FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State football team collected its first New England Football Conference ( NEFC) Bogan Division victory Saturday, defeating Maine Maritime Academy, 34-14 at Elliot Field. Fitchburg moved to 2-2 (1-0 NEFC) on the season, while the Mariners slipped to 0-3 (0-1 NEFC).
Steph’fon Teague paced a balanced Falcons attack, posting his third consecutive 100-yard game with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Teague averaged 7.4 yards per carry, while surging for a 36-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
Christian Lopez was solid with 193 yards passing and two touchdowns, while junior Jordan Burris brought in a career-best seven receptions for 152 yards and one score.
Maine Maritime opened the scoring early in the first quarter, finding the pay dirt on its initial possession with a 65 yard, 14-play drive. Billy Wetherbee (Veazie, Maine) capped the Mariners’ touchdown drive with a three-yard run, giving Maine Maritime a 7-0 advantage through one quarter of play. The Mariners’ junior rushed for 168 yards on 21 carries, including a 52-yard jaunt.
In the second quarter, Fitchburg State turned up the heat, posting three touchdowns to take a 21-7 margin into the locker room. Teague kick-started the Falcons’ rally with his 36-yard touchdown run, before taking advantage of a Mariners’ turnover for a five-yard score at the 7:49 mark. Fitchburg State capped the surge when Lopez connected with Ty Spencer with a 15-yard pass down the right sideline.
Back-to-back scores by Burris and Cody Titus took the game out of reach. Burris reeled in a season-long 61-yard touchdown reception at the 3:52 mark of the third quarter, while Titus blasted through the middle for a three-yard touchdown early in the fourth. Maine Maritime capped the day’s scoring midway through the fourth with a 17-yard run by Michael Cummings (Bucksport, Maine).
Fitchburg State totaled 342 yards with 149 on the ground and 193 through the air. The Falcons’ defense forced five Maine Maritime fumbles on the afternoon, while Talib Barksdale controlled the running attack with a team-best 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for losses. Tevin Bienamie was also solid with seven solo efforts, while Tyrie Osby added seven tackles with five solo stops and two assists.
Trinity 37, Bates 16
HARTFORD, Conn. — Trinity College was a little too tough on both sides of the ball for the Bates College football team in their 2012 season opener on Saturday, as the Bantams pulled away for a 37-16 win, their 44th straight at Jessee/Miller Field.
Perennial NESCAC power Trinity (1-0) outgained Bates (0-1) 266-103 on the ground and 161-17 through the air. Evan Bunker, who tied for the NESCAC rushing lead last season, ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to pace the Bantams.
Bates did a number of things well, committing no turnovers in the game and coming up with a few big plays on defense and special teams and translating them into an early 3-0 lead and a pair of touchdowns that closed a 21-3 deficit into a 21-16 game late into the third quarter.
The Bobcats will travel to Somerville, Mass., to play at Tufts next Saturday at 1pm. Bates’ home opener is Oct. 6 against Williams, during Parents & Family Weekend.
Bates’ offense got off to a decent start, picking up 44 yards on the opening drive thanks to a 25-yard run by junior Ryan Curit (South Portland, Maine) and an 11-yard gain by senior captain Patrick George (Gloucester, Mass.). The drive stalled out at the Trinity 21, where sophomore Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) caught a 3-yard pass from senior quarterback Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.) but was stopped two yards short of the first-down marker.
But the Bobcats got the first break of the game with 8:42 left in the first quarter, when Crick fumbled the ball away on the first play of Trinity’s second possession, and Bates recovered at the Bantam 19. A pair of gains by George took Bates to the 3-yard line, but a Bates penalty set the Bobcats back five yards. A pair of Smith incompletions sandwiched a 2-yard rush by junior Shawn Doherty(Mansfield, Mass.), so on 4th and goal from the 6, junior kicker Charlie Donahue (Plymouth, N.H.) was called upon to score the first points of the season with a 23-yard field goal, the second of his career.
Momentum swung back Bates’ way after Trinity took over the ball at its own 10, following a 40-yard punt by David Kurey (West Chester, Pa.). Bunker gained 10 yards to put the Bantams at the 19, but on 3rd and 1, senior Evan Dowd (Longmeadow, Mass.) stopped Budness three yards behind the line of scrimmage, giving them a 4th and 4 situation at their own 16. Bantam punter Kyle Pulek was dragged down by sophomore Mike Tomaino (Gloucester, Mass.) back at the 5-yard line. Bates’ offense took full advantage, with George punching the ball in from a yard out on 3rd and goal, and Donahue’s point-after closed the gap to 21-10.
Trinity threatened late in the second stanza, but Bates sophomore linebacker Josh Freedland (Marblehead, Mass.) stopped Burgess a yard shy on 4th-and-3 from the Bates 32 with 21 seconds left on the clock.
Bates held Trinity to a three-and-out to open the third quarter, but the Bantams returned the favor on Bates’ first possession. Trinity returned a Kurey punt to the Bantam 46, but on their first play of the new drive, sophomore linebacker Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) picked off a pass by Burgess three yards from the line of scrimmage, and Brown returned the ball 46 yards before he was taken down at the Trinity 3. It took six plays, including a roughing the passer penalty called on Trinity, but the Bates offense again took advantage of such field position, with Smith getting the ball over the goal-line from inside the 1. Curit, however, was stopped on Bates’ two-point conversion attempt, keeping the score at 21-16.
Bates picked off Burgess on a second consecutive possession, as sophomore cornerback Mike Kelleher (Saugus, Mass.), making the start in his collegiate debut, caught a pass at the Bates 29, 22 yards downfield. Trinity’s defense stuffed the Bobcats, however, and after the Bantams got the ball back at the 50, it took them six plays, including consecutive Michael Budness runs of 21 and 16 yards, for Bunker to run the ball in from the 9 for a 27-16 lead.
