June 24, 2018
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Maine college football roundup: Colby edged Tufts on ‘trick’ play in overtime


SOMERVILLE, Mass. —- Colby College senior Ryan Veillette is known in the New England Small College Athletic Conference as the sacks leader of the league, but Saturday he showed some offensive skill in the Mules’ 21-14 overtime victory over Tufts University in football action at Ellis Oval/Zimman Field.

Veillette, a two-time All-NESCAC defensive end, lined up as the lone running back in overtime at the Tufts’ 3-yard line. He took the handoff from quarterback Justin Ciero, ran to his right, and tossed a pass to a wide open Derrick Beasley to put the Mules on top 21-14 after an important extra point by Louw Scheepers. Beasley, an All-NESCAC defensive back, caught his third touchdown of the season while playing both ways for the Mules.

Colby moves to 2-5 overall heading into next Saturday’s season-ending home game with rival Bowdoin College at 12:30 p.m. The Polar Bears lost 14-6 on Saturday to Bates College, allowing the Bobcats to win the coveted Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) title. Tufts (0-7) had its losing streak, dating back to the 2010 season, extended to 22 straight games.

Veillette and Beasley stayed on the field to help Colby’s defense after the trick play. After a 10-yard run by Tufts to get a first down, Veillette made the tackle on a 1-yard gain by the Jumbos. Colby linebacker Mark Vargas tipped a pass away on the Jumbos’ second down play. The Mules then forced two incomplete passes on third and fourth down to earn the victory.

Colby rushed for 256 yards on the day, with 166 coming from first-year quarterback Justin Ciero on 22 carries (7.5 yards per carry). Spencer Gopaul added 84 yards on 20 rushes (4.2 yards per carry). Ciero also threw for 118 yards and one touchdown on 14 completions.

Saturday’s game started like it might be a wild shootout, with both squads scoring on their opening possession. Tufts sophomore running back Zack Trause, who had to leave the game in the second half with an injury, had 45 yards rushing and one catch for 11 yards on the opening drive and scored on a 7-yard run with 9:54 left in the opening quarter.

The Mules started their drive at their own 25-yard line and needed just four plays to go 75 yards to knot the score at 7-7. Ciero had a 52-yard run on the first Colby offensive play, ran for 18 yards on the second play, and then watched Gopaul go 2 yards to the Tufts’ 3-yard line. Ciero ran in from 3 yards out for the score on the fourth play.

Colby’s defense helped set up the second touchdown by the Mules for a 14-7 lead with just 1:11 left in the second quarter. Mule defensive back Daniel Maddox intercepted a pass at his team’s 35-yard line and raced 32 yards on the return to the 33-yard line of the Jumbos.

Five plays later, Ciero found Indigo Dow for a 15-yard scoring pass and it appeared the Mules might take a lead into halftime.

Dylan Haas of Tufts had other ideas when he returned the Colby kickoff from his team’s own 18-yard line to the Colby 48-yard line. The Jumbos wisely used all three timeouts during the drive and received a big 28-yard pass play from quarterback John Dodds to wide receiver Jack Cooleen to the Colby 12-yard line. Haas added a 9-yard grab to the Mules’ 3-yard line and then caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Dodds with 23 seconds to play to forge a 14-14 halftime tie.

Neither team could manage much offense in the second half. Tufts missed (wide left) a field goal attempt from 26 yards out with 8:32 left in the third quarter. With 2:06 left in the fourth quarter, the Mules missed on a 33-yard attempt (wide right).

With 2:06 still to play and the ball at their own 20-yard line, Tufts threw an incomplete pass on first down and then decided on two straight rushes to get the first down without calling a timeout. With time winding down, Colby linebacker Gabe Salzer had a blindside blitz on Dodds and forced a fumble that the Jumbos’ Nick Kenyon recovered on his own 19-yard line. Tufts decided not to run another play and settled for overtime.

Overtime rules give each team the ball at the opponent’s 25-yard line for at least one possession. Gopaul had a rush for 4 yards and Ciero went 5 yards to set up a big 3rd-and-1 at the Tufts’ 16-yard line. Gopaul took the handoff and found room on the right side and nearly broke the play for a touchdown before getting tripped up at the 3-yard line. Colby ran Gopaul up the middle on first down for no gain before Veillette and Beasley teamed up on their big play.

