MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Clean Harbors Stadium, Buzzards Bay, Mass.
FINAL: PLYMOUTH STATE 40, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 14
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- Junior quarterback Zack Edwards (Brookfield, Mass.) accounted for a pair of touchdowns as Plymouth State used a special teams score and a late pick-six return to post a 40-14 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium.
Edwards connected with senior Colin Leddy (Natick, Mass.) for a 45-yard touchdown pass on the opening play of the second quarter to give the visiting Panthers (7-1, 5-1 MASCAC) a 7-0 edge, and he then plunged in from one yard out midway through the stanza after a muffed punt gave Plymouth State possession inside the host Buccaneers' (1-6, 0-5 MASCAC) 20-yard line. The visitors extended their edge to 20-0 at the break with a special teams score in the closing minute of the half, as junior Brad Rhoades (Epsom, N.H.) returned a blocked punt by fellow junior Sean Peet (Glen Cove, N.Y.) 25 yards for a touchdown.
Massachusetts Maritime got on the board with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter when senior quarterback Chris Haggerty (Cohasset, Mass.) capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a one-yard pass to fellow senior Derek Stegman (Dover, N.H.), and after Edwards was intercepted on ensuing drive by sophomore Cameron Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass.) at the hosts' 6-yard line, the Buccaneers drove 94 yards in 12 plays to close back to within six on sophomore Matt Long's (Weymouth, Mass.) two-yard plunge with 3:35 to play in the stanza. Massachusetts Maritime had a golden opportunity after recovering an onside kick at its own 39 yard line, but the Panthers held defensively and put together a nine-play, 61-yard drive that consumed nearly six minutes and was capped by junior Mitch Banuskevich's (Milford, N.H.) two-yard touchdown run just 3:33 into the final frame. Following a Buccaneer punt on the next possession, Edwards directed the visitors on another lengthy drive of 11 plays and 59 yards that consumed six more minutes and ended with a one-yard scoring scamper by sophomore David Hamilton (Westville, N.J.), and Plymouth State iced its triumph with 2:26 remaining in the contest after sophomore Prince Gbaley (Manchester, N.H.) returned a pick-six 56 yards for the final touchdown and account for the final margin.
Edwards completed 12-of-21 pass attempts for 135 yards to go with his scores for the Panthers, who received a combined 118 rushing yards from Banuskevich (75) and Hamilton (43). Leddy hauled in three catches for 63 yards for the visitors, who were outgained by 80 yards (334-254) on the day but took advantage of special teams play that included the blocked punt, fumble recovery and 133 combined kick return yards on three attempts. Haggerty completed 17-of-24 pass attempts for 181 yards to go with his touchdown in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, as he became the sixth player in school history to surpass the 3,000 career passing yards mark in the process while adding 59 rushing yards on eight carries. Senior Richie Phillips (Onset, Mass.) added 68 rushing yards in becoming the sixth player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 yard mark for the Buccaneers, as he, Stegman and junior Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.) combined for 12 receptions for 158 yards on the day.
Sophomore Matt Shea (Windham, N.H.) led the way defensively with seven solo stops in the win for Plymouth State, which received six solo tackles each from senior Blair Zentek (Simsbury, Conn.) and junior Grant McGregor (Burlington, Conn.). Senior Alexander Ruddy (Mansfield, Mass.) registered six total tackles and an interception on the defensive side for Massachusetts Maritime, which also received six stops each from sophomore Sean Smialek (South Dartmouth, Mass.) and freshman Colin McCabe (Dartmouth, Mass.) as well as five solo tackles and three quarterback hurries from sophomore Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass.).
Massachusetts Maritime heads to Worcester, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Worcester State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash that kicks off at Noon, while Plymouth State hosts Westfield State in a MASCAC outing next Saturday afternoon in Plymouth, N.H. that kicks off at 1:00 p.m.