DARTMOUTH, Mass – Saturday afternoon the Buccaneers traveled to UMass-Dartmouth to take on the Corsairs in their final road game of the season. The battle between the two teams for New England Pirate supremacy took a full 60 minutes with the Bucs coming out on top.
Final: Buccaneers 28, Corsairs 14
Records: Mass Maritime 6-3 (4-3 MASCAC)
UMass-Dartmouth 6-3 (4-3 MASCAC)
For The Bucs
· Senior Matt Long (Weymouth, Mass) led the Buccaneers in passing and rushing. He completed five of 12 passes for 162 yards. He ran the ball 19 times for 157 yards and three scores.
· Wide receiver Will Bennett (Sandwich, Mass) threw a pass in the game on a double reverse for a touchdown from 23 yards out. Bennet caught two passes for a game-high 146 yards including an 82 yard gainer from Long.
· Sophomore running back Connor Reynolds (Norton, Mass) ran the ball 18 times for 55 yards and caught three passes for 16 yards.
· Senior wide receiver Ryan McNally (Sandwich, Mass) was on the receiving end of Bennett's touchdown pass, his only catch of the day for 23 yards.
· Junior kicker/punter George Lampros (Bridgewater, Mass) converted all four of his extra point attempts in the game. He also punted five times for 171 yards, one inside the opponent's 20 yard line.
· Long punted five times for 188 yards, pinning the Corsairs inside their own 20 on three occasions.
· Defensively, defensive end Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass) totaled 11 tackles, 10 of which were solo, racked up three sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss while also forcing a fumble.
· Junior linebacker Jack Fontana (Grafton, Mass) totaled eight tackles in the game with two quarterback hurries.
· Senior Captain Cameron Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass) intercepted a pass while also making three solo tackles in the secondary.
For The Corsairs
· Quarterback Ryan Qualey completed 18 of 45 passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
· Running back Luis Gonzalez led the Corsair rushing attack with 57 yards on 10 carries. Jacob Francis added 50 yards on 11 carries out of the backfield.
· Wideout Abbi Bangbose caught six passes for team-high 131 yards and two touchdowns.
· Wide receiver Pedro DelToro caught a game-high nine passes for 53 yards.
· Kicker James Tooker converted his two extra point attempts.
· Punter/Wide receiver Jeremy Jackson punted nine times for 367 yards.
· On defense, Connor Russ and Jacob Burkhead each made seven solo tackles and assisted on two other, totaling nine tackles for each Corsair. Russ had three tackles for loss, Burkhead 1.5.
· Defensive lineman Jay Bast made five tackles and recorded the only Dartmouth sack of the game while also making two tackles for loss.
How It Happened
The Buccaneers won the coin toss to being the game and gave the Corsairs the ball to start things off. After five plays and 26 yards on the opening drive Dartmouth punted the ball to the Bucs. On the first Maritime drive the Bucs sailed into the end zone on a Long 79-yard dash on third and nine play. Lampros made the extra point to put the Bucs up 7-0 less than five minutes into the game. There were 19 punts between the two teams in the game and after the touchdown by Maritime on their opening drive seven of those punts occurred which took the game to the second half. Bucs up, 7-0.
The second quarter began with a punt by each team and with 8:08 remaining before the halftime break, the Bucs took the ball and went 86 yards in four plays for a touchdown. The highlight of the drive was an 82-yard pitch and catch from Long to Bennett which set up a one-yard touchdown run by Long to extend the Buccaneer lead to 14 points. Another trade of punts, a four-and-out by the Corsairs and a kneel down by Maritime sent the game to the half with the Bucs leading and shutting out their hosts, 14-0.
The Buccaneer received the opening kickoff in the second half and made it count with another quick hitting scoring drive. This time, 61 yards in four plays, capped off by a Bennett pass to McNally for the touchdown on a tricky double reverse pass by the Academy offense. Later in the quarter, with 2:35 left, the Corsairs started a drive at the Maritime 46 yard line after a Lampros punt was tipped at the line of scrimmage giving the home team favorable field position. On the first play of the drive Qualey completed a pass to Bamgbose and the speedy wideout did the rest getting into the end zone to erase the Buccaneer shutout. With the score now 21-7, the teams headed to the final quarter of play.
On a drive for Dartmouth that began with 11 seconds left in the third, the Corsairs drove 79 yards in five plays, capped off by a second Qualey to Bamgbose connection for a 26-yard score pulled the hosts within seven points with thirteen and a half minutes left in regulation. On the ensuing possession the Buccaneers began at their own 35 yard line. On the first play of the drive Long found Bennett for their second big connection of the day, this time 64 yards. Bennett, who seemed to be in the end zone, was marked down at the one yard line. After a loss on the next play, Long took the ball in from five yards out to put the Buccaneers back up by two scores, 28-14. 12:37 remained on the clock at that point but neither side would score again. The teams punted a few more times, Stewart picked off a Qualey pass, and each team turned the ball over on downs in the closing minutes of the game. After a turnover on downs by the Corsairs with 1:17 left in the game, Long and the bucks took a knee three times to run out the clock. When the clock hit triple zeros the Buccaneers had earned their sixth victory of the season, 28-14, over UMass-Dartmouth.
The six wins for the Buccaneers is the highest since the 1999 season when the team finished 8-2.
The Buccaneers host Bridgewater State next Saturday at 12pm in the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl. It is the final game of the season for both teams and will have huge MASCAC standings implications. It is also senior day for 17 Buccaneers who will be celebrated prior to the game.