What better way to get rid of the foul taste of a loss than posting a shutout victory in front of your home crowd? That’s exactly what the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team did on Saturday, October 19 against Fitchburg State at Clean Harbors Stadium.
The Bucs’ offense rushed three touchdowns behind quarterback Matt Long, who threw for one more, as they rolled against the Falcons, 37-0.
It was the perfect bounceback for the Bucs, who were coming off a 38-21 road loss to Western Connecticut. Fitchburg entered the game riding a four-game losing streak and a record of 1-5 overall.
MMA wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as Long capped a five-play, 55-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback plunge to take a 7-0 lead. Later in the first quarter, Long connected with Will Bennett for a 47-yard touchdown strike to take a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Bucs added 10 more points for a 24-0 halftime lead. George Lampros put up a 23-yard field goal while Long’s second rushing touchdown came from 12 yards out. The two teams played a scoreless third quarter before Long ripped off a 27-yard rush for his third and final score of the afternoon.
Hunter Leveille capped the scoring in the game as he took an interception back 62 yards for the touchdown.
Long rushed for 100 yards and three TDs on 15 carries while throwing for 145 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-21 completions. Bennett hauled in four receptions for 84 yards while Ryan McNally had six receptions for 63 yards.
Kyle Rogers came up with two interceptions on the defensive side of the ball to join Leveille with turnovers.
Up next, MMA travels up to New Hampshire Saturday, October 28, for a MASCAC meeting with Plymouth State. The Panthers (5-2, 3-2 MASCAC) are coming off 34-0 loss to Framingham State at home. PSU averages 28.4 points on offense, doing most of its damage on the ground with an average of 176 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the Panthers are allowing 14.3 points and 88 rushing yards per game—an area where the Bucs excel.
This will be the Senior Day game for the Panthers at Currier Field.
THE PICK: MMA 20, Plymouth State 17 — Defense will have to travel in what should be a rock fight of a game. Whoever wins the battle along the line of scrimmage will be given the fast pass to a key conference win as the season dwindles.