CASTLETON, Vt. - The Castleton State College football team could not stop the SUNY-Maritime rushing attack, ranked fifth in the nation in yards per game, as the Privateers rolled up 400 yards on the ground en route to a 41-28 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win at Spartan Stadium Saturday afternoon. With the win Maritime remains unbeaten at 6-0, 3-0 while the Spartans fall to 2-3, 2-1.
A Castleton fumble on the game's opening drive gave the Privateers the ball at the Castleton 35-yard line. Six plays later quarterback Joe Dickey (Middletown, N.J.) hit Erik Heedles (Staten Island, N.Y.) in stride at the 10-yard line and Heedles bounced off a pair of would-be tacklers, diving into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown reception. After a Castleton three-and-out, Maritime took over at the 50 yard line. On the opening play of the drive Spartan linebacker Chris Mooney (Hazlet, N.J.) forced a fumble and Brandon Bergeron (Hartford, Vt.) pounced on the loose ball setting up Castleton at their own 40-yard line.
Quarterback Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) then led the Spartans on a nine-play, 60-yard scoring drive capped by a touchdown pass to Brandon Boyle (Springfield, Vt.) from eight yards out.
Maritime's ground game took over from there. The Privateers reeled off three-straight scores, including a pair of scoring drives capped by Dickey touchdown runs. The first came at the end of an 11-play, 62-yard drive that spanned six minutes and 27 seconds, while his second ended a 13-play 72-yard drive that lasted six minutes and 25 seconds. The Spartans were forced to punt from the Maritime 45 yard line, and Carl Ojala (Pittsford, Vt.) was able to pin the Privateers back at their own one-yard line. Maritime then reeled off a 13-play, 99-yard scoring drive that culminated in a John Galiano (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) touchdown from five yards out with just two seconds remaining. Fullback Jamie Spanopoulos (Franklin Square, N.Y.) was the workhorse on the drive, racking up 65 yards on seven rushes and hauling a Dickey offering for 22 yards on the drive.
The Privateers pushed their lead to 34-7 five minutes and 18 seconds into the second half, taking the opening drive 65 yards on 10 plays, with Greg McGough (Edgewater, Md.) taking over for the final nine yards and the score.
From then on Castleton outscored their guests 21-7, but it proved not enough. Fritz Jean (Palm Coast, Fla.) scored for the visitors on a 10-yard pass from Dickey just after Castleton's Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, N.Y.) punched one in from a yard out. Backup quarterback Greg Vreeland (Becket, Mass.) threw for a pair of late touchdowns to Chad Bentz (Juneau, Alaska) and Andrew Cavanagh (Brattleboro, Vt.).
Maritime possessed the ball for more than 41 minutes, racking up 28 first downs on 77 plays, 67 of which were on the ground. Spanopoulos led the way with 162 yards on 18 carries, while McGough added 82 yards on 15 carries. Jean picked up 56 yards on seven carries, while Dickey wound up with 51 on 15 attempts. Dickey was also an efficient 7-for-10 for 92 yards and two scores in the passing game.
Brozowski's run of 400-plus yard games came to an end at two, as the sophomore quarterback threw for 173 yards, completing 18-of-23 attempts with a touchdown and one interception. Vreeland came on for the final two drives of the game, going 5-for10 for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Carpenter rushed for 35 yards and a score to lead the ground attack, while freshman Michael Patterson (Jackson, N.J.) had 94 yards on six catches to lead the receiving corps.
Keith Barnes (Westbury, N.Y.) was everywhere for the Privateer defense, amassing 13 tackles to lead the way. Jason Burry (Attica, N.Y.) added a pair of sacks.
Cody TanCreti (Hartland, Vt.) and Dustin Young (Dunnellon, Fla.) led the Spartans with 11 tackles each.
Maritime will play host to Becker College next week, while Castleton will travel to Anna Maria both ECFC match-ups are slated for a 1:00 p.m. opening kick-off.