Maddox had the big interception and also led Colby with eight tackles. Tony Atkinson forced one fumble and made seven stops for the Mules. Jason Buco had his fifth interception of the season and made six tackles, while Salzer joined Lester Batiste and Zach Padula with five tackles apiece.

Tommy Meade led all tacklers with 12 for Tufts and Sean Harrington made 10 stops for the Jumbos. Sam Diss had two sacks and six tackles in a losing cause.

Coast Guard 42, MMA 13

NEW LONDON, CONN.— Coast Guard senior quarterback tied his own school record with six touchdown passes to guide the Bears to a 42-13 win over Maine Maritime Academy in New England Football Conference action Saturday. Coast Guard closed out its season at 5-4 overall, 4-3 Bogan Division while the Mariners fell to 0-9, 0-7.

Resch tied his own school-record of six touchdown passes set when he came off the bench during his freshman season and threw for a school-record 469 yards and six touchdowns in a 76-49 home loss to Maine Maritime.

Resch threw a pair of first quarter touchdowns to senior tight end Casey Paris from 17 and three yards for a 14-0 lead.

Meggers caught a 6-yard touchdown before backup tight end junior Ethan Baisden caught his first career touchdown, a 1-yard pass from Resch with 2:34 left in the first half as the Bears led 28-0 at halftime.

Senior Todd Stephens had the first touchdown reception of his career, a 13-yarder with 4:42 left in the third quarter as the Bears led 35-0 after three quarters.

Paris put his name in the record books as well as he caught his school-record tying third touchdown of the game, a 28-yard pass, with 14:07 left in the game for a 42-0 lead. Resch would come back on the first for the Bears next possession and leave to a standing ovation after the first play. He was 23 of 36 for 235 yards with six touchdown passes to go with 14 rushing yards.

Freshman kicker Tyler Henning made all six extra points and finished the season a perfect 39-for-39 on extra points.

Coast Guard finished with 439 yards of total offense to break the school-record for most offensive yards in a season. The Bears had 3,661 yards this season breaking the mark of 3,549 set in 2007.

The Bears had 270 passing yards and 169 rushing yards as sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak led the way with nine carries for 66 yards.

Paris had a team-high seven receptions for 79 yards as 11 different players recorded receptions in the win for Coast Guard.

Maine Maritime junior fullback Billy Wetherbee, who led the Mariners with 17 carries for 153 yards scored both Mariner touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He got the team on the board with a 7-yard run before breaking a 65-yard touchdown run with 4:58 left to close the scoring.

Freshman quarterback Michael Fahey carried 30 times for 122 yards as the Mariners finished with 360 total yards, 307 rushing and 53 passing.

Castleton State 34, Husson 14

Bangor, Maine – It wasn’t pretty but Castleton got the job done, scoring the final 20 points of the game to finish with a 34-14 win over the Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Winkin Complex.

The win is the school-record sixth straight for Castleton, as the team improves to 6-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and 7-2 for the season. The Spartans now play Mount Ida for the ECFC Championship next Saturday at Spartan Stadium, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Castleton took a 7-0 just 55 seconds into the second on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) to Brandon Boyle (Springfield, Vt.).

The Spartans made it 14-0 just over two minutes later as the Brozowski and Boyle hooked up for another scored, this one a 38-yard touchdown reception.

Neither team would score again until there was 3:34 left in the third quarter. After Castleton fumbled inside its own five-yard line, the Eagles’ Kash Keezer scored on a rushing touchdown to cut the Spartan lead in half, 14-7.

Castleton turned the ball over on its next possession and Husson capitalized once again, scoring just 1:01 into the fourth quarter and tying the game 14-14.

However, the Spartans responded 46 seconds later with a 59-yard scoring strike from freshman George Busharis (Mansfield, Mass.) to Boyle to take back the lead, 21-14.

Castleton maintained the momentum, blocking a punt on Husson’s next possession to set up a Dave Fox (Troy, N.Y.) field goal. The Spartans then forced a fumble to set up another Fox field goal with 3:31 left, pushing the lead to 27-14.

Senior Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, N.Y.) provided the final scoring for Castleton, rushing into the endzone from four yards out with just 1:01 left in the contest.

Bates 14, Bowdoin 6

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bates College football team won its first CBB title since 2002 in a 14-6 win over Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday’s win for the Bobcats (4-3), combined with last week’s victory over Colby, gives Bates its first CBB crown in a decade. A win next week at home against Hamilton would give the Bobcats their first winning season since 1981. The Polar Bears (1-6) will wrap up their season next week in Waterville against Colby and will relinquish possession of the CBB Trophy for the first time in six years.

