Maine college football roundup: Becker 34, Husson 7

Posted Sept. 29, 2012, at 7:40 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 29, 2012, at 10:39 p.m.

LEICESTER, MASS. – Becker quarterback Robert Baker (Monroe, Conn.) passed for a school record 491 yards as the host Hawks defeated Husson, 34-7, on Saturday evening at Alumni Field in ECFC football action. Baker surpassed Anthony Wargo’s September 25, 2005 record against Mount Saint Ida that had been at 420 yards. Baker also took part in all five Becker touchdowns, throwing for four and running for another. The Hawks of Becker are now 2-2 with a 1-0 mark in conference standings while the Eagles of Husson drop to 1-3 with a 0-1 record against ECFC opponents.

On the opening drive, the Becker defense forced Husson into a three-and-out, taking over at their own 41 yard line after the punt return by Kyle Gregg (Charlotte, N.C.). But the Eagles’ Godfrey Taylor (Hollis, N.Y.) sacked Baker on third down for a loss of nine, and the Hawks had to punt it away.

On the ensuing drive and facing a third down, the Husson quarterback Kash Keezer (Veazie, Maine) ran for 21 yards on an option, taking the Eagles to midfield. Three plays later, Melvin Booker (Roxbury, Mass.) and Snider Saint-Vil (Palm Coast, Fla.) combined to burst through for a third-down sack, once again forcing Husson to punt it away. Facing a third-and-thirteen deep in their own territory, Baker found receiver Luis Sanchez (Springfield, Mass.) for an 18 yard gain to the Becker 42 and a first down for the Hawks. But the drive stalled from there, and three plays later Becker would be forced to punt it away.

Taking over at their own 16, Husson would stay with their ground game, slowly chewing up yardage and taking the clock to the end of the first quarter. The defense would hold once again, but excellent special teams play by the Eagles stranded the Hawks at their own six yard line.

It would take Baker only a single play to change the complexion of the game, as he found Sanchez open over the middle for a 94 yard touchdown, the third-longest pass completion in Becker’s history. After the missed extra point, the Hawks took a 6-0 lead just 26 seconds into the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Husson’s Taquan Broadway (Bridgeport, Conn.) had a 40 yard return to Becker 42. It took the Eagles just three plays to tie the game, as Ryan Dorso (Farmingdale, Maine) found Devin Sherman (Benton, Maine) wide open in the corner of the endzone for a 20 yard touchdown pass. With the extra point, Husson took a 7-6 lead.

Becker began a promising drive on the next possession, getting a first down at the Husson 37. But a fumble by Gregg was recovered by the defense, and appeared to have left the Hawks’ efforts wasted. On the Eagle’s next play, however, Danielle Reyes (Loxahatchee, Fla.) made a huge play, forcing the runner to fumble behind the line which was pounced on by Booker. Becker suddenly had new life with a first down at Husson’s 27. Two players later, Baker found an open Shaun Llewellyn (Bloomfield, Conn.) for a 27 yard touchdown, as Becker went up 13-7 with the extra point.

The defense held again on the ensuing drive, and the Hawks got the ball back at their own eight with 7:59 left in the half. The Hawks drove 64 yards before a fourth-and-five from the 28 fell short, giving the ball back to the Eagles. After a three-and-out, Becker got the ball back with 3:22 left on Husson’s 48. It took 56 seconds for Baker to find Corinthian Bostic (Jacksonville, Fla.) for a 19 yard touchdown pass, as the hosts went up 20-7. With the same intensity they had shown all day, the Becker defense forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to Baker with 1:32 left from their own 39 yard line.

The junior quarterback slowly carved up the Eagles’ defense, converting a fourth-and-one with a 12 yard pass to Sanchez with 18 seconds remaining. Skillfully using his timeouts, Becker Head Coach Mike Lichten set his team up for a field goal attempt with 1.8 seconds remaining in the half. The kick was blocked at the line, however, and the teams went into halftime with Becker leading 20-7.

Becker opened the second half with excellent field position at their 46 after a 37 yard kickoff return by Gregg. Baker went back to work, moving the ball 45 yards before the drive ended with another blocked field goal. Taking over at the 20 after a touchback, Keezer used a 36 yard pass to Sherman to push the Eagles deep into Hawk territory. The Eagles would reach the eight with a first and goal, only to be sacked on back-to-back snaps. After a short rush, Husson was forced to settle for a 47 yard field goal attempt that went wide left.

