THROGGS NECK, N.Y. (Oct. 22, 2011) – The Maritime football team defeated ECFC-opponent Mount Ida, 31-29, Saturday at Reinhart Field on Military Appreciation Day. The Privateers blocked what would've been a game-tying two-point conversion with 51 seconds left on the clock and then recovered the ensuing on-side kick to ensure the victory. With the sixth-straight victory, the Privateers improve to 6-1 on the season (4-0 ECFC), while the Mustangs fall to 3-4 (2-2 ECFC) in defeat.
"Our guys stepped up big in the second half to grab the lead once again and preserve that win for us," said head coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes. "Every aspect of our 'family' played exceptionally well when we needed them to, whether it was offense, defense or special teams. We thought it was really important to score right before the half to go into the lockers tied and I'm really happy they were able to pull that off. This was an important conference win for us and we are ready to start preparing for Husson next week."
Senior Jamie Spanopoulos (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) led the Privateers' ground game with a game-high 127 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Trodden (Putnam Valley, N.Y./JFK Catholic) was 4-for-6 in passing for 44 yards, but was also dangerous on the ground with 72 yards and one rushing touchdown.
Senior Madison Leary (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) opened the scoring on 41-yard field goal after the Privateers' opening drive of the game. The Mustangs responded later the first quarter when senior Johrone Bunch ran in a 43-yard touchdown and the point after was good to put Mount Ida up, 7-3. However, Maritime scored on its second defensive touchdown of the year when senior Jason Burry (Attica, N.Y./Attica) picked up a fumbled ball and ran it back 53 yards to the house and an extra point by Leary made the score 10-7 in favor of the Privateers with 2:51 to go in the first.
In the second quarter, Mount Ida ended a 12-play, 69 yard drive that started in the opening quarter with an eight-yard pass TD from junior QB Scott Drosendahl to senior Nick Lynch. The PAT was good by junior Bobby Hemmann and the Mustangs led again, 14-10. Mount Ida would record an interception on Maritime's ensuing drive and then drove the ball downfield before Hemann converted a 36-yard field goal to put the team up 17-10. Maritime would get terrible field position on the ensuing drive, starting from its own three-yard line, but the Privateers covered the whole 97 yards in 4:58 of playing time and 11 plays later Spanopoulos ran in a two-yard rush and Leary's extra point tied the game. The score stayed tied into the half.
Mount Ida started with possession in the second half, but was quickly forced to a three-and-out. Maritime got the ball back starting at its own 43-yard line and another great drive ended 12 plays later when Trodden found the endzone on a four-yard run to give the Privateers a 24-17 lead. The Mustangs fought back to within one point, 24-23, on two field goals by Hemann early in the fourth quarter, one from 33 yards and the other from 32. Spanopoulos scored again, this time on a nine-yard run and Leary's extra point put Maritime up, 31-23, with 4:25 to go.
Both teams each traded three-and-outs and Mount Ida wound up with the ball with 1:48 to go and was able to score a touchdown on a six-yard pass from Drosendahl to sophomore Matt Valentini to pull within two with 51 seconds left on the clock. Having to go for the two-point conversion, the Mustangs decided to make it a passing play, but junior Pat Lasher (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) jumped right in the path of the ball and knocked it away to preserve the Privateers' two-point lead.
The ensuing on-side kick was recovered by sophomore Gary Bigham (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles) and the Privateers kneeled on the ball twice for the victory.
On defense, junior Keith Barnes (Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) matched the game-high with 11 tackles (10 solo and one assisted), including two for combined losses of five yard and one came on a sack for a loss of two. Senior Steve Roman (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph's by the Sea) ranked second on the team with nine tackles, while Lasher ended the day with seven tackles, including three for combined losses of 12 yards and one first-half interception.
Freshman Greg Caneparo (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet) was stellar on kickoff returns, amassing 149 yards on six kickoffs for an average of 24.8 yards per return. He had a 59-yard return in the first quarter and a 43-yard return late in the game that helped lead to Spanopoulos's second TD.
For the Mustangs, Bunch was limited to just 75 yards and the score and it all came in the first half, as he left the game early with an apparent injury. Freshman Chris McNally recorded a team-high 89 yards, while Drosendahl was 15-for-26 in passing for 160 yards and two pass touchdowns. Valentini was the leading receiver with seven catches for 58 yards and one TD. Defensively, freshmen Jah-son Johnson and Tevin Moye each recorded 11 tackles, as two of Johnson's were for combined losses of five yards and two of Moye's were for losses of four. Moye also had one forced fumble.
Maritime returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 29, when the team travels up to Bangor, Maine to take on ECFC-opponent Husson University. Game time is scheduled for noon at the Eagles' Winkin Sports Complex.