The Husson University Eagles suffered a frustrating 21-14 loss to Western New England University on Saturday while Maine Maritime Academy was beaten in its NEWMAC opener by the United States Merchant Marine Academy 56-31.
At Springfield, Mass., the Eagles built a 14-0 lead and were on the verge of expanding it in the third quarter when WNE’s Sam Olsson stripped the ball from running back John Smith’s hands at the WNE-2 and Zhaire House returned it 94 yards to set up Jamyre Soberanis’ six-yard TD run.
WNE, which eliminated the Eagles from the NCAA Division III Tournament a year ago, tied it up on Dante Aiken’s seven-yard run with 59 seconds left in the third quarter and the Golden Bears won it with just 52 seconds left in the game on Anthony Service’s 28-yard pass to Josh Henry.
Western New England is now 2-2 while Husson fell to 2-1. It was a non-conference game.
Cory Brandon’s four-yard touchdown pass to Aidan Hogan opened the scoring at the 9:30 mark of the second quarter and, just 1:58 later, Robenson Saintard scampered 55 yards to make to give Husson a 14-0 lead.
Husson dominated the game statistically, outgaining WNE 420-267.
Smith gained 128 yards on 32 carries and Saintard added 69 on three attempts.
Brandon completed 20 of 36 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted once.
Kyree Calli had five catches for 65 yards, Saintard caught four for 77 yards and Kyle Gaudet had four for 39.
Aiken led WNE with 39 yards on 10 carries and Peter Hoff had 38 on 12. Service completed 10 of 24 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. Jared Wolfe and Garrett Jones had two receptions apiece.
Kurtis Joliceur had a game-high 13 tackles for WNE and Olsson had nine to go with a forced fumble and an interception.
Merchant Marine 56, MMA 31
At Castine, quarterback Brice Moore rushed for 137 yards and four touchdowns as the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
MMA is 0-3 and 0-1.
USMMA racked up 590 yards of total offense.
Moore scored on runs of four and three yards in the first half and one and five yards in the second half. Joseph Bellomo scored on runs of 12 and one yard in the first half as the visitors built a 28-12 halftime lead.
Krystian Abbott scored on a five-yard jaunt for the winners and Luke Tiefenthaler had a three-yard run.
Tiefenthaler rushed for 93 yards, James Early had 83 yards and Abbott ran for 82 yards.
MMA quarterback Corey Creeger rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another.
He had a 16-yard dash and a pair of one-yard plunges and threw a 22-yard pass to Mason Kaserman. John Friend tossed a 20-yard strike to Zackery Brannon for the other MMA score.
Creeger ran for 80 yards on 17 carries and James Ferrar had 39 more on 10 carries. Creeger completed 6 of 13 passes for 152 yards. Jordan Susi had four catches for 119 yards.
Anthony Sandoval’s six tackles led USMMA while John Bennett and Alec Clark shared game-high honors for MMA with 12 each.