On the next play from scrimmage, Baker hit Sanchez over the middle for a 36 yard gain that tied Becker’s all-time receiving yards in a single game at 241, tied with Jakar Turner from a September 22, 2007 season game, also against Mount Saint Ida. Later in the drive, Baker used a 12 yard pass to Carlos Deleon (Manchester, Conn.) to break the Becker passing record, and two plays later, Baker took it in himself, rushing eight yards to the end zone as Becker went up 27-7.

Husson drove into Becker territory again, but could not break through for a score. Forced to go for it on fourth down from the Hawk 33, Husson would be flagged for intentional grounding to end the drive, as the Hawks took over to start the fourth quarter.

On Becker’s fourth play of the drive, Baker found Bostic over the middle for a 51 yard touchdown pass, Bostic’s second touchdown of the day and the fourth strike thrown by Baker. The Hawks lead extended to 34-7.

After another three-and-out, Husson downed the ball at the Becker one-yard line. With Baker coming out of the game, the Hawks were soon forced to punt from their own end zone. But Becker punter Christopher Silva (Amawalk, N.Y.) took advantage of a botched play, rushing for 13 yards and a first down. Husson wouldn’t get the ball back until there was 7:46 left in the game at their own 48. Five plays later, the Eagles turned it over on downs. Afte ran exchange of punts, Becker took over with 1:31 left, running out the clock.

Baker’s performance ranks second in passes completed (30), tied for second in touchdown passes (4), tied for third in completion percentage (.667) and fourth in passing yards per attempt (10.9). In addition to tying the record for yards receiving at 241, Sanchez had the third longest pass reception in the program’s history with 94 yards. He also finished second all-time for a single game in passes caught (11). Bostic’s two touchdown receptions tied also tied for second all-time.

Dominick Whitley (Springfield, Mass.) led the Hack defense with ten total tackles. Christopher McCarthy (Deer Park, N.Y.) had seven with a sack, while Saint-Vil and Booker finished with seven and six, respectively, sharing a sack. Saint-Vil had 2.5 tackles for loss on the day.

For Husson, Dorso ran 17 times for a game-high 66 yards, with one pass attempt for a 20 yard touchdown. Keezer passed for 96 yards on ten completions, while Sherman pulled down three receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. Byron Jackson (Bridgeport, Conn.) ran for 30 yards on seven attempts while Keezer finished with 18.

Stephan Dance (New London, Conn.) had a team-high nine tackles for the Eagles, including a sack. Ben Dalecki (South Berwick, Maine) finished with two sacks and five tackles. Bryant Wade (Fairfield, Maine) and Ronald Robbs (Plainfield, N.J.) turned in eight and seven tackles, respectively.

Worcester State 47, Maine Maritime 34

CASTINE, Maine – Worcester State quarterback Corey Spencer (Malden, Mass.) was responsible for five touchdowns in the Lancers 47-34 win over Maine Maritime Academy in New England Football Conference Bogan Division action on Saturday. Spencer completed 23-of-30 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 11 yards and another score to move Worcester State to 4-1 (2-0 Bogan) on the season. Maine Maritime fell to 0-4 (0-2 Bogan).

Spencer factored in the first pair of scores as the Lancers raced out to a 20-0 lead. His first score, a one-yard plunge on Worcester State’s second possession, capped a seven-play, 55-yard drive. Kemani Jones (Milton, Mass.) accounted for 38 yards on the series, gashing the Mariners for runs of 12 and 25 yards to set up the score. Jones rushed for 67 yards and a score on 19 carries in the contest. The Lancers started their next possession on the Mariners’ side of the field following a penalty for interfering with a fair catch. Spencer completed pair of passes for a combined yards, before polishing off the drive with a 29-yard toss to Casey Hippert (Douglass, Mass.) who got beyond the Maine Maritime secondary down the middle of the field.

Hippert finished the game with 123 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns on six receptions. He was one of two Lancers to post a 100-yard receiving performance. A.J. Scerra (Marlboro, Mass.) caught a game-high nine passes for 106 yards.

Mike Dance (Rocky Hill, Conn.) made it 20-0 on the next Worcester State possession, scoring on a draw from 16 yards out with five seconds left in the first quarter. The early hole was too deep for Maine Maritime to escape.

