In yet another defensive battle for the second straight week, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team suffered another loss in an evenly contested home game.
Hosting MASCAC-leading Framingham State at Clean Harbors Stadium on Saturday, November 2, the Bucs were stymied offensively to the tune of a 16-6 loss, dropping their record to 5-3 on the year.
Quarterback Matt Long led the Bucs in both passing and rushing with 69 yards through the air and 31 yards on the ground. The senior signal caller also punted nine times for an average of 39 yards per attempt. Senior wide receiver Ryan McNally, a Sandwich native, hauled in catches for 47 yards, including a 39-yard catch-and-run that featured a devastating stiff arm to create separation after the catch.
Junior Colin McCabe recorded 10 tackles defensively while forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble and adding three tackles for loss.
The Rams jumped out in front in the first quarter, needing only three minutes to score when quarterback Adam Wojenski connected with Jacob Maher for an eight-yard touchdown pass. Wojenski finished the game 18-of-31 for 275 yards and the lone passing touchdown with 52 rushing yards and another rushing score.
While the Bucs were unable to gain much traction offensively, the Rams added to their lead in the second quarter. Wojenski rushed in the ball from one yard out to increase their lead over the hosts, 14-0. But on the ensuing kickoff attempt, MMA responded in kind. Freshman running back Ja’iel Johnson took the kickoff 87 yards to the house to get the Bucs on the scoreboard. On the point-after kick, however, Framingham blocked the kick attempted by George Lampros and returned for a two-point score to increase its lead, 16-6.
That would be the only points that would be in scored in the game as each team pitched a defensive shutout in the second half.
Rams’ freshman running back Devaun Ford, a standout in both football and basketball for Mashpee High School, carried the ball 27 times for 143 rushing yards. He also added four receptions for 45 yards to bring his yards from scrimmage total to 188 yards.
Looking ahead, the Bucs travel down I-195 West to meet UMass-Dartmouth Saturday, November 9, at noon. The Corsairs (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC) are coming off a 28-12 road win against Western Connecticut State last Saturday and are tied for third in the conference. UMD is also a perfect 5-0 at home this season. Offensively, the Corsairs are averaging 35.9 points per game on 304.1 passing yards and 171.4 rushing yards per game. On the other side of the ball, UMD has strong, but can be passed on. They are giving up 305.5 total yards on 226.6 passing yards and a microscopic 78.9 rushing yards per game on 23.8 points allowed.
The quarterback matchup will be something to watch as UMD is led by the top passer in the conference in Stephen Gacioch, who has 2221 passing yards through eight games and 20 passing TDs to go with six rushing scores. Long, meanwhile, is the top rusher in the conference, despite lining up under center. The senior is averaging 91.9 rushing yards per game—tops in the MASCAC—and has a league-leading 16 touchdowns, more than twice as many as the next closest rusher.
Defensively, McCabe and Kyle Johntson, two defensive linemen for the Buccaneers, will have the tall task of keeping Gacioch under pressure for the game. They’ve been successful at that all year, as the defensive duo rank one-two in the league in sacks, with McCabe’s 9.5 and Johnston’s 8.5.
THE PICK: UMass-Dartmouth 24, MMA 18 — In another low-scoring affair, the Corsairs defend their home turf and remain unbeaten on Cressy Field.