MMA Football vs Fitchburg State — October 19, 2019

MMA running back Connor Reynolds wedges his way through a hole during a Bucs’ home game this season.

In a game that lived up to its tooth-and-nail billing, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team suffered its second loss of the season last Saturday, October 26.

Scoring was at a premium in Plymouth, New Hampshire, as the Plymouth State Panthers defended their home turf by outlasting a 7-3 win against the Bucs. Neither team accumulated more 260 total yards on offense as defense reigned supreme.

Bucs senior quarterback Matt Long, the MASCAC’s leading scorer going into the game, was held to 159 yards passing and just 78 rushing yards while being held out of the end zone for the first time this season.

The two teams battled through a scoreless first quarter as the first five possessions resulted in a turnover on downs, a fumble, a punt and missed PSU field goal and another punt. Both teams gained 93 total yards in the first frame. By the time the second quarter rolled round both teams started to find their footing offensively. The Panthers drove 55 yards in five minutes to score a five-yard touchdown pass from Brett Lavanchy to Cooper Gorski that gave the home team a 7-0 advantage.

That would be the only touchdown of the game, but the Bucs answered with points later in the second quarter. With 2:30 left before halftime, MMA started a drive on Plymouth’s 43-yard line and traveled 34 yards in 10 plays. George Lampros struck true on a 26-yard field goal attempt to get the Bucs on board, 7-3.

With both defenses not giving an inch, every offensive possession in the second half ended in either a punt or a turnover on downs. Kyle Rogers led the Bucs with eight tackles while Colin McCabe added two more sacks to his season total of 9.5. Will Bennett caught five passes for a team-high 49 yards for MMA.

Now the Buccaneers turn their attention to MASCAC-leading Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 MASCAC). MMA hosts the Rams Saturday, November 2, at noon at Clean Harbors Stadium. Framingham State has won five straight games and is coming off a 39-14 home win against Western Connecticut last week. The Rams are averaging 34.7 points per game on 274 passing yards and 163 rushing yards. The offense features former local high school standout Devaun Ford from Mashpee. Now a freshman, Ford has amassed 534 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and 221 receiving yards in seven games played for the Rams. Defensively, Framingham State is giving up an average of 20.6 points per game on 193 passing yards and 103 rushing yards.

The Buccaneers are averaging 27.6 points per game on 160 passing yards and 173 rushing yards per game while surrendering 14.3 points per game on 199 passing yards and 117 rushing yards.

Last season the Rams escaped Buzzards Bay with a narrow 28-13 road win. MMA has lost its last 10 games to Framingham State, dating back to the 2008 season.

THE PICK: Framingham State 28, MMA 20 —The Bucs will make a game of it, especially playing at home where they are 3-0 this season. But the firepower of the Rams will be too much, even for the stout MMA defensive front.

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