Trinity held Bates to just two yards of offense after Smith’s touchdown, while pulling away on a one-yard scoring play by Budness and a 25-yard field goal by Tim Costello.
Dowd had nine tackles, including one for a loss and a pass breakup for the Bobcats, tying junior safety Andrew Kukesh (Exeter, N.H.) for the team lead in tackles. Brown and senior Josh Chronopoulos (Tyngsboro, Mass.) had seven tackles apiece. First-year defensive back Michael Lee (Bealeton, Va.) was in on six tackles and also broke up a pass.
George rushed 13 times for 51 yards and a touchdown, and also returned four kickoffs for 82 more yards. Smith rushed for 19 yards, including the touchdown, and completed 5-of-16 passes for 17 yards. Sophomore Lani Eversage (Swansville, Maine) returned three kickoffs for 46 yards and made three special-teams tackles.
Williams 41, Colby 7
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. —- Despite a touchdown pass and eight catches from Colby College sophomore Luke Duncklee, the Williams College football team had 410 yards of total offense on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Mules in the season opener Saturday.
Colby (0-1 overall) will play its home opener next Saturday at 1 p.m. against Middlebury College.
Williams sophomore quarterback Adam Marske was 22-for-27 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. He had two of the three touchdowns in the opening 20:28 of the game to give the Ephs (1-0) a 17-0 lead. Marske hit Darren Hartwell on a 25-yard scoring pass down the right sideline after a Colby fumble gave Williams the ball on the 25. After a 39-yard field goal by Joseph Mallock gave Williams a 10-0 lead, Hartwell caught his second score of the game on a 6-yard pass from Marske.
Duncklee’s option throw hit Michael Lahiff on a 40-yard scoring play to cut the Williams lead to 17-7 with 6:15 remaining in the opening half. Duncklee finished the day with eight catches for 66 yards and Lahiff had two grabs for 40 yards.
Williams, though, quickly bounced back to make it 24-7 at intermission. Jeff Riemann caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Marske with 2:53 to play.
The third quarter stayed quiet until the Ephs drove 43 yards on six plays and received an 8-yard scoring run from Marco Hernandez with 1:35 remaining.
Mallock went deep from 42 yards for his second field goal of the game with 11:33 to play. The Mules were unfortunate on the final touchdown by Williams. Colby blocked a field goal attempt, but John McKenna scooped up the loose ball and ran 28 yards for the touchdown with 9:45 left.
Hartwelll had eight catches for 92 yards and the two touchdowns for the Ephs.
Colby first-year linebacker Ryan Ruiz was tied for a game-high with eight tackles, including one for a 13-yard loss. Derrick Beasley finished with seven stops, while Jason Buco had five tackles and one interception.
Middlebury 42, Bowdoin 18
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Bowdoin College football team couldn’t recover from an early deficit and dropped its season-opener to Middlebury on Saturday, 42-18.
Middlebury’s McCallum Foote finished the day 26 of 44, tossing for 285 yards with five touchdown passes as the Panthers amassed 416 yards of total offense.Grant White and Romero both saw action at quarterback for Bowdoin, with White going 5-11 for 25 yards with a pair of interceptions. Romero finished the game 13-20 for 153 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Greg Pierce rushed for 82 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, while David Black caught seven passes for 63 yards. David Nurse led all tacklers with 14 in the contest, while Beau Breton picked up 11.
Middlebury’s Nick Burdeau picked off a Grant White pass and returned it 13 yards to the nine on Bowdoin’s opening possession of the game. Two plays later, McCallum Foote found Zach Driscoll from three yards out for the 7-0 lead. After a Jimmy Garvey 29-yard field goal, Middlebury drove 60 yards on 10 plays, with Foote finding Brendan Rankowitz for a 24-yard touchdown to make it a 14-3 game with 4:00 left in the first half.
Thomas Romero was intercepted on the Polar Bears’ ensuing possession, with an 18-yard return by Jared Onouye leaving Middlebury the ball at the Bowdoin 20. On a fourth and six play, Foote found tight end Billy Chapman over the middle for the touchdown. Bowdoin answered with a 77 yard drive on seven plays to make it a 21-9 game at the half. Romero found Nick Goldin for a 40-yard connection during the drive, with a 28-yard scoring strike to David Black.
Middlebury drove 78 yards on its opening drive of the second half, with Remi Ashkar accounting for 21 yards on the ground and 21 through the air. The running back scored from one-yard out to give the Panthers a 28-9 advantage. Bowdoin’s Jim Garvey kicked his second field goal of the game at the 8:21 mark, this one from 27 yards out to make it a 28-12 contest.
The Polar Bears scored on their third straight possession when the team drove 90 yards on 10 plays to cut the lead to 28-18. Romero found Christian Dulmaine for 35 yards before a four-yard rush from Greg Pierce into the end zone.
Bowdoin looked to further close the gap after a Middlebury fumble on its next possession. The Polar Bears took over at the Panther 26, but four plays later, turned the ball over on downs.
Middlebury drove 79 yards on its next possession, extending its lead to 35-18. A 20-yard pass to Josh Amster was the key play on the drive, as Foote hit Zach Driscoll for a 19-yard scoring strike. Following a Bowdoin punt, Middlebury scored for the final time with 3:07 remaining when Foote hit Chapman from 25 yards out in the corner of the end zone, making it a 42-18 final.
Ashkar rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground, catching three balls for 25 yards. Rankowtiz (77 yards) and Chapman (76 yards) caught seven balls apiece with Chapman scoring twice and Rankowitz finding the end zone once. Driscoll caught five passes for 74 yards with a pair of touchdowns. John Wiet paced the defense with 10 tackles and a sack.