The Mariners got on the board 52 seconds later when Bradley Reed (Belfast, Maine) hit Shane Sullivan (Bucksport, Maine) 15 yards beyond the secondary on a play-fake. The Mariners’ 73-yard touchdown was quickly answered, however, by Hippert’s second score of the day. This one came on a 46-yard pass from Spencer.

Maine Maritime got it to 27-14 on the next possession. Back-to-back runs by Ryan O’Neal (Higganum, Conn.) and Joseph DiBiase (Portland, Maine) yielded 22 and 25 yards, respectively. Fullback Billy Wetherbee (Veazie, Maine) gashed the Lancers through the middle of the defense two plays later, scoring from 16 yards out. Reed’s plunge on the two-point try made it a 27-14 game. The Mariners’ defense held for the bulk of the third quarter, but a late interception set up Spencer and company on the Maine Maritime 40 in the waning minutes of the second quarter. Spencer hit Jack Sprague (Maynard, Mass.) to make it a three-score game, 33-14, heading into the locker rooms.

The Mariners got back within two touchdowns when a DiBiase score from three-yards out capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive to start the third quarter, but Jones scored his touchdown a two-yard run to take advantage of another short field on a drive that started at the Mariners’ 37. Spencer fired off another touchdown pass early in the fourth to make it 47-21, but the Mariners refused to go away quietly. Michael Cummings (Bucksport, Maine) led a 10-play, 69-yard drive that ended when he called his own number on the goalline. A fumble on the ensuing kickoff set the Mariners up in Lancers’ territory. Wetherbee covered the final three feet on a 41-yard dive to make it the 47-34 final.

Wetherbee led all Mariners’ rushers with 72 yards on 17 carries, while O’Neal picked up 69 yards on eight touches. DiBiase rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries. The Mariners three quarterbacks combined for a 6-of-11 afternoon, resulting in 149 yards.

The game saw 779 combined yards of total offense, with Worcester State accounting for 407 yards to the Mariners’ 372. Despite the gaudy offensive totals, both defenses saw several outstanding individual performances. Michael Denis recorded nine tackles including seven solo stops for WSU, while Adam Straughn (Rockland, Mass.) recorded nine tackles and blocked two PATs. Matt Begley (E. Bridgewater, Mass.) counted a pair of sacks and six solo tackles among his eight stops for the Lancers, while Maine Maritime’s John Regis (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) matched his production in the sack category, setting the Lancers back 15 yards. Alex Hermes (Fallsington,Pa.) recorded 10 tackles, six of which were solo stops, and forced a fumble. Brock Lawrence (Benton, Maine) posted nine stops.

Middlebury 42, Colby 13

WATERVILLE, Maine —- The Colby College football team was seconds away from taking a possible 16-7 halftime lead over Middlebury College when the unthinkable happened in the Panthers’ 42-13 win over the Mules on Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.

The Panthers got a major break on special teams to end the first half. Colby’s Henry Nelson (Reeding, Conn.) forced a fumble and Ryan Ruiz (Hyde Park, Mass.) recovered on the Middlebury 18-yard line with 54 seconds remaining. Three plays later, Colby kicker David Bendit (Emmaus, Pa.), looking to put the Mules up 16-7 at halftime, had his kick blocked by Matt Crimmins (Mendham, N.J.). Joel Blockowicz (Potomac, Md.) scooped up the ball and ran 80 yards for the score and a 14-13 lead at halftime.

Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) caught four touchdown passes and McCallum Foote (Newton, Mass.) threw for five touchdown passes for the second consecutive week as the Panthers scored 28 unanswered points in the second half .

Middlebury moves to 2-0 on the season heading into a big home game with Amherst College next Saturday at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the Mules fell to 0-2 overall and will play host to Wesleyan University at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Mules gave Middlebury a game in the opening half, taking two leads in the contest before the Panthers took a 14-13 lead at halftime on the wild special teams play.

Driscoll caught three of his career-high four touchdowns in the second half to finish the game with 11 grabs for 128 yards. Brendan Rankowitz (Westport, Conn.) caught seven passes for 110 yards and one touchdown. Foote was 34-for-56 for 388 yards and had two interceptions to go with the five scoring passes.

