June 25, 2018
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Maine Maritime football edges Westfield; Gallaudet blanks Husson


WESTFIELD, Mass. — A two-point conversion pass went off the hands of the intended receiver in the second overtime Saturday afternoon as Maine Maritime Academy held on for a 36-34 New England Football Conference football victory over Westfield State.

Quarterback Matthew Rende of Augusta was the catalyst for the Mariners (5-1, 2-1 NEFC Bogan Division), rushing for 151 yards and two scores on 21 carries. He broke a fourth-and-one run for a 74-yard touchdown to help MMA equalize at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter.

Ian Champeon of Dover-Foxcroft gained 116 yards on 26 attempts and Nick Bourassa of Jay gained 75 yards on 15 carries as MMA ground out 359 yards via the run.

Rende turned in scoring runs of 74 and 25 yards, while Bourassa had TD runs of 3 and 11 yards and caught a 24-yard scoring pass from Rende.

MMA overcame three turnovers.

In the first overtime, Westfield took the lead on Steve Guercio’s 3-yard pass to Jake Story and the PAT kick was good. The Mariners answered on a 24-yard toss from Rende to Bourassa and Michael Brennan added the PAT.

MMA went on top in the second OT when Rende scampered 25 yards on the first play. Tom Marcisso rushed for the conversion.

Westfield scored on a 12-yard pass from Guercio (10-for-17, 86 yds.) to Jake Storey, but Guercio’s PAT pass went offr the hands of the receiver in the end zone.

Mike Mercadante rolled up 186 yards on 26 carries with two TDs for Westfield State and Brian Beauchemin netted 115 yards on 19 tries with a score.

With MMA facing a fourth-and-one from its own 26-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Rende ran off the right side for the first down, but kept his feet moving and eventually outran the defense for a 74-yard scoring jaunt that tied the game at 21-21 with 10:33 left in the game.

Brock Lawrence headed the MMA defense with 10 tackles and an interception while Alex Hermes also made 10 stops.

Gallaudet 35, Husson 0

At Washington, D.C., the struggles continued for Husson University of Bangor. The Eagles committed seven turnovers while absorbing an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference loss to Gallaudet University.

Husson University of Bangor (0-5 overall, 0-2 ECFC) was held to minus-47 yards rushing by Gallaudet University (3-2, 2-0 ECFC).

The Bison scored the only points they ultimately would need on the first play of the game when Nick Elstad threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Ryne Worsham.

Gallaudet led 14-0 at the half after a 3-yard scoring run by Gabriel Paulone, then added three TDs in the second half. Paulone threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Worsham, Miguel Paniagua ripped off a 32-yard TD run and John Van Wey returned a fumble 41 yards for a score.

Gallaudet netted 377 total yards with excellent balance as Paulone completed seven of nine passes for 122 yards, including four for 105 yards to Elstad and four for 95 yards ot worsham. Michael Hantge (9 carries, 50 yds.), Paulone (8-43) and Paniagua (4-41) paced the run game.

Matt Harris logged seven tackles, including four for a loss, and forced two fumbles for Gallaudet.

Sophomore quarterback Kash Keezer completed 17 of 36 passes for 169 yards to lead the Eagles. Ben foss made seven catches for 80 yards and Devin Sherman grabbed five passes for 67 yards.

Ernest Wiggins paced the Husson defense with 13 tackles, including four for a loss and a sack.

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