WESTFIELD, Mass – Saturday afternoon, the Buccaneers faced off against Westfield State on the road. Going into the game at 2-0, with the Owls 0-3, many picked the Bucs to win big. One prediction even had the Bucs winning 30-14. At the end of the day, Maritime kept their hot start going, winning 31-7 over their hosts. The 3-0 start for Buccaneer football is the first such start to a season since 2000. That season was also the last time they beat Maine Maritime and Westfield State in back-to-back weeks.
Final: Buccaneers 31, Owls 7
Records: Mass Maritime 3-0 (1-0 MASCAC)
Westfield State 0-4 (0-2 MASCAC)
For The Bucs
· Quarterback Matt Long (Weymouth, Mass) totaled 197 yards of offense for the Bucs, 149 passing on 10 completions and 48 rushing yards on 17 attempts. He ran for three scores in the game, his third straight game with three rushing touchdowns running his season total to a MASCAC leading nine scores on the ground.
· Sophomore running back Conner Reynolds (Norton, Mass) ran the ball 17 times for a game high 77 yards.
· Senior wide receiver Will Bennett (Sandwich, Mass) led the Bucs in receiving with three catches for 85 yards.
· Sophomore wide receiver Dane Campbell (Peru, Mass) caught six Long passes for 31 yards.
· On defense, Jack Fontana (Grafton, Mass) amassed 11 total tackles, six solo, and five assists.
· Senior defensive lineman Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass) had eight tackles on the day, a half sack and two tackles for loss.
· Junior Colin McCabe (Dartmouth, Mass) made five tackles and was credited with 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries.
· Senior defensive back Austin Stahmer (Wareham, Mass) picked off his fourth pass of the season, which leads the Bucs and the MASCAC
· On the final offensive play of the game for Westfield, Buccaneers sophomore defensive back Kyle Rogers (Abington, Mass) intercepted a pass and brought it back 80 yards for a touchdown.
· Kicker/Punter George Lampros (Bridgewater, Mass) converted all four of his extra points and made a 32-yard field goal in the game. He punted the ball three times for 148 yards, averaging 49.3 yards per attempt. Long also punted the ball four times for Maritime for a total of 175 yards, an average of 43.8 yards per punt.
For The Owls
· Quarterback Jack Cassidy completed 23 of his 43 pass attempts for 174 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
· Running back Germaine Everett-Welcome led the ground attack for the Owls with seven attempts for 25 yards.
· Westfield receiver Tod Holloway, Jr. led the game in both catches, with seven, and yards with 87. He also caught Cassidy's lone touchdown pass.
· Defensively, George Cole, David White, and Justin Smith all tallied ten total tackles for Westfield.
· Rashawn Settles recorded the only sack of the day for the Owls.
· On special teams, kicker/punter Cody Cleveland converted his only extra point attempt and punted the ball nine times for 421 yards, an average of 46.8 yards per punt.
How It Happened
The Buccaneer scored the first points of the day in the first quarter on a seven play, 70-yard drive that took 3:18 to complete. Long took the ball into the end zone from four yards out to go up 7-0. That would be the score at the end of one.
Maritime kept the momentum to start the second quarter. On a holdover possession from the first quarter, the Bucs capped off an 11 play, 82 yard drive with another touchdown run by Long, this time from six yards out. With just under two minutes gone in the second quarter the Bucs led, 14-0. The Owls cut the Buccaneer lead in half just before halftime, scoring on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Cassidy to Holloway, Jr. with three and a half minutes to play until halftime. At the break, Maritime led Westfield 14-7.
Maritime received the opening kickoff of the second half but were unable to extend their lead on the opening drive of the half. Similarly, Westfield was unable to tie the game on their first drive of the second half. But, on the Bucs next drive, they went 57 yards on 13 plays and got three points out of the drive on a 32-yard field goal by Lampros. With the Buccaneers leading 17-7, the teams headed to the fourth quarter.
The Bucs got the ball back early in the final period of play and marched down the field and into the end zone on a two-yard run by Long to make the score 24-7. With the Ball back, down 17 with 13 minutes to play, Westifled was unable to get down the field and close the gap. Late in the quarter, with under a minute remaining, Westfield went into desperation mode. Looking deep down field to try and make something happen, Cassidy threw the ball in to the hands of Rogers. Rogers proceeded to return the ball 80 yards the other way, with a little help from his friends, into the end zone to cap off the Buccaneer win in style, 31-7, over the Owls.
Next week, the Buccaneers welcome Worcester State to Taylor's Point for the second year in a row. This year, the game will take place on homecoming weekend for Mass Maritime, October 5th at 12pm.