April 23, 2018
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Maine Maritime, Husson football return home for Saturday games

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

Maine Maritime Academy returns to Castine for a conference home game, while Husson University of Bangor entertains a nationally-ranked opponent, highlighting Saturday’s schedule of games involving Maine college football teams.

Colby College of Waterville, Bates College of Lewiston and Bowdoin College of Brunswick also kick off their respective seasons at home.

The University of Maine Black Bears are off until their Oct. 1 Colonial Athletic Association opener against Delaware.

Fitchburg State Falcons (1-2) at Maine Maritime Academy Mariners (2-0), 1 p.m., Ritchie Field, Castine: The Mariners look to continue their recent success on homecoming with a New England Football Conference non-division game against the Falcons.

Coach Chris McKenney is looking for more efficiency this week after MMA ground out a 21-13 victory at UMass Dartmouth. The Mariners, who rank No. 2 in Division III rushing (440.5 yards per game), had three turnovers in that contest.

Senior quarterback Matthew Rende of Augusta (124.5 rushing yards per game) directs the option attack that has featured the breakthrough efforts of sophomore fullback Ian Champeon of Dover-Foxcroft (162.5 ypg), the nation’s No. 7 rusher.

Senior halfback Nick Bourassa of Jay is averaging 96.5 yards per game, including 14.8 yards per carry. He earned NEFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after running for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

MMA did turn in a solid defensive effort at UMD and continues to be led by safety Alex Hermes (18 tackles, 2 interceptions), linebacker Matthew Ball of Portland (16 tackles, 2 forced fumbles) and LB Joel Chadbourne of Westbrook (16 tackles).

Fitchburg is coming off a 58-7 trouncing at the hands of Endicott. The Falcons have mustered only 182 total yards per contest.

Brian McDonald has averaged only 87.7 ypg passing with two TDs and five interceptions.

Fitchburg also has struggled on defense, giving up 388 yards per game, including 194 on the ground. Anthony Bizzotto (18 tackles) heads the defensive unit.

Wesley Wolverines (1-1) at Husson Eagles (0-2), 1 p.m., Winkin Complex, Bangor: First-year Eagles head coach Sean Murphy has to be wondering what he did to deserve the schedule that has been placed in front of his team this season.

Husson, which has been outscored 140-26 in its first two games, lines up against a perennial powerhouse in Wesley College of Dover, Del. The Wolverines are ranked No. 13 in the D3football.com poll and 19th in the American Football Coaches Association sampling.

Wesley was idle last week after a 31-28 setback at Kean, the No. 12 team in Division III.

An inexperienced Husson squad has been unable to contain opposing offenses, surrendering 70 points and 614 yards per outing. Senior safety Kyle Vanidestine of Bangor (20 tackles, 1 INT) has been the linchpin of the unit.

The Eagles have been challenged on offense, where they have been virtually unable to run the ball (19 ypg). Junior QB Kash Keezer of Veazie has provided some spark, throwing for 325 yards and 3 TDs with four interceptions.

Lamar Richards (7 receptions, 76 yds.) heads the receiving corps.

Wesley’s balanced offense features quarterback Shane McSweeny, who is averaging 238 yards through the air and 55 rushing yards. Jeremiah Howe (9-108) leads the wideouts.

On defense, linebacker Mike Asiedu has posted 20 tackles in two games.

In Saturday’s other games, all with 1 p.m. kickoffs, Bates entertains Amherst, Colby hosts Trinity and Bowdoin awaits Williams.

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