second touchdown in just under four minutes of play as Heizman picked up his second rushing score of the day.
The Privateers were in the end zone another 38 seconds later as sophomore Beau Warrington (Milford, Del./Sussex Technical) intercepted a Higley pass at the 25-yard line and ran it back for the score as the lead ballooned to 28-6 in favor of the Privateers.
The Maritime defense put together another perfect stop causing negative yardage for the Spartans. The drive was highlighted by another big play from Coffiey as the junior linebacker forced a 4th-and-20 with a 10-yard sack on third down.
The following Castleton punt pinned the Privateers back at its own three-yard line. The offense took the field and orchestrated one of the best drives in program history, highlighted by Gardner and Heizman as the duo combined to rush for 93 of the team's 97 yards. Heizman capped off the drive with his third score of the game on a nine-yard run as the team took a 35-6 lead just 2:27 into the fourth quarter.
The drive was recorded as going for 97-yards, tying the second longest drive in program history, done three other times. The longest drive put together by a Maritime offense came on October 9, 2010 also against the Spartans, which went for 99 yards.
With the Privateers looking to run the clock as much as they could over the remainder of the game, role players Isaiah Covington (Brooklyn, N.Y./FDR) and Dwayne Lacroix (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Malverne) came into play. Covington picked up 22 yards, while Lacroix netted 64 yards all on one sprint to take the Privateers from their own 31-yard line to set up 1st-and-goal at the Castleton five-yard line. Maritime settled for the field goal to cap off the scoring at 38-6.
The Spartans got the ball back with under four minutes to go, and picked up five first downs as the team reached inside the Maritime 40-yard line for just the second time during the game. Freshman Eric Wallace (West Point, N.Y./James O'Neill) sealed the win with a 14-yard sack. The clock ran out and Maritime had won its third ECFC game of the season.
At the end of the game, the team had amassed the 550-yards of offense with Heizman leading the way. The rookie finished with 210 yards on the ground, the second highest mark in single-game history behind Gardner's 221 yards from earlier this season. Heizman also collected three of the five Privateer touchdowns, all on running plays.
Gardner was second on the team with 144 yards on the ground, while Lacroix finished with 80 yards on two carries including the game-high 64-yard dash. Laino had 48 yards on eight carries, while Caneparo netted 37 yards on five touches, Covington had 22 yards on five carries. Freshman Nick Fischetti (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) had his second carry of the season for six yards, while classmate Mark Tooma (Monroe-Woodbury, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) collected three yards on as many carries.
Coffiey led the defensive unit with 14 stops including one sack for a 10-yard loss. He also had a fumble recovery, interception and. Wallace was second on the team with eight tackles, including his game-ending 14-yard sack. Junior defensive end Hugh O'Brien (Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) finished with five stops including two for a loss in yardage. Vazquez had the lone fumbled caused by the Privateer defense, while Warrington had the 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Maritime (3-4, 3-1 ECFC) will head back on the road for its final battle away from Reinhart Field a week from today in Maine against Husson at 12 p.m. Castleton (1-6, 0-4 ECFC) will look for its first league win on the road next weekend against Anna Maria at 2 p.m.