Colby’s defense did slow down the Middlebury running game, holding the Pantahers to just 2.1 yards per rush on 22 carries for 47 yards. Colby senior Spencer Gopaul (Washington, D.C.) had 18 carries for 78 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and Thomas Brewster (Fairfield, Conn.) added 25 yards on four carries.

Middlebury went up 21-13 on the opening drive of the second half as Foote threw nine straight passes on the drive, including a 36-yard toss to Rankowitz. Driscoll scored the touchdown on an 8-yard pass from Foote.

After a three-and-out by Colby, the Mules managed to stop Middlebury on one drive when cornerback Jason Buco (Methuen, Mass.) picked off his second pass of the game and was tackled at the Colby 4-yard line.

The Mules had another three-and-out and Middlebury took over on Colby’s 38-yard line after a punt. After an incompletion, Foote had a 15-yard completion to Billy Chapman (Greenwich, Conn.) and then threw a 23-yard scoring strike to Driscoll on the next play.

Middlebury almost abandoned the running game again on the next drive, with just one run and 10 passes by Foote. His big gainer went 24 yards to Driscoll on a 3rd-and-10 play to give the Panthers the ball at the Colby 25. Six plays later, Driscoll caught his third touchdown of the quarter on a 3-yard pass play for a 35-13 margin.

The Mules went for it on 4th-and-2 at their own 40-yard line, but Middlebury’s defense stood firm in holding Colby to a minus-1 yard run. The Panthers went 10 play over the 39 yards and Foote again tossed a 3-yard scoring pass, this time to Rankowitz for the final score.

The game was completely different in the opening half, with the Mules taking a 7-0 lead when Buco caught a 14-yard scoring pass from first-year Justin Ciero (Chappaqua, N.Y.) with just four minutes gone in the first quarter.

The Panthers tied the game at 7-7 with 2:53 to play in the first quarter when Foote tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Driscoll. Colby’s Derrick Beasley (Andover, Mass.) had caused a fumble the previous play with the Panthers on the 1-yard line, but Middlebury recovered on the Colby 4.

Gopaul had 29 rushing yards to help Colby go up 13-7 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ciero to Kyle Roth (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.). The Mules missed the extra point attempt when the snap was fumbled.

Tim Patricia (Los Angeles, Calif.) led Middlebury’s defense with 11 tackles, while John Wiet (Morristown, N.J.) added eight stops.

Nelson had eight tackles, forced one fumble, and had one fumble recovery for the Mules. Phil Amato (North Pomfret, Vt.) added seven tackles.

Bates 31, Tufts 23

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The Bates football team jumped out to second-half leads of 28-10 and 31-16 and rushed for 309 yards in a 31-23 victory at Tufts University’s Ellis Oval/Zimman Field on Saturday, the Bobcats’ third straight win over the Jumbos.

While Bates (1-1) outrushed Tufts 309-7, the Jumbos (0-2) turned to the air a team-record 71 times, with John Dodds completing 40 of 70 tosses for 363 yards. Dodds was picked off three times by the Bobcats, including one by senior Joe Dell’Erario (Weston, Mass.) that was returned 60 yards up the sideline for a touchdown to put Bates ahead 21-3 in the second quarter.

Five Bates backs ran for 44 yards or more, led by senior quarterback Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.), who ran 24 keepers for a net of 88 yards, a personal record, with a touchdown. Smith threw 16 passes and completed eight of them for 78 yards. He was intercepted once and sacked three times.

Senior Patrick George (Gloucester, Mass.; 14 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD), senior Teddy Downs (South Boston, Mass.; 7 carries, 48 yards), sophomore Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.; 7 carries, 45 yards) and junior Ryan Curit (South Portland, Maine; 6 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD) combined for 201 more rushing yards on 34 carries.

Bates took the opening kickoff after Tufts won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Bobcats wasted little time, driving 71 yards in three minutes and 49 seconds to take a 7-0 lead on a Trevor Smith seven-yard touchdown run. Smith was one of four different Bobcats to carry the ball on the drive.

Tufts was unsuccessful moving the ball on the ensuing possession, and following a Marty Finnegan punt Bates took over at its own 39. Twelve rushes and a pass play later, George blasted in from the 2 for the score and a 14-0 Bobcat advantage.

Tufts answered on the next drive with a 40-yard field goal from Connor McDavitt 18 seconds into the second quarter. The three-pointer was the first of McDavitt’s college career.