In the loss, Bowdoin junior linebacker Griffin Cardew tied the school record with 17 tackles, joining four other Polar Bears with the single-game mark.

Bates gained 160 yards on the ground, led by sophomore slotback Mac Jackson, whose 22-yard pickup highlighted a 6-carry, 61-yard day. Senior Patrick George ran for 40 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Senior quarterback Trevor Smith completed 11 of 18 passes for 100 yards — nine of his completions went to junior wide receiver Kevin Davis whose career-high catch total resulted in 87 yards and a touchdown. Bowdoin gave the ball away four times, compared to three for Bates, making it the sixth time in seven games this season that Bates has won the turnover battle.

After Bates punted the ball away from midfield on the first series of the game, Bowdoin put together what would be its most extensive drive of the game, moving 76 yards on 14 plays from its own 19-yard line to set up a 22-yard field goal by Jimmy Garvey for a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Bates fumbled the ball away on the next play from scrimmage, then had to punt again from midfield before the first quarter came to a close.

The Bobcats started their next drive from their best field position to that point, at the Bates 48, and moved the ball to the Bowdoin 17 before the drive stalled out, thanks to a fumble and a sack. From the Bowdoin 28, sophomore punter David Kurey landed the ball at the Bowdoin 5. The Polar Bears immediately gained 10 yards on a completion from Mac Caputi to Nick Goldin, but Goldin fumbled the ball away in a scrum to Andrew Kukesh, who recovered at the Bowdoin 15. This field position was too good for Bates not to take advantage, and the Bobcats complied, using a five-yard Bowdoin penalty and a two-yard gain by George to move to the 8-yard line, where Smith connected with Davis for an 8-yard touchdown, Davis’s third this season and Smith’s fifth toss for a TD. Junior kicker Charlie Donahue’s added the extra point for a 7-3 Bates lead with 9:47 left in the half.

Kukesh’s interception at the Bates 16 truncated Bowdoin’s third-quarter-opening drive, but Bates gave the ball right back when Bowdoin’s Joey Cleary picked off Smith, returning the ball to the Polar Bears at the Bates 31. A 14-yard completion from Caputi to Zach Donnarumma helped the Polar Bears reach the Bates 7, from where they settled for a 24-yard field goal by Garvey to cut the gap to 7-6.

Bates responded with its best offensive drive of the day, quickly moving from its own 35 deep into Bowdoin territory on an unpredictable mix of plays: a 10-yard pass to Davis, followed by runs of six and nine yards by senior Teddy Downs and junior Shawn Doherty, then a 13-yard pass to Davis and a 6-yard jaunt by George. Smith found first-year wideout Harrison Murphy for 11 yards, taking Bates down to the 5, and two plays later George punched the ball in from two yards out for a 14-6 lead with 3:01 left in the third quarter, capping a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive.

Bowdoin would enter Bates territory twice more in the game, but came away with no points to show for it. Early in the fourth quarter, Gaither stopped Donnarumma for a 1-yard loss on 4th and 1 from the Bates 34, turning the ball over on downs on one of the biggest plays of the day. Bowdoin’s defense held Bates to a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Polar Bear offense at their own 28 with 11:41 left in the game. A mix of passes and runs allowed the Polar Bears to move methodically to a 1st and 10 at Bates’ 23. On 3rd and 6, Durkin wrapped up Daniel Barone at the 14, a yard short of the first down conversion, leading to another attempt at a fourth-down conversion for Bowdoin. Durkin and Chronopoulos were both in on the tackle as Wilifred Ahoua was stuffed for a 1-yard loss, bringing Bates to the doorstep of victory.

Jackson rushed for 14 yards for an important first down, starting Bates on a 13-play, 55-yard drive that ate up 5:10 of the game clock. Doherty was thrown for a 6-yard loss on 4th and 2 from the Bowdoin 24, returning the ball to Bowdoin on downs with 52 seconds left in the game, but Caputi fumbled the ball away on the first play of the drive, and Bates junior defensive tackle Matt Comstock recovered the ball to clinch the historic win.

Donnarumma netted 70 yards on 25 carries, in addition to two catches for 25 yards. In his first start of the season, Caputi completed 19 of 30 passes for 198 yards and one interception. In addition to Cardew’s record-tying tackle total, David Nurse had 16 tackles, including 1.5 sacks.

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