Bates again drove the length of the field on its next possession until Smith’s pass to the end zone was picked off by Jumbo Vincent Lee.

Tufts returned the turnover on the next possession, as Zack Trause fumbled after making a pass reception from Dodds. Tufts forced a three and out on the ensuing possession and regained the ball following a punt on its own 23. The Jumbos drove to the Bates 47, but Dodds was intercepted by senior Dell’Erario, who returned the pick 60 yards for a 21-3 Bobcat lead at 4:21 of the second quarter.

Tufts answered with a 71-yard drive late in the half as Marcel Pitre drove in from the one with 47 seconds on the clock, making it 21-10. The key play on the drive was a 16-yard completion from Dodds to Finnegan on third and 5 from the Tufts 45.

Tufts was unable to move the ball on its first possession following the second-half kickoff, and Bates took advantage of the short field with a five-play, 43-yard drive to go up 28-10 in just 1:25. Curit scored from the 2.

Tufts rallied in the fourth, getting on the board again on a second Pitre 1-yard run to pull within 28-16, but the two-point conversion pass failed.

A 26-yard field goal by junior Charlie Donahue (Plymouth, N.H.) on the following Bobcat possession, his second in as many games, gave Bates a 31-16 lead with 5:32 remaining in the fourth.

After an exchange of fumbles, Tufts took the ball at the Bates 33. Pitre scored his third touchdown of the game with 1:32 left in the game to bring the Jumbos within 31-23, but the onside kickoff was recovered by Bates, and the Bobcats ran out the clock on four running plays.

Tufts senior Dylan Haas finished with 12 receptions for 99 yards.

Bates had a slight edge in total offense, piling up 387 total yards to 370 for the Jumbos. Senior linebacker Josh Chronopoulos (Tyngsboro, Mass.) led Bates with a career-high 11 tackles and forced a fumble. Dell’Erario added seven tackles, and sophomore Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) added six tackles and another big play, a strip sack of Dodds

Amherst 22, Bowdoin 10

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Amherst College football team rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Bowdoin on Saturday, 22-10.

The Jeffs improve to 2-0 this fall while the Polar Bears fall to 0-2 on the campaign. Trailing 10-6 at intermission, the Jeffs held the ball for 19:59, rushed for 158 yards and outscored Bowdoin 16-0 in the second half en route to the victory.

Ryan Silva rushed for 91 of his game-high 143 yards in the second half to account for the majority of Amherst’s 241 yards on the ground as a team. Max Lippe completed 18-22 passes for 141 yards and rushed for two scores, while Wade McNamara caught eight passes for 81 yards and a score.

Bowdoin was led by 76 yards rushing from Greg Pierce. Thomas Romero went 10-24 for 98 yards passing in the loss. Griffin Cardew led all players with 16 tackles for the Polar Bears, including a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

After the teams traded early possessions, the Polar Bears were the first to find the end zone when Pierce capped an eight-play, 42-yard drive by spinning off tacklers and peeling to the corner for a one-yard touchdown run at 2:36 of the first quarter. Amherst answered with an 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended with Lippe sprinting up the middle at 13:38 of the second quarter. A missed PAT left the Jeffs trailing 7-6.

Bowdoin was able to add to its lead before halftime, scoring on a 22-yard field goal by Jimmy Garvey to carry a 10-6 lead into the break.

Amherst forced a Bowdoin three-and-out to open the third quarter and immediately marched 61 yards in 12 plays to earn its first lead of the afternoon. Another Lippe rush up the middle, this time from four yards out, and another missed PAT resulted in a 12-10 Amherst lead with 9:23 remaining in the third period.

Jake Schmidt nailed a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to push Amherst’s lead to 15-10. Two possessions later, Bowdoin entered Amherst territory following a 21-yard toss from Romero to Nick Goldin. The Polar Bears advanced to the Amherst 33, but Amherst’s Sam Clark intercepted Romero on a fourth down play with under seven minutes remaining.

The Jeffs put the game away on the ensuing possession, going 64 yards in 12 plays, capping it off with an eight-yard slant from Lippe to McNamara that made it a 22-10 lead with 2:06 left.

Travis Dickenson made nine tackles, including 2.5 for a loss for the Jeffs while Danny Chun had a sack and an interception. In addition to Cardew’s efforts defensively, Beau Breton made 15 stops and averaged 40.8 yards on